Though the thong swimwear may be seen more often on women, it’s actually the men who first wore these strips of cloth to cover their private parts. Early Egyptians, Japanese sumo wrestlers, and even American Indians wore loincloths that resemble the modern barely-there bikini bottom. However, a woman’s thong bikini can rightfully credit its existence to a New York City mayor who ordered nude and exotic dancers to be covered up with a little something. What was meant as a garment for propriety’s sake eventually evolved into the hottest type of swimwear that’s sure to sizzle the waters on beaches and pools. Here’s a look back on the colorful history of this skimpy piece.
Louis Reard and Jacques Heim’s first bikini was designed with a culotte and a thong back. In the 1970s, Rudi Gernreich then made a splash in the fashion industry by resuscitating the tanga and making it a standard wear in South American and European beaches.
The Brazilian connection
Id some equate racy lingerie with the French, Brazilian women are the ones who are known for wearing thong swimwear that dominated their coastlines since the 1970s. If you strolled or lazed around with these exotic swimwear in North America or some parts of Asia during the early days, you’d probably get arrested or fined. Brazil and most South American countries, on the other hand, are more forgiving and accepting that many are allowed to wear thongs without the questioning second look.
Loosening up in the US
Eventually, the rest of the US warmed up to the idea of wearing thong bottoms. By the early ’90s, g-string bikinis can even be seen on TV. It eventually became the swimwear of choice for women who want to flaunt their assets and move more freely. Eventually, the benefits of wearing tanga swimwear were recognized, such as achieving a smooth all-over tan. Since this kind of swimsuit didn’t have much fabric to cover some areas on one’s backside, one can get a smooth tan without the pesky pale lines on areas that are covered by conventional types of swimwear.
The 1980s was a period that can be visualized with wild-haired women running on the beach, wearing a swimsuit with high-cut waists and leg holes. The tangas of the 1980s to the early 1990s featured high waists and large frontal patches. But as years passed by, this swimsuit also received a downgrade in size, giving birth to g-strings that ride low on the hips and with frontal patches barely covering two inches of the intimate parts.