HAPPY NATIONAL BIKINI DAY: 67 Years In The Life Of The Two-Piece

Victoria's Secret swim collection

The bikini has come a long way over the past 67 years.

On this date in 1946, French fashion designer Louis Réard hired a nude dancer to sport his two-piece creation after the runway models he approached refused to wear it.

He called it the Bikini after the nuclear testing site Bikini Atoll because he believed it had the power to shock the public just as much as a nuclear bomb.

Since then, the bikini has been immortalised in song, provoked controversies from morality to skin cancer, and is now a beach staple around the world.

One thing’s for certain: The teenie weenie suit is here to stay.

It's believed that the Greco-Roman world had bikinis due to statues and mosaics discovered in Sicily that date to 286-305 AD. The images show women playing sports in two piece outfits.

Bathing suits for women slowly came into vogue during the early 20th century. Pictured here are three different types of one-piece suits women could wear. The 'maillot' was particularly revolutionary with no sleeves.

Hollywood starlets made the one-piece fashionable with low backs and straps you could take off for tanning. Fabrics such as latex and nylon made swimsuits tighter and more form-fitting throughout the '30s.

By World War II, American women were wearing two-piece swimsuits. The government even instituted a 10% reduction in swimsuit fabric for wartime rationing.

The first modern bikini made its debut on July 5, 1946, at the Piscine Molitor in Paris. Designer Louis Réard couldn't find a model to wear his suit, so he ended up hiring nude dancer Micheline Bernardini to sport his design.

Brigitte Bardot made headlines at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953, when she was famously photographed wearing a (gasp!) bikini. The scandalous move jump-started her career and popularised the bikini in Europe.

Marilyn Monroe also used the bikini to catapult herself to stardom. She was no stranger to posing without clothes — nude photos of the starlet by photographer Tom Kelley surfaced in 1952.

Brian Hyland's rendition of 'Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini' hit number on Billboard's Hot 100 in August 1960. The song tells the story of a girl who is shy about wearing her bikini to the beach.

This topless bikini (called the 'monokini') by designer Rudi Gemreich got one 19-year-old model arrested in 1964 when she wore it to a Chicago beach. The topless bikini trend would later gain traction in Europe.

The word 'bikini' was finally added to the dictionary in 1969.

By the 1970s, bikinis had become even skimpier with ties on the side and a higher rise. Bikini tops also had ties, which made them easier to take off when tanning.

The fitness craze in the 1980s also caused bikinis to explode. Magazines touted 'bikini belly workouts' and neon fabrics made beaches brighter than ever.

Phoebe Cates famously took off her top in 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' (1982).

Though best known for running in her 'Baywatch' one-piece in the '90s, Pamela Anderson was not afraid to bear (almost) all in a bikini.

The Fédération Internationale de Volleyball made the bikini the official uniform of women's Olympic beach volleyball in 1994.

Sports Illustrated celebrated 40 years of Swimsuit Editions in 2005. Supermodel Veronika Varekova posed for the cover.

Kate Upton danced the 'Cat Daddy' dance in a bikini with Terry Richardson in May 2012. The Internet subsequently exploded.

In July 2012, the International Volleyball Federation announced they would allow new clothing options for women who did not want to wear bikinis. The US women's volleyball team stuck with theirs.

Beyoncé was famously furious at H&M in 2013 after it was revealed that they were planning to Photoshop her curves. H&M relented and they did not slim down her silhouette.

That same year, fashion blogger Gabi Gregg created the 'fatkini' for plus-size women. It was immediately popular, with certain styles selling out in two days.

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