For a half century SI has provided readers a respite from the harshness of winter. Now, with the mercury beginning to dip, what better time to peruse the most iconic Swimsuit images. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful, a lavish 304-page coffee-table book, is available in stores or at SI.com/swimsuit50book, featuring covers, interviews, outtakes and all the best bodypainting and swimsuit photos from our collection.

PHOTOJOHN G. ZIMMERMAN FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (HELMET)Elle Macpherson was prepared for the water on a 1986 shoot. PHOTO