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The history of swimwear.

Leah Baryo

on 21 November 2011

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Transcript of Swimwear

The Bathing Suit In the fourth century, Roman gymnasts wore fabric tops, and bottoms resembling the bikini, and even anklets that would look like they could be worn on the beaches today. The bathing machine was wheeled or slid down into the water; some were pulled in and out of the water by a pair of horses with a driver and others by human power. Bathing machines were most common at the sea-side resorts in Great Britain but were also used at beaches in the United States, France and Germany. The bathing machine was about six feet in length and width, and about eight feet high,
with a peaked roof. Some had solid wooden walls; others had canvas walls over a wooden frame Female swimmers went to great lengths to cover up themselves at the beach. The bather entered the machine fully dressed and put on her swimming clothes inside. its history and evolution
Of course, not all women swimmers could afford the latest fashion in bathing suits. It would take until the 1910s and 1920s before this wardrobe item was mass-produced and so became really affordable.

No more long sleeves collars or bloomers, and for the man could see what a woman looked like without having to marry her first. Prior to the 1600's swimming was practically nonexistent, water was only used for travel and swimming became a source of physical therapy instead of recreation. In the early nineteenth century, a woman’s place was in the home.
But by centuries end, the industrial revolution brought woman to work.

The railroad brought people to the beach in large numbers. Woman only swam in shallow water in their long flannel bathing suits, complete with hat and bloomers which weighed about 15 pounds when wet.
In 1810 a woman’s fashion magazine described the proper attire as a seaside walking dress, this dress was very similar to regular dresses at it had long sleeves scarf, tassels and gloves. Most woman tried to keep the shape of their bodies a mystery, only a few of them dared to actually go swimming. Many woman battled society for a lighter more functional swimsuit, but often their efforts landed them in jail. The 2 piece bathing suit started becoming more popular, this suit was referred to as a bathing dress. This dress consisted of a top which covered the shoulders to the knees and a pair of trousers which covered the legs. By 1917, beaches began to fill up, as swimming became a national pastime. By 1920, woman’s struggle for equality won them the right to vote, and woman’s suits began to resemble men’s suits. But not everyone approved. Local authorities found the styles shocking and those who violated beach dress codes were once again, taken to jail. In the movies, Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbow make film debuts in swimming attire.
Clara Bow becomes America’s first sex symbol, wearing no bathing suit at all. In the 20's, beauty pageants were the rage, and no bathing beauty was more popular than Miss America. Originally the pageants were devised to keep tourists in Atlantic City passed Labor Day. This would extend the summer business by one week.
Little did they know, Miss America would become a symbol of womanhood for decades to come.
The knitted one piece suits worn by the woman, revealed the woman’s figure like never before. Swimsuits no longer covered the body, they called attention to it.
New elastic materials made suits tighter and as backs and necklines plunged they became more and more revealing.

Men's suits now featured a removable top As WW2 came about, the pin up girls became popular for the GI's.

The 2 piece comes into the picture, designed to boost the morale of the soldiers, it became a sign of suits to come.
Ava Gardner In the 40's and 50's designers began working overtime to give woman a full figured look Woman began to look more towards European fashion. This is about the time the Bikini really started evolving. Up to this point most bikinis still covered the naval. Because of the increasing popularity in Europe and also the increasing popularity of the private pool, this gave women a secluded place to test out the new 'bikini' look. Neiman Marcus classified the bikini as "a big thing" for 1960. A1957 issue of Modern Girl declared, "It is hardly necessary to waste words over the so-called bikini since it is inconceivable that any girl with tact and decency would ever wear such a thing." The first Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue debuted in 1964, with a white bikini on the cover. In these times, advertising spreads the latest fashions everywhere. Magazines billboards and store windoes bombard us with swimsuit fashion all year round. Throughout time, men and woman have fought for the right to do as they please, fashion and style always reflect this very need for freedom, the swimsuit has clearly evolved to be the most provocative look of all.

The swimsuit worn on beaches today would send the woman back from 60 years ago to jail.
oiuoiuio Works Cited"The Bikini at 50"." People Weekly. Prod. Academic OneFile. 8 July 1996."Bathing Dresses." Citizens Companion 6.3 (1999): 38.Cunningham, Patricia A. "From Underwear to Swimwear: Branding at Atlas and B.V.D. in the 1930's." The Journal of American Culture 32.1 (2009): 32: 38-52.Curtis, Joshua. Sunkissed: Sunwear and the Hollywood beauty, 1930-1950. Ed. Lisa Perry. Portland: Collectors Press, Inc. , 2003.Johnson, William Oscar. "In the Swim; through the centuries swimsuits have gone from the ridiculous to the sublime, with a few strange stops inbetween. (25th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue)." Sports Illustrated February 1989: 20(7).Mitchell, Emily. "The Bikini Turns 50." Time International 148.1 (1996).Probert, Christina. Swimwear in Vogue since 1910. New York: Abbeville Press , 1981.Turner, Julia. "A Brief History of the Bikini. How a Tiny Swimsuit Took America by Storm." Slate (2010). The “Gibson Girl,” became the new ideal woman of the 1920s, she was active, athletic, and healthy, which led to a new interest in sports clothes for women. By: Leah Baryo hgfj
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