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Scheme drawing

The monokini belongs to the female swimwear group . It is a step up from the bikini and consists of shorts that reach down to the lower ribs and two straps that cross over the chest. The breasts were initially uncovered. The straps acted as a hint of the top. Since 2006 there has also been a new edition with a bikini top.

History of origin

In 1946, too much nudity caused the bikini to cause a scandal. In the early 1960s, u. a. the fashion designers Emilia Puccini and Rudi Gernreich the inevitability of the topless trend in the near future. In 1963, in an interview with Women's Wear Daily , Rudi Gernreich predicted that American women would forego their bikini tops in the next five years: “It was my forecast first! And for the sake of historical truth, I didn't want Puccini to have gotten ahead of me. ”In 1964, Gernreich presented photos of model Peggy Moffitt with the monokini, which were originally intended as a press gag. The monokini was not intended for production. Gernreich received 1,000 orders overnight and released the monokini for production. The monokini was unsustainable in public, but the enthusiastic customers paid $ 24 for the exquisite piece because of the coveted label and their passion for collecting. A total of around 3,000 copies were sold.


The bikini was named after the Bikini Atoll ; the word is thus of Micronesian origin. Since bi- is also a Latin prefix that means "two" and the bikini consists of two parts, the name of the one-piece bikini was etymologically incorrectly formed with the Greek prefix mono for "one".

Criticism of the early years

Rudi Gernreich is known for his daring fashion, which was always ahead of the times. In 1954, the avant-garde designer designed knitted swimsuits for Westwood Knitting Mills . In contrast to contemporary (bathing) fashion, which prefers a wasp waist and a puffed-up chest, his models depict the silhouette true to life. The prudery of the 1950s continued into the early 1960s. The women's magazine Constanze informed its readers in May 1964: "And since fashion continues to dictate being well-covered outside of the water, the bikini is always complemented by a skimpy beach dress." The monokini, showing the bare bosom, is contrary to custom and propriety. “Neither before nor after has a bikini got as many headlines worldwide as the monokini.” The monokini was unsuccessful, until 1968 only 3000 models had been sold. The professional world scoffed at him, so the Bleyele-Vertix head of advertising: "In my opinion, the women who can't walk around like that will make sure that the women who could are not allowed to." Life magazine named it Monokini as a fashion joke: “The topless swimsuit is not good for swimming because it slides down in the water, it is not good for sunbathing because it leaves devastating welts on the chest. It's also of no use if you'd like to get into the newspaper with him, because too many have tried it ... Topless is the best fashion joke for years. "

The numerous arrests of women who had dared to go public in monokini were characteristic of the first half of the 1960s.


A modern “monokini” in January 2009

The modern monokini is a swimsuit, especially in the USA , that is "strongly cut out" but also covers the wearer's breasts. The upper and lower parts of the monokini are firmly sewn, linked or otherwise attached to each other (e.g. ribbons or rings).


  • Patrik Alac: The bikini. History, fashion and scandal . New York 2002
  • Beate Berger: Bikini . Hamburg 2004
  • Constanze, May 1964
  • Life, July 27, 1964
  • Süddeutsche Zeitung 20./21. June 1964
  • Time, December 1, 1967

Web links

Commons : Monokinis  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Monokini  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Alac 2002, p. 66
  2. Berger 2004, p. 149
  3. Berger 2004, p. 148
  4. Life , July 27, 1964, quoted in Berger 2004, p. 149
  5. Berger 2004, p. 150
  6. Loreto Todd, Ian F. Hancock: International English usage . Ed .: Loreto Todd. Routledge, 1986, ISBN 978-0-7099-4314-3 , pp. 199 ( in Google Books [accessed February 15, 2010]).
  7. Constanze, May 1964, quoted in Berger 2004, p. 138
  8. Berger 2004, p. 138
  9. Time , December 1, 1967, quoted in Berger 2004, p. 142
  10. Süddeutsche Zeitung , 20./21. June 1964, quoted in Berger 2004, p. 142
  11. = Life , July 27, 1964, quoted in Berger 2004, p. 139
  12. ^ , accessed March 6, 2010
  13. Monikini-Today's Styles ( Memento of the original from December 3, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English) accessed on February 15, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /