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The Body Glove Backstory

Unlikely Inventors

It all started with a 5-gallon can, a scoop of tar, some glass, and the hose from a bicycle pump. Twin brothers from Missouri used these household items to construct a rudimentary scuba helmet and explore a pond near their home; the world should have known then that the boys would be destined for greatness.

In 1944, Bill and Bob Meistrell moved from their family farm to Manhattan Beach, California. The boys adventurously surfed and lifeguarded on the beaches of L.A. County. They loved the water, especially the ocean, and their growing desire for discovery led Bill and Bob to purchase equity in Dive N' Surf, a surf shop in Redondo Beach. The site would eventually become the birthplace of Body Glove, now one of the America’s most popular water sport brands.

 

Like their scuba helmet, Bill and Bob’s first piece of Body Glove merchandise emerged from unlikely materials. On a trip to Bedford, Virginia, Bill Meistrell uncovered a new type of insulation that was being used as insulation in refrigerators, and he inventively repurposed the neoprene, using it to design the first ever commercial wetsuit in 1953. Over 60 years later, Body Glove is still leading in the water sport industry with its divewear, swimwear, clothing, and accessories.

 

Growing Popularity

The Meistrell’s wetsuits were not an instant hit; originally, water sport enthusiasts were hesitant to dawn the tight, rubber outfits. Most people considered them to be “uncomfortable and unmanly,” but the harsh, frigid temperatures of California’s waves slowly enticed surfers and divers to give the strange ensembles a try. The only alternatives were thick sweaters which would only keep a person warm so long as they stayed dry, so Body Glove’s apparel slowly began winning over customers desperate to make their favorite outdoor activities more comfortable. The twins got their big break when their suit appeared in a film called “Gidget,” and sales increased dramatically.

Even in the face of mounting success, the brothers proudly maintained a family business. When the last of the twins died at the age of 84 in 2013, Body Glove was making a profit of more than $200 million, and it was one of very few family owned businesses of its size. It remained a small business stronghold until Marquee Brands purchased the brand in 2016. Marquee’s president Michael DeVirgilio called Body Glove “an American treasure.” He also stated that the Meistrell family would continue to hold shares in the company and offer input on Body Glove’s future growth.

 

Body Glove Swimwear

Naturally, Bob and Bill’s company vision extended far beyond the scope of wetsuits, so the Body Glove brand has expanded to include a stunning swimwear collection available in a wide range of sizes, styles, and colors. While the brand supplies petite women with geometric and tropical prints, neon fabrics, and unique constructions, it also embraces the needs of curvy women with its size-specific bikini tops up to an F-cup.

Naturally, Bob and Bill’s company vision extended far beyond the scope of wetsuits, so the Body Glove brand has expanded to include a stunning swimwear collection available in a wide range of sizes, styles, and colors. While the brand supplies petite women with geometric and tropical prints, neon fabrics, and unique constructions, it also embraces the needs of curvy women with its size-specific bikini tops up to an F-cup.

 

That’s why Breakout Bras is proud to carry Body Glove swimwear. Our retail store and online shop offer plenty of fun options for bikinis that are guaranteed to be as vibrant and original as you are. Purchase a set, or buy a new solo top to match bottoms you already have. These suits are fashioned from quality materials and promise to hold you with the utmost security. They’ll give you great shape without that fake push-up look.

Whatever you decide to do, know that Summer belongs to everyone, and it is our mission at Breakout Bras to ensure that every woman finds a swimsuit that makes her feel comfortable and confident. For qualified advice on which styles might work best for you, call our in-house customer service representatives or stop by for an appointment at our retail location. We look forward to meeting you soon and hope you will stay tuned to our social media pages for updates on upcoming Body Glove styles!

By Courtney Madeira

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