Bathing costumes at Benalla

...Toad and Frog went down to the river. "What a day for a swim," said Frog. "Yes," said Toad. "I will go behind these rocks and put on my bathing suit." "I don't wear a bathing suit," said Frog. "Well, I do," said Toad...


bathing_beauty.gif (13217 bytes)clear.GIF (808 bytes)Bathing costumes
About 1750, sea water was considered beneficial for health. Groups of males and females were taken into the ocean in a bathing machine, where under the cover of a large umbrella, people were dunked naked and encouraged to swallow large quantities of water.
Eventually 'cover-all' costumes began to be worn by women. It was similar to a large flannel smock reaching to the feet covered with black stockings. This then changed to a high necked, long sleeved dress worn over baggy pantaloons

Paddling remained popular early this century and the long sleeved, skirted garments with matching hats, together with stockings and canvas shoes proved popular beach wear.

Women began swimming in the 1920s when dress became shorter and when movement became easier because of the invention of the smooth fitting, all-in-one maillot.

The 1930s costume, which became backless and partly frontless, allowed tanning to be indulged in. The midriff was revealed and the halter neck and bra top were popular in the 1940s. Brief one-piece maillots of stretch fabrics were in vogue in the 1950s and had built in bras, some boned and some strapless. 

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Over skirts attached to tops worn over trunks were seen in the sixties and the bikini made its appearance at the end of of this decade. Topless garments together with the micro-bikini appeared in the 1970s.Popular wear during the 1980s were strapless, one piece togs.

Today we have a variety of styles and fabrics in use, one modern one being a tan through fabric.