Historical advertisement for a maillot from 1916 (far right).

The maillot is the fashion designer's name for a woman's one-piece swimsuit, also called a tank suit. A maillot swimsuit generally consists of a tank-style torso top with high-cut legs. However, a maillot may also include a plunging neckline, turtleneck-style top, or revealing cutouts.

In addition to describing women’s one-piece swimsuits, the word maillot has also been used to refer to tights or leotards made of stretchable, jersey fabric, generally used for dance or gymnastics. The term maillot was first used to describe tight-fitting, one-piece swimsuits in the 1920s, as these swimsuits had been manufactured from a similar stretchable, jersey fabric.


Modern usage

In the present day, the phrase one-piece swimsuit has almost completely replaced the term maillot in colloquial language. While the word has now become somewhat obsolete in common language, fashion designers and consumers used it quite often in the early days of the modern swimsuit. It is now most often used to distinguish between several different types of one-piece swimsuits, including the tank maillot and the pretzel maillot.

Young woman in a maillot (one-piece) swimsuit in Germany, 1950


The term maillot was inducted into the English dictionary in 1928; it derived from the French phrase for swaddling clothes. In the French language, the word maillot means "shirt" and is presently used to distinguish leaders in the Tour de France (see maillot jaune and maillot vert). The modern French term for a swimsuit, maillot de bain, also makes use of the word. The name "tanksuit" or "tank suit" alludes to the "tank" or pool in which the wearer swims.

See also

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • maillot — [ majo ] n. m. • 1538; mailloel XIIe; de 1. maille, par anal. de forme avec des mailles entrelacées I ♦ Anciennt Pièce ou bandes d étoffe dont on enveloppait le corps d un jeune enfant et qui enfermaient les bras et les jambes; lange qui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • maillot — 1. (ma llo, ll mouillées) s. m. Bout de vigne que l on coupe pour faire un nouveau plant. HISTORIQUE    XVIe s. •   Maillots, mailletons, crossetes, diversement nommés selon les contrées, et ainsi dits pour la ressemblance qu ils ont avec les… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Maillot — puede referirse a: La comuna francesa de Maillot, en el departamento de Yonne. Al jersey que usan los ciclistas. Este puede tomar diversos colores según su uso o significado: Maillot amarillo Maillot Arco Iris Maillot blanco Maillot (Tour de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • maillot — Voz tomada del francés maillot, que se usa en español con los sentidos de ‘traje de baño femenino de una sola pieza’: «En una de las fotos estaba tío Ramón con dos o tres mujeres en maillot en una playa» (Mendicutti Palomo [Esp. 1991]); ‘camiseta …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • maillot — (del francés; pronunciamos mallot ) sustantivo masculino 1. Camiseta deportiva de los ciclistas que identifica al equipo del corredor e indica la primera posición de las diversas clasificaciones: El corredor colombiano se ha enfundado el maillot… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • maillot — MAILLOT. s. m. Les couches, les langes & les bandes dont on enveloppe un enfant en nourrice. Un enfant en maillot. mettre un enfant dans son maillot. On dit, Il estoit encore au maillot, pour dire, Il estoit encore en nourrice …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • maillot — Maillot, voyez Emmailloter. Le maillot des petits enfans, Cunabula cunabulorum, vel incunabula. Quant il estoit en maillot, Cum esset in cunabulis …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • maillot — n. A woman s one piece bathing suit. Syn: tank suit. [WordNet 1.5] 2. for dancers or gymnasts. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Maillot — Maillot, Mailhot Surnom désignant celui qui se sert d un mail, d un maillet (marteau de bois). Les Maillot sont nombreux dans le Doubs (et à la Réunion), et les Mailhot se rencontrent surtout dans le Puy de Dôme …   Noms de famille

  • maillot — (n.) tight fitting one piece swimsuit, 1928, from Fr. maillot swaddling clothes, from O.Fr. mailloel (13c.), probably an alteration of maille mesh (see MAIL (Cf. mail) (n.2)). Borrowed earlier by English in the sense of tights (1888) …   Etymology dictionary

  • maillot — (Del fr. maillot). 1. m. Traje de baño femenino de una pieza. 2. Camiseta deportiva, especialmente la de los ciclistas. 3. Prenda, especialmente femenina, de una sola pieza, elástica y ajustada al cuerpo, que se usa para practicar ejercicio… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

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