Fashion Lover Wears Swimsuit Styles From Different Decades Over the Last 100 Years

Swimsuit of the 1920s

American 1920s woman's bathing suit (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

These days, when you go out to the beach or the pool, you'll see a variety of swimsuits. One pieces, bikinis, and tankinis are just a few of the popular styles that women can choose from when dressing for the water. However, 100 years ago, there were far fewer options and more social expectations to abide by. YouTuber Gabrielle Jones (aka @Gabis_vintage) takes viewers on a tour of swimsuit fashion history, all the way from the 1920s shorts-and-socks ensemble to the sporty looks of the 2010s.

The video opens with a typical 20s swimsuit, featuring a conservative wool suit that resembles a short-sleeve shirt with shorts. She explains that the outfit was often paired with socks, and that “modesty officers on the beach could arrest you if your shorts were too short.” Jumping forward to the next decade, @Gabis_vintage wears a 30s black one piece that once again includes shorts, but has a “shorter boyish silhouette” with a low-cut back and dropped waist. Swimsuits continued to evolve in the 40s, as she models the “princess cut,” a one-piece with a flouncy skirt that drapes over the shorts underneath.

When @Gabis_vintage reaches the 50s, the swimsuit starts to look more familiar to modern swimwear. “Pin-up glamor brought bullet bras and hourglass-accentuating suits,” she says, while twirling in a green one-piece. The transformation continues into the 1960s with the first bikini, which she models in a bold orange and yellow block print. In the 70s, bikinis got “smaller and stringier with fun floral patterns,” while the 80s were focused on “neons and leotards with an exercise influence.” Moving onto the 90s, @Gabis_vintage sports a high cut bikini reminiscent of the TV show Baywatch; she exchanges this outfit for the monokini of the 2000s, which is a one-piece with intentional cutouts. The tour ends in the 2010s, with a “mix and match” look that's all about expressing your personal style.

You can watch the full video, below.

YouTuber Gabrielle Jones (@Gabis_vintage) dresses up in fashion from the past.


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A post shared by Gabi’s Vintage! (@gabis_vintage)

Her latest video is a tour of the swimsuits styles of different decades.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gabi’s Vintage! (@gabis_vintage)

Watch the video and discover 100 years of swimsuit history:

100 Years of Swimsuits
byu/Icy-Book2999 inSipsTea

@Gabis_vintage: Website | YouTube | Instagram
h/t: [Reddit]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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