McCardell was among the first in the post-War period to discern not the "man in the gray flannel suit," but the woman in gray wool, an inconspicuous, but notably chic outfit for the beach combining a bare halter with a wrap skirt. This was the American counterpart to the contemporary invention in France of the bikini; McCardell's is a two-piece ensemble that respects American standards of propriety. McCardell wraps with a fullness of cloth both at the bust and waist, diminishing the overt sexuality of the minimal bikini and providing a sizing that will flatter a variety of body types in that most sensitive of garments in body and self-esteem, the bathing suit.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Ingenuity," April 2, 1998–August 16, 1998.