Photos: Evolution Of Swimsuit

0
220

But that’s not how it’s always been. In fact, the swimsuit competition has seriously changed over the past century, since the pageant‘s 1921 debut. Covered-up, skirted swimming costumes gave way way to shrinking once-pieces, which weren’t replaced by barely-there bikinis until the late 1990s.

Miss Conservative: When Miss America began in Atlantic City in 1921, all swimsuits worn were one-piece and ended in a skirt (pictured in 1926) 

More fabric: Women showed very little cleavage (here in 1927), and figures were generally more covered-up

Ooh-lala! After the pageant was shut down for several years in response to protesters who called it too risqué, the swimwear – still modest by today's standards – came back in the 1930sOoh-lala! After the pageant was shut down for several years in response to protesters who called it too risqué, the swimwear – still modest by today’s standards – came back in the 1930s
Such a lady: 1938's Miss America (pictured), who received a basket of fruit with her crown, wore one of the skirted styles of the day

Tough competition: In 1939, contestants – who held titles from cities, not states, came to Atlantic City for the annual pageant
Showing a little skin: Winners from 1940 (left) and 1941 (right) paired their one-piece suits with low heels
 
Must-see: Millions of people tuned in to watch the early broadcasts, including one featuring these women in 1958

Two-tone but no tummies: In 1962 (pictured) the broadcast was still in black-and-white; color wouldn't come to the show until 1966

Behind the times: Though bikinis became popular in the US in the '60s, in 1969 (pictured) the women still all wore one-pieces that protected their modesty

Just not in slo-mo: Perhaps inspired by Baywatch, in 1995 the contestants all wore read one-pieces 

Midriff debut: In 1997 (pictured), for the first year ever, contestants were allowed to wear bikinis; surprisingly, only some women took advantage of the more relaxed rules

Y2K two-piece: In the new millennium, women showed off their personal style with their swimsuit selections (pictured here in 2001)Y2K two-piece: In the new millennium, women showed off their personal style with their swimsuit selections (pictured here in 2001)

 

Leave a Reply