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Swimsuits in General and History of the Swimsuit, Bathing Suit and Swimwear.

Swimsuits are generally designed to cover at least the genitalia. In some cultures, women's swimsuits do not cover the breasts, though in most western countries this is not the norm; for pre-pubescent girls, however, it is considered more acceptable. Swimming without a bathing suit is a form of nudism; special nude beaches may be reserved for nude sunbathing and swimming. Swimming in the nude is also known by the slang term skinny-dipping.

Men's swimsuit styles tend to be shorts, trunks, boardshorts, jammers, speedo-style briefs, thongs, or cut-off jeans.

Women's swimsuits are generally either one-piece swimsuits, bikinis, or thongs. The monokini is a less common variant in which the breasts are left uncovered.. Finally, special swimsuits for competitive swimming, designed to reduce skin drag, can resemble unitards.

For some kinds of swimming and diving, special bodysuits called diveskins are worn. These suits are made from spandex and provide little thermal protection, but they do protect the skin from stings and abrasion. Most competitive swimmers also wear special swimsuits including partial and full bodysuits, racerback styles, jammers, and racing briefs to assist their glide through the water and gain speed advantages (see competitive swimwear).

Ujena Swimwear Seam Shaper Halter
Seam Shaper Halter
Ujena Swimwear T-Back Wet Suit
T-Back Wet Suit
Ujena Swimwear Double Dip 1 Piece
Double Dip 1 Piece
Ujena Swimwear Wetsuit One Piece
Wetsuit One Piece

Swimsuits are also worn for the purpose of body display in beauty pageants. The magazine Sports Illustrated has an annual "swimsuit issue" that features models and sports personalities in swimsuits.

Swimsuits are also seen on beaches and around swimming pools, even if no swimming is involved. Many authorities believe that children of both sexes should also wear T-shirts outdoors on sunny days to protect from sunburn.

Women's "high-thigh" swimsuits can reveal pubic hair, and hence requires wearers to depilate their pubic hair if they want to avoid its exposure. This is commonly referred to as the bikini line, (e.g. "I waxed my legs and bikini line before going to the beach").

As an alternative to a bathing suit some people use their trousers, underpants, or T-shirt as a make-shift swimsuit. At beaches norms for this tend to be more relaxed than at swimming pools. However, swimming pools tend not to permit this, because underwear is unlined, may become translucent, and may be unclean.

In Classical antiquity swimming and bathing was most often done nude. In some settings coverings were used. Murals at Pompeii show women wearing two-piece suits covering the areas around their breasts and hips in a fashion remarkably similar to a bikini of c. 1960. After this, the notion of special water apparel seems to have been lost for centuries.

In the 18th century women wore "bathing gowns" in the water; these were long dresses of fabrics that would not become transparent when wet, with weights sewed into the hems so that they would not rise up in the water. The men's swim suit, a rather form-fitting wool garment with long sleeves and legs similar to long underwear, was developed and would change little for a century.

Ujena Swimwear Golden Leopard Thong
Golden Leopard Thong
Ujena Swimwear High Voltage Thong
High Voltage Thong
Ujena Swimwear Thong Bikini
Thong Bikini
Ujena Swimwear Hotline Tonga
Hotline Tonga

In the 19th century, the woman's two piece suit became common—the two pieces being a gown from shoulder to knees plus a set of trousers with leggings going down to the ankles.

In the Victorian era, popular beach resorts were commonly equipped with bathing machines designed to avoid the exposure of people in swimsuits, especially to people of the opposite sex.

In 1907 the swimmer Annette Kellerman from Australia visited the United States as an "underwater ballerina", a version of synchronized swimming involving diving into glass tanks. She was arrested for indecent exposure because her swimsuit showed arms, legs and the neck. Kellerman changed the suit to have long arms and legs and a collar, still keeping the close fit that revealed the shapes underneath. She later starred in several movies, including one about her life.

After this, bathing wear slowly became less conservative, first uncovering the arms and then the legs up to mid-thigh. Collars receded from up around the neck down to about mid-way between the neck and nipples. The development of new fabrics allowed for new varieties of more comfortable and practical swim wear.

Due to the figure-hugging nature of these garments, glamour photography of the 1940s and 1950s often featured people wearing swimsuits. This subset of glamour photography eventually evolved into swimsuit photography with the help of Sports Illustrated and swimsuit photographers around the world.

The first bikinis were introduced just after World War II. Early examples were not very different from the women's two pieces common since the 1920s, except that they had a gap below the breast line allowing for a section of bare midriff. They were named after Bikini Atoll, the site of several nuclear weapons tests, for their supposed explosive effect on the viewer.

Through the 1950s, it was thought proper for the lower part of the bikini to come up high enough to cover the navel. From the 1960s on, the bikini shrank in all directions until it sometimes covered little more than the nipples and genitalia, although less revealing models giving more support to the breasts remained popular. At the same time, Fashion designer Rudi Gernreich introduced the monokini, a topless suit for women consisting of a modest bottom supported by two thin straps. Although not a commercial success, the suit opened eyes to new design possibilities. In the 1980s the thong or "tanga" came out of Brazil, said to have been inspired by traditional garments of native tribes in the Amazon. However, the one-piece suit continued to be popular for its more modest approach.

Men's swimsuits developed roughly in parallel to women's during this period, with the shorts covering progressively less. Eventually racing-style "speedo" suits became popular—and not just for their speed advantages. Thongs were often seen among the more daring and provocative crowds. But in the 1990s, longer and baggier shorts became popular, with the hems often reaching to the knees. Perhaps due to the greater weight of these suits when wet, or perhaps from sheer daring, they were often worn lower on the hips than regular shorts.

Ujena Swimwear Chocolate Sport Cut
Chocolate Sport Cut
Ujena Swimwear Classic Black Camkini
Classic Black Camkini
Ujena Swimwear Cool Sport Bikini
Cool Sport Bikini
Ujena Swimwear Daisy Duke Bikini
Daisy Duke Bikini

Our clothing stores online have a huge selection that we know you will enjoy.  We have shops specializing in Bikinis and Swimwear, Casuals and Loungewear, Sportswear and Active wear, Dresses and Nightclub attire, and more.

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