G-String Bikini Bottom

AKA: thong, Brazillian tanga

How to say it: 

Traditional Features: G-String Bikini Bottom

  • regular bikini brief style at the front
  • back consists of a thin strip of fabric that sits between the buttocks and joins the waistband to the fabric at the front, leaving the buttocks uncovered
  • back may be as thin as a piece of cord, or wide enough to partially cover the buttocks

21st Century G-String Bikini Bottoms

While the g-string bikini is now more or less widely accepted on beaches around the world, the style is not as prevalent on the fashion landscape as one might expect. However, the g-string is certainly available in a range of styles to those who wish to wear them, even if they have to try retailers other than the usual swimwear brands to find one.

ASOS Beauty & the Beach

ASOS, Beauty & The Beach


…of the style: Interestingly, the g-string style is incredibly old. Believed to have evolved from the loincloth, the g-string was originally worn by men for protection and modesty in the lower regions, and there is evidence of the style being worn by the Ancient Egyptian, African, Greek, Roman and Japanese cultures thousands of years ago.

The modern g-string came into being in 1939, apparently when New York City mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, required nude dancers to cover themselves a bit more. However it was envelope-pushing designer Rudi Gernreich who put the g-string on the fashion stage when he introduced it in 1974.

Despite the popularity of the g-string style in Latin America and parts of Europe, the revealing bikini bottom was not fully accepted in the USA until the 1990s (some sources state Baywatch as a helping hand in the acceptance of the style in the West). In the 21st century, the g-string is certainly still a popular choice on Latin American and European beaches, and while it is accepted in the USA and other more conservative societies, it is by no means as popular as other bikini bottom styles. It is unlikely that the style will ever disappear from swimwear, now that it has found its place, but whether or not it will gain more popularity in the future remains to be seen.

…of the name: There seems to be some debate as to where the name g-string comes from. It may come from the term geestring, which was used to describe the string on the Native American loincloth in the 19th century. The more likely explanation is that the name was originally groin-string, however groin was a taboo word and so the term was shortened to g-string.

For more info on G-Strings try Wikipedia, Fashion Era, The Frisky, Slate or the Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion

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