Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
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Bathing suits, Jul 1864 US, Godey’s Lady’s Book
Colored by me according to this description:
Fig. 1.—Turkish pants of a gray and white striped material, fastened at the ankle with an elastic cord. Paletôt dress of a dark blue and black flannel, made with a small cape, and trimmed with black mohair braid. Oil silk hat, bound and trimmed with scarlet binding.
Fig. 2.—Suit of pearl-colored flannel, trimmed with dark blue flannel, and braided in a plain Grecian pattern with narrow blue braid. Cap of oil silk, trimmed with dark blue flannel.
Fig. 3.—Suit of black cloth, bound with scarlet flannel. The collar is of scarlet flannel, also the cap, which is trimmed with black braid and a long black tassel.
Fig. 4.—Suit of scarlet flannel, trimmed with wide and narrow black braid. The dress is decorated with applications of black cloth, cut in the shape of anchors. The hat is of white straw, trimmed with scarlet braid.
Here’s a “hot” number for beach attire - a woman’s lovely two piece bathing suit, 1890s. All made of deep blue wool, the shirt and pants are one piece with a gathered overskirt for modesty. The white trim is cotton twill tape, giving it a nautical flair. To complete the look, our bather would have worn a gathered cap, stockings, bathing shoes and perhaps a corset! Be sure to see the archival photographs from our collection in this posting to see how the ensemble would have looked.
In the 19th century, men had more freedom to actually swim, while women generally went “bathing”, by taking a dip in the water, fully clothed. As late as the 1870s, public beaches had separate times for men and women to “bathe.” By the 1890s, attitudes towards female swimming were changing and the skirt could be removed for more active swimming. Women’s swimming events were added to the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm. Real swimsuit changes occurred in the 1920s and 1930s when suntans became fashionable and new knitted fabrics were introduced.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection. Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday
This seems appropriate to post today. I feel like I woke up in Hell.
Seaside dresses for women and a bathing suit for girls, 1872 UK (French fashions), The Queen
The bathing suit would work for any age.
Mens bathing suit, 1890’s-1910’s
Gloria Swanson and Teddy in Teddy at the Throttle, 1917 US
Most people believe that the famous scene with the girl tied to the railroad tracks was from the 1914 serial The Perils of Pauline, starring Pearl White, probably because it was featured in the 1947 film of the same name. However, the scene actually originated in Teddy at the Throttle, a 1917 Keystone short starring Gloria Swanson and Wallace Beery. Swanson was, of course, the girl tied to the tracks. And like all Keystone movies, Teddy was a comedy.
The swimsuit Gloria Swanson wears in this picture is tighter and shorter than what the average woman was wearing to the beach. Hollywood heroines were notorious for wearing all things sexy. This hasn’t changed at all.
Ad showing bathing suits, 1916 US, published in the New York Times
I’m going to post some bathing suits from 1914-1919 as well because there was some super adorable stuff.