The Most Iconic Swimsuits of All Time

If a Museum of Swimwear existed, these suits would belong in it.

swimwear
Courtesy

Every girl can have a swimwear moment if she's got a patient friend and some good lighting, but if you want something longer-lasting than an Instagram photo, you're gonna need a full crew and a culture-defining moment. Here, 30 suits that did just that to become the most memorable and iconic of all time. If a Museum of Swimwear existed, these pieces would belong there.

1 of 30
Raquel Welch

Cavewomen probably did not look like this. But tatters sell, so that's what Hollywood did for One Million Years B.C. #marketing

2 of 30
Kim Kardashian

On the flip side (heh), a celebrity most of the world has seen naked in some capacity managed to top even herself...with clothes. Seen here on a girls' vacation in Mexico, Kim Kardashian wears thong swimsuit bottoms.

3 of 30
Farrah Fawcett

Hung in teenage bedrooms the world over.

<p>Though the late Carrie Fisher <a href="http://www.marieclaire.com/celebrity/news/a23803/carrie-fisher-fat-farm/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">drew attention to how problematic it was</a>, the bondage-inspired two-piece remains firmly in the HOF of movie costumes.&nbsp;</p>
Getty Images
4 of 30
Carrie Fisher

Though the late Carrie Fisher drew attention to how problematic it was, the bondage-inspired two-piece remains firmly in the HOF of movie costumes.

<p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">La Piscine</em> had everything: extremely beautiful stars, an extremely&nbsp;<em data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="em">French&nbsp;</em><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">plot, and the chicest wardrobe, including this flawlessly cut white maillot.&nbsp;</span></p>
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5 of 30
Romy Schneider

La Piscine had everything: extremely beautiful stars, an extremely French plot, and the chicest wardrobe, including this flawlessly cut white maillot.

<p>If you didn't already know it, you could probably guess what the Blue Lagoon was about by looking at Brooke Shields' shipwreck-underwear-thing. (Answer: naked, unsupervised teens.)</p>
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6 of 30
Brooke Shields

If you didn't already know, you could probably guess what the Blue Lagoon was about by looking at Brooke Shields' shipwreck-underwear-thing. (Answer: naked, unsupervised teens.)

<p>The film is literally titled <em data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="em">Girl in the Bikini.&nbsp;</em><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">So they better have made it a good one.&nbsp;</span></p>
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7 of 30
Brigitte Bardot

The film is literally titled Girl in the Bikini. So they tried to make it a good one.

<p>The characters of <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">How to Marry a Millionaire</em> might have accomplished their goal to varying degrees of success, but Marilyn's ultra-flattering ruched one-piece went over well with *all* audiences.&nbsp;</p>
Everett
8 of 30
Marilyn Monroe

The characters of How to Marry a Millionaire might have accomplished their goal to varying degrees of success, but Marilyn's ultra-flattering ruched one-piece went over well with *all* audiences.

<p>Like a moving Horst photo in an all-around gorgeous movie. </p>
Everett
9 of 30
Keira Knightley

Like a moving Horst photo in an all-around gorgeous movie.

<p>Now a short interlude of Charlie's Angels running on the beach with surfboards under their arms. </p>
Everett
10 of 30
Cameron Diaz

Now, a short interlude of Charlie's Angels running on the beach with surfboards under their arms.

<p>Moore as the fallen Angel who certainly didn't *look* like she'd ever retired.&nbsp;</p>
Everett
11 of 30
Demi Moore

Moore as the fallen Angel who certainly didn't *look* like she'd ever retired.

<p>The OG Bond girl.</p>
Everett
12 of 30
Ursula Andress

The OG Bond girl.

<p>And another OG Bond girl referencing her predecessor. </p>
Everett
13 of 30
Halle Berry

Another OG Bond girl referencing her predecessor.

<p>A bikini: probably the least scandalous thing about&nbsp;<em data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="em">Lolita</em><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">, really.</span></p>
Everett
14 of 30
Sue Lyon

A bikini was probably the least scandalous thing about Lolita, really.

<p>Blah blah, they love each other forever, but can we talk about this whole bathing costume situation? Ace.&nbsp;</p>
Everett
15 of 30
Rachel McAdams

Blah blah, they love each other forever, but can we talk about this whole bathing costume situation? Ace.

<p>The <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Blue Crush</em> bikini that put Kate Bosworth on the map.</p>
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16 of 30
Kate Bosworth

The Blue Crush bikini that put Kate Bosworth on the map.

<p>Oh, what some slo-mo and a little red suit can do.&nbsp;</p>
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17 of 30
Phoebe Cates

Oh, what some slo-mo and a little red suit can do.

<p>Ditto. </p>
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18 of 30
Pamela Anderson

Ditto.

<p>The main draws of the <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Talented Mr. Ripley</em> go like this: Gwynnie's beach-holiday wardrobe, young Jude Law, then [insert seven other things], and finally Matt Damon's honestly kind of lackluster shapeshifting abilities.</p>
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19 of 30
Gwyneth Paltrow

The main draws of the Talented Mr. Ripley go like this: Gwynnie's beach-holiday wardrobe, young Jude Law, then [insert seven other things], and finally Matt Damon's honestly kind of lackluster shapeshifting abilities.

<p>Still a perfect&nbsp;<em data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="em">10</em><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">. Or a 💯.&nbsp;</span></p>
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20 of 30
Bo Derek

Still a perfect 10. Or a 💯.

elizabeth taylor
Hulton ArchiveGetty Images
21 of 30
Elizabeth Taylor

Her polka dot halter-top one-piece may look conservative now, but at the time, this portrait of Elizabeth Taylor was considered the epitome of risqué.

sports illustrated swimsuit 2016   nyc vip press event
Jamie McCarthyGetty Images
22 of 30
Ashley Graham

In 2016, the supermodel made history when she became the first curvy girl on the cover of the Sport's Illustrated swimsuit issue in a blue bikini. Slay, girl!

legally blonde
Legally Blonde
23 of 30
Reese Witherspoon

Who can forget the Elle Woods Harvard audition tape in Legally Blonde where she shows off how studious she is while rocking a sparkly pink bikini? You know you've worn an iconic swimsuit when Kim Kardashian turns it into her Halloween costume.

from here to eternity
Silver Screen CollectionGetty Images
24 of 30
Deborah Kerr

After wearing her structured, belted bathing suit in From Here To Eternity, Deborah Kerr was quoted as saying, "I don't think anyone knew I could act until I put on a bathing suit." At least it was a great suit!

gidget
ABC Photo ArchivesGetty Images
25 of 30
Sally Field

Sally Field made the world fall in love with Gidget in the 1965 television show, and it probably didn't hurt that she was constantly wearing a bright bikini we wish we had on right now.

denise richards iconic swimsuit
Columbia Pictures
26 of 30
Denise Richards

Wild Things is an all-around racy movie, so it really says something that Denise Richards' blue one-piece is remembered more than the actual plot of the film.

glorida hendry iconic swimsuits
Eon Productions
27 of 30
Gloria Hendry

The colorful bikini Gloria Hendry wore during Live and Let Die may be the most important of the film. But her pose is basically the definition of "badass."

on the set of from dusk till dawn
Sunset BoulevardGetty Images
28 of 30
Salma Hayek

The giant snake casually tossed around her shoulders, the burgundy bikini, the gold charms...Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn is a true icon.

jessica simpson iconic swimsuits
Warner Bros
29 of 30
Jessica Simpon

It was all about the Daisy Dukes in Dukes of Hazzard, but it's not surprising that Jessica Simpson also made it all about this bright pink bikini.

angelina jolie
Tomb Raider
30 of 30
Angelina Jolie

The sleek black bikini that Angelina Jolie wore in Tomb Raider as Lara Croft may not have been the most practical, but it's a simple look we still aspire to today.

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