STYLE
07/04/2014 09:21 EDT | Updated 07/21/2014 04:59 EDT

National Bikini Day 2014: Best Celebrity Bikinis This Year (So Far)

Happy National Bikini Day!

July 5 marks the 68th anniversary of the invention of the two-piece! In 1946, French designer Louis Reard made a splash in headlines when he first presented the swimsuit to the public at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris.

The bikini was truly inspired by the times it was created in, from its design to its name. At the time of its creation, World War II had just ended allowing people to fully enjoy their summer on the beach. Thus, French designers began creating fashions to reflect this liberated spirit.

Reard marketed his creation as “smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit” to compete with other designers. His bikini consisted merely of a bra top with two inverted triangles tied together by a string.

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Photo gallery Celebrities In Bikinis 2014 See Gallery

Unfortunately, no professional model was bold enough to wear something so scandalous in public, so Reard turned to exotic dancer Micheline Bernardini to model the piece. The bikini, named after Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, then became an instant hit, especially among men (of course!).

Today, the bikini continues to be a huge hit and has even seen growing sales among women over 50, who ironically were born at the time of the swimsuit’s invention.

So to celebrate the liberating success of the swimsuit, check out the slideshow above of the best celebrity bikinis of the year (so far) and dig out your two-pieces!