We’re just at the start of summer, but already, something’s obvious: The one-piece is having a serious moment! The classic style has a lot of history, and, honestly, the majority of the ones stamped in the annals of pop culture are pretty sexy (no excess skin required).
Mark my words, this is the year you’ll start to notice a lot more one-pieces on the beach and by the pool (and worn by everyone, not just moms with kids in tow). Retailers said it’s a definite trend, and Nikki’s behind it too, shopping out some picks with serious style.
So before you head out shopping, get some inspiration from some of history’s biggest style icons, from Elizabeth Taylor to Pamela Anderson (obviously).
Old-school pinups might’ve been one of the first to make swimsuits not just a necessity for getting in the water but a thing. This shot of Betty Grable from 1943 would be modest by today’s standard (especially the full-coverage bottom), but it still manages to sizzle.
Movie star Esther Williams (center), an accomplished swimmer, wore a ton of one-pieces in her day. A lot of her movies featured her splashing, diving, and synchronized swimming, all in sleek one-pieces.
While you might not recognize Deborah Kerr’s skirted one-piece in this shot, you surely would from another. Remember that steamy cinema moment in From Here to Eternity of two lovers rolling in the surf and kissing passionately? Yup. It’s her. In a one-piece.
As Gidget in 1965, Sally Field wore a belted suit that was more sweet than sex bomb, but it still affected a whole generation of swimmers.
Elizabeth Taylor’s white number from Suddenly, Last Summer was a basic tank, but played against her sun-kissed skin with the straps nearly falling off her shoulders, it made men everywhere drool.
Skin-colored and with skinny straps, the scoopneck suit Bo Derek wore in 10 was a big part of one of the most famous beach-jogging shots ever.
We’ve all heard about the record-breaking sales numbers behind Farah Fawcett’s iconic poster. An original copy of it, plus the red swimsuit itself, now lives in the Smithsonian.
And then there was Pamela Anderson in her red Baywatch suit. No further explanation needed.