History of Women’s Swimwear

A lot has happened to women’s swimwear, and that includes men’s swimwear too! But we will be mainly focusing on the swimwear of women. The history of women’s swimwear traces all the changes in women’s swimwear as well as their styles over time and the different cultures, and on the social touches, the attitudes that were legal and religious and the swimwear.

Swimwear in Late 17th Century

Bathing costumes for females were derived from the clothing worn at spas and baths. Females getting a bath at spas nude was very normal up until 1670. After that, females needed clothes when bathing.

Primitive 18th Century Swimwear

The swimwear that women used during the 18th century was a chemise type garment, loose, and full-sleeved and the length down to the ankle. They were made out of flannel or wool. This was the swimwear that they wore so that decency or modesty was not being threatened.

Bathing Suits in 19th Century

During the first half of this century, the top for bathing was now knee-length. The drawer that was ankle-length was now added as something for the bottom. Hopping to the second half of this century, in the country France, the sleeves to the swimwear started to go away, the bottom was shorter and reaching only their knees. During the 19th century, wool dresses were what women wore when going to the beach.

Unsafe 20th Century

Annette Kellerman was a swimmer from Australia that visited the US. She was an underwater ballerina. She was then arrested at a beach in Boston because her swimsuit did not hide the arms, the legs, and her neck. This was costumed that brought from England. Ms. Kellerman created a line of many bathing suits, and the one-piece suits that had her style were known as “the Annette Kellerman.” They were then accepted in Europe to be one of women’s swimwear by 1910s.

1910s Swimwear With Exposed Arms

The first to be exposed was the arms, and then came the legs which were on mid-thigh. The necklines were then receded from around their necks and then down to the top of their bosoms. There was a lot more practical and comfortable vintage swimwear when new fabrics were being developed.

1920s Bathhouses

This was where sunbathing started at spas and bathhouses. Some swimsuits were not for any functional purposes. Some hold decorative features. During the 1920s, the rayon was then used in manufacturing and swimsuits that were tight-fitting, though the durability of these swimsuits was a problem, especially when they get wet. Silk and jersey were sometimes used as well.

Swimwear in 1930s

Going to the 1930s, shirts were not a thing anymore for men when they go swimming. Men being bare-chested was something normal during these years and up to the end of the 140s. Events for competitive swimwear were also included, the men were not just bare-chested, but they wore a swimsuit that intended merely to reach the requirements of public decency.

1940s Beach and Sands

The swimwear for women during the 1930s and the 1940s incorporated degrees that were increased for exposure of the midriff. A lot of the teen magazines of this year featured many similar designs of the suits and tops of midriff-baring. Though there was a rule for this fashion of midriff, they were only allowed to be worn when visiting the beach and other informal events, and they should not be worn in public because it was considered as very indecent.

Two-Peace Swimwear 1950s

After WW1, the first bikinis every invented appeared. Some of the early examples did not have that much different from the common tow pieces of women’s swimwear back in the 1920s, though one of the differences that they had was that there was a gap down below the women’s breast line which allows a little section of the bare midriff. The word bikini was created after this site that had a lot of nuclear test weapons named Bikini Atoll because they had some of this explosive effect on the people that view them.

women dressed in vintage swimwear

1960s Swimwear Revolution

A designer named Rudi Gernreich produced or created the monokini, which was a design that was controversial and revolutionary that includes the midriff being extended to the upper thigh, and it was held up by the shoestring laces which makes some sort of halter around the people’s necks.

Image result for vintage swimwear

1970s Improvements

During the 1970s, elastane was added to the speedos so that the elasticity of the swimsuit would improve as well as the swimsuit’s durability, and the water drag could be reduced.

1980s Pubkini

Going back to the designer, Rudi Gernreich. In 1985, he unveiled the pubikini that was known less. This was the bathing suit where the pubic hair of a person was exposed. The swimsuit that we call pubikini was just a tiny piece of some fabric that just hugs your hips and your buttocks, and then the pubic region is left to be exposed. It is described as a small V-shaped strip of fabric and a piece of de resistance that frees the body of humans. It was like a thong style bottom, and the front was a small V-shaped fabric strip which dipped down the mons pubis of women, and her pubic hair being exposed as well as her vulva portions. Before Rudi Gernreich died, this was one of his last designs.

1990s Swimsuite market-boom

The concept of swimwear being mixed and matched and tankini were the two crucial innovations inside that genre during the late 1990s. A designer named Anne Cole, who was also a US swimwear mogul, was the person that created this type of style. This was hailed as the first crucial innovation in the swimsuit designs for women in a lot of decades. The tankini that was a two-piece that blended some freedom of the bikini with coverage that was more modest for a one-piece bathing suit, and they captured a lot of people in the market of swimwear.

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