Bathing Suits 1880s-1930s

Long before the bikini, bathing suits were worn that were touted as comfortable, durable, and attractive. From the 1880s through the 1930s, bathing costumes evolved in both design and amount of material used.

Bathing Costume 3 from 1900

Fashionable Bathing Costumes - July 1900

The fashion in bathing costumes changes each season as perceptibly as do the styles of gowns for ordinary wear, and to be dressed correctly and becomingly requires both taste and judgment. The chief attributes desirable in a bathing costume are comfort, durability, and attractiveness.

Bathing Suits / Dresses For Women, Styles 1AB, 2AB, and 3AB. The Delineator, June 1901.

Bathing Suits/Dress for the Family - June 1901

One of the most important and interesting features of the Summer outfit is the bathing suit, which this season is unusually graceful and attractive. There are plaited, tucked and straight full skirts, as well as those of gored or circular shaping, and the blouses,  are completed with a sailor collar, revers or bertha.

Several Designs for Bathing Suits - 1911

Several Designs for Bathing Suits - 1911

The new designs for bathing-suits embody all the style features that are noteworthy in other dress constructions. Design 4657 consists of a waist with side body and sleeve in one with the underarm gore, which will aid immeasurably in fitting the sleeve and contributing greater ease in the action of the arms.

A New Verve Marks Beach Dress - 1922

A New Verve Marks Beach Dress - 1922

What's what in bathing suits is adequately solved by the large and varied collection of the Ocean Bathing Co., which, setting the pace in the Southlands, captured the $1000 prize in the Miami bathing suit contest recently.

Salt Water Fashions For Madame and Mademoisselle -- Bathing Apparel That Goes Both to Sea and To Be Seen. Vogue Magazine, 1 June 1922.

Attire for Swim and Surf - 1922

From the pages of Vogue Magazine, exclusive advertisements covering the many swim suit fashions for 1922. Advertisers include Wil Wite, Franklin Simon & Co., Emery & Beers Company, Inc., BONWIT TELLER & CO., William Greilich & Sons, Hollander, D. Nusbaum & Co. (UKnit), and Asbury Mills, Makers of Annette Kellermann Bathing Suits and Swimming Tights.

 

Return to Top of Page