Fashion is a fickle thing, constantly changing: hemlines rise and fall, fabrics gain and lose favor, colors and patterns cycle through popularity. Each era has its own definitive style which encompasses not only the aesthetic, but is also reflective of the cultural norms, moral attitudes, and even available technologies of the time. The corsets and crinolines of Victorian times are a far cry from the miniskirts and platform shoes of the 1960s. Most don’t think of the swimsuit as a culturally significant fashion item, but it has a long and colorful history going back thousands of years with an evolution that might surprise you. And though we can’t be certain, one thing (probably) hasn’t changed at all—the agony and ecstasy of finding the perfect swimsuit.
in the beginning
Public bathing was very popular in ancient Greece and Rome. Scholars believe that men and women of the upper class wore swimsuits in the bath houses. The earliest known image of women wearing swimsuits is from the early 4th century. “The Bikini Girls” mosaic decorated the floor of a Roman bath at the Villa Roma de Casale near Piazza Armerina, Sicily. The women are shown exercising and competing in various athletic events clad in what looks much like a modern bikini. The only exercise that didn’t require a swimsuit at the time was swimming. Romans chose to do that in the nude.
fashion and beyond
Aaron is the Digital Marketing Manager for Latham Pool Products. Prior to realizing his dream of working in the swimming pool industry, he spent many years in the software and advertising world as a pixel pusher and script junkie. Aaron is an avid guitar player, weekend novelist, in-home libation manufacturer (aka. Homebrewer) and travel enthusiast. He has lived in exotic locations, climbed Mt. Fuji, swam in the open ocean with sharks, backpacked across Europe, skied the Swiss Alps, dined with the Dalai Lama, survived in a far east jungle for a week with nothing but a poncho and a machete and is currently learning to play the Didgeridoo. All true.