Swimming has been fashionable since Greek and Roman times,
when the first bikinis were worn. Since then, fashion and societal
standards have caused swimwear styles to progress from extremely
modest to extremely skimpy. During the late 1800s, bathing costumes
were often made of heavy wool knits and covered most of the body.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the bathing suit begins to have
less fabric and permit the exposure of more skin. Compare the
difference between fashions of the 1890s and the 1990s in the
suits displayed here.