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A swimsuit or bathing suit is an item of clothing designed to be worn for swimming. Swimsuits are typically skin-tight clothing, and range from garments designed to preserve as much modesty as possible to garments designed to reveal as much of the body as possible without actual nudity. They are typically lined so that they do not become translucent when wet.

Swimsuits are generally designed to cover at least the genitalia. In some cultures women's swimsuits also cover the breasts (or at least the nipples); for pre-pubescent girls they may or may not cover the chest.

Woman's bathing suit, 1920s, USA

Men's swimsuits tend to be either shorts or briefs. Women's swimsuits are generally either one-piece swimsuits[?] or bikinis. Also there is the monokini, in case the coverage of the breasts is neither required nor desired. However, special swimsuits for competitive swimming, designed to reduce skin drag, can resemble unitards.

Due to the figure-hugging nature of these garments, glamor photography of the 1940s and 1950s often featured people wearing swimsuits. Swimsuits are also worn for the same purpose of body display in beauty pageants. The magazine Sports Illustrated has an annual "swimsuit issue" that features models and sports personalities in swimsuits.

Swimsuits are also worn on beaches and around swimming pools (even if no swimming is involved). Many authorities believe that children of both sexes should also wear T-shirts outdoors on sunny days to protect from sunburn.

Women's "high-thigh" swimsuits can reveal pubic hair, and some swimsuit wearers choose to depilate their pubic hair because they would feel embarrassed by its exposure.

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