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, 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