Time magazine offers readers a history of the bikini in which they offer these two interesting tidbits:

First, the two piece bathing suit was, in part, justified/necessitated by war rationing during World War II. There simply wasn’t enough money to buy all that fabric. Swimming suits, then, went from this:

bikini_2

To this:

bikini_6

Second, the bikini got it’s name from the oooh and awe resulting from a nuclear test at Bikini Atoll. Louis Réard, to whom the invention of the bikini is credited, followed the nuclear-loving fashion of the day.  He named it after the location, hoping that “his invention would be as explosive as that test…”

Louis Réard with models:

bikini_4

The test at Bikini Atoll (1946):

nuclear-test-8

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Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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