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BIKINI STYLES : String Bikini
The string bikini is one of the first and most classic renovations of the traditional bikini. It generally consists of the barest minimal fabric coverage for the top and bottoms, with thin strings serving as straps and support. The string bikini is most often composed of four triangles of material--one piece each for the breasts, crotch, and butt.

Jumping on board the sexual revolution of the 1960s (during which men and women began to seriously reconsider the public ban of nudity), the string bikini became a popular bikini style in the 1970s. While the major erogenous zones of the 1960s had been the breasts and the midriff, the string bikini indicated a shift in public attention toward the upper thighs. Also known as the Tanga, the string bikini was an import from the Brazilian beaches of Rio de Janeiro. It became so popular at its introduction to the United States in 1974 that Manhattan’s Bloomingdale’s sold out its entire order of 150 swimsuits in only two weeks. Another popular Madison Avenue boutique exhausted its supply of 160 string bikinis in just two days! This burst of popularity proved to be only the beginning for the string bikini. The classic style continues to be one of the most commonly purchased by American women, especially among women in their twenties.

The string bikini is not ideal for every woman’s body. As Beverly Hills designer Jim Riva stated at the string bikini’s birth, “It’s something I’d hate to see on every woman in the world.” For some women, however, the string bikini may actually be the most flattering bikini style. The string bikini style looks best on women with small busts or boy shapes. Because women with small breasts do not need a large amount of bra-style support, a traditional triangle top can serve to add more shape and curve to the breasts. In addition, triangle tops with built-in underwires can work similarly to a push-up bra to maximize the breasts. When choosing a string bikini, be forewarned that the style only works on women with very slender figures. The tight strings of a string bikini tend to cut into the skin and cause unsightly bulges on women with fuller figures. To avoid this problem, make sure the strings of the bikini are not cutting into the skin. If they are, this is a clue that you may need a larger size or a different style.

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