A monokini is a bathing suit that was created, and sold hundreds of units, but never gained popularity and was only worn in public twice. The original was a bathing suit bottom that covered up past the waist but had no top and only two thin straps instead.
The History of the Monokini
The monokini was designed in 1964 by Rudi Gernreich. It was the first topless bikini to be created and it was intended to create a response from both those who would wear it and those who would not. It was surrounded by controversy from its first showing and though 300 suits were sold there were only two women who choose to wear them in public. One of the women who wore it was arrested for the act, and the other began the fad of topless nightclubs as it moved across the USA.
Named after its one piece that is worn, it is only the bottom of the bathing suit with a high waist that covers the midriff. At the top of this bathing suit bottom, there are two spaghetti straps attached which went up in a halter top style and knotted behind the neck. It left the breasts exposed and this was where the controversy began.
When creating this suit his intent was to free the repression and to push back against the sexualization of the body. As a nudist himself, he wanted to help remove the shame that is associated with the body and show certain aspects of it.
During the 70s there was a wave of topless bars, clubs, and beaches that reached not only other countries but traveled through the USA. This aligned well with the release of the monokini, but it was still not seen outside of the home often. It was photographed for a few magazines and created conversations.
More recent versions have increased coverage, but still offer minimalistic coverage of the body. They are available in many different bottom types, and the tops vary. Each has their own approach, and some are presented as simply a topless bikini and worn as only the bottoms, while others have a one-piece full suit.
Some of the new versions are designed with a regular bikini bottom and small strips of fabric that go upwards like suspenders and offer a thin bit of coverage for the breast. Others are created as one-piece bathing suits but have large cutouts placed on each side. It may have one strip of fabric up the middle of the suit that connects the bottom to the top, or it may have cutouts that leave pieces of fabric on each side with the front and the back cut out.
The monokini will remain the original topless swimsuit no matter how much it is changed and adapted, however, newer versions allow them to be worn while remaining comfortable. They offer enough coverage to be accepted within general society and at beaches and swimming pools while maintaining the appeal and appearance.
How to Wear a “Monokini” – YouTube↓
Below are some Monokinis you could try.
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