Name: The bikini, a word derived from the name of an island in the Pacific -Bikini Atoll – which translates to “surface of coconuts.” How appropriate.
What it is: The belly-baring two piece swimsuit is like underwear for the beach.
Origin: After entering the world swathed in controversy as the brainchild of a French designer, the scandalous swimsuit quickly became a tool for actresses like Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Hurley to get more publicity. Starlets helping to catapult the bikini to global popularity include several Bond girls (most notably Ursula Andress in Dr No), Racquel Welch in One Million Years B.C. and the numerous supermodels in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, launched in 1964.
Styles: Bikini tops are available in triangle, halter, sweetheart or bandeau cuts and often feature padding or underwire. As for the bottoms, coverage ranges from high-waisted to g-string. Purchase at your own discretion.
Who can wear them: Approach with caution. While they are usually the territory of the young and slim, wearing a bikini is achievable for anyone willing to invest the time to find the right one.
Warning: Don’t let bikini shopping get you down. It’s not your body that has to fit the swimsuit, it’s up to the store to find a swimsuit that fits your body. No one looks like a Victoria’s Secret model, not even Victoria’s Secret models!