Humanities › History & Culture History of Swimsuits Share Flipboard Email Print Peter M. Fisher / Getty Images History & Culture Inventions Famous Inventions Famous Inventors Patents & Trademarks Invention Timelines Computers & The Internet American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Mary Bellis Inventions Expert Mary Bellis covered inventions and inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years. She is known for her independent films and documentaries, including one about Alexander Graham Bell. our editorial process Mary Bellis Updated March 24, 2020 The first swimsuits were, of course, no swimsuits at all. People have always gone swimming in the nude or in any clothing appropriate for swimming such as loincloths. It was not until the 18th century that "swimsuits" were invented mostly for the purpose of hiding the human body according to the morality of the times. 01 of 05 Swimsuits 1855 Calmx Around 1855, swimsuits consisted of bloomers and black stockings while drawers were added to prevent the problem of exposure. 02 of 05 Swimsuits Circa 1915 to 1930 Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain The photo above depicts a group of people, in swimsuits, standing on a beach and was taken between 1915 and 1930. You can see how the women's bathing suit (in the middle) has evolved from the previous one—the arms are now exposed and black is no longer the color. The woman on the right and the men are wearing the newer tank suits that developed during the 1920s. 03 of 05 Swimsuits 1922 Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain Four young women wearing bathing suits notice the lowering of the necklines. 04 of 05 Bikini Swimsuit 1946 - Jacques Heim and Louis Reard Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images The bikini was reinvented in 1946 by Jacques Heim and Louis Réard. 05 of 05 Slimsuit Swimsuit Patent 1990 - Carol Wior USPTO Most swimsuits are not patented as they fall under copyright law. However, there are patents that have been issued for innovative swimsuits. Carol Wior patented the Slimsuit, a women's swimsuit that was guaranteed to take an inch or more off the waist or tummy and look natural.