A microkini is an extremely skimpy form of a bikini. The designs for both women and men typically use only enough fabric to cover the genitalia. Any additional straps are merely to keep the garment attached to the wearer's body. Some variations of the microkini use adhesive or wire to hold the fabric in place over the genitals. These designs do not require any additional side straps to keep the garment in place. The most radical variations of the microkini are simply thin straps which cover little or none of the wearer's body. The term "microkini" was coined in 1995 in an online community dedicated to enthusiasts of the extreme designs.
The modern microkini's origins can be traced back to the early-1970's in Venice Beach, California, USA, where, after legislation was passed banning nudity there, beach regulars began making their own tiny bathing suits to comply with the new laws. The homemade suits were often little more than tiny, remnant pieces of fabric, crudely sewn together with thin twine or fishing line. Then around 1975, a local bikini shop picked up on the idea and began to make more practical styles using modern materials. Soon after, several adult film actresses began wearing the shop's suits in their films and the style began to catch on.
Microkinis fill a niche between nudism and conservative swimwear. In addition to keeping the wearer just within legal limits of decency, they have also evolved to become the ultimate in provocative sun wear.