The evolution of Miami Swim Week and swimwear is the perfect way to explore the characteristics of a society in a certain time period. More specifically, by observing the way each swimwear used to be, you can truly understand women’s rights at this specific time period at a glance. The stricter and larger a swimwear item was, the fewer rights the woman had into a ‘civilized’ society.

Inventing Swimming Suits

Up until 1800, people used to bathe in public spaces, naked. Of course, this was the case for men, since women were not allowed to expose their skin on public sight. In the middle 1800s, the first swimwear was created in order for women to be able to enjoy the sea as well.

Try not to think of it as a bikini though. Instead, it was a long dress with a pair of buggies underneath. The female body was still covered, head to toes. They even inserted some small weighs at the bottom of the dress, so that it could be prevented from floating up.


As the years passed by, women’s swimwear slightly changed. The main color was black, and they had knee-length and a puffed sleeve design. This fashion trend has also welcomed the sailor collars in this woman outfit, as well as impressive bathing shoes to avoid rough shores. Dotted leggings and excessive hats were also part of the total outfit.


In the early years of 1900, women engaged into swimming, much like men did. Therefore their swimwear started to show off their legs and arms. The woman’s outfit was almost identical to the man’s outfit. By the end of 1930, Coco Chanel made suntan a popular lifestyle. Therefore, many other designers as well started making smaller swimwear, revealing a little more female skin.

1930 – 1940

Now, this is the time major changes occurred in women’s swimwear. Due to limited funding in the retailing manufacturing, swimwear composed of two pieces for the very first time! The currently known as bikini started its first steps into women’s clothing and was considered being very revealing in contemporary society.


This time period, it seems like swimwear makes its very first fashion circle. The lines return to one piece swimwear, with bold waist lines and many summer accessories. Now women could wear their favorite swimming suit along with hats, earrings, and scarves.

1960 – Today

These are the golden years of fashion industry since there are no limitations or rules anymore. Each designer has followed his own vision and created swimwear for all tastes and preferences. Bikinis became the favorite category of swimwear for women around the world. Woman could now enjoy the sun, showing her flesh and even intentionally attract men’s admiration upon them.

The design of swimwear continues on evolving with new designs and unique ideas that emerge from the creative minds of the designers, as well as the long history of women’s swimming suits. Tune in to see the latest designs here at the official news site for Miami Swim Week.