Ohhhh summer is coming you know what THAT means??! Beach weather! Vitamin SEA! Wahoooo!
For a lot us that thought is more like a nightmare as we try and find that elusive swimwear piece/s that make us look 10kg lighter without resorting to the mumu which you ‘forgot’ to take off before stepping into the water right? Ok whatever that may just be me. Hmmmm”¦.
For the rest of our fabulous sun worshiping nation, summer is a time for excitement as you try to decide which little number you are going to strut on the sand or pool side this year. Seriously the options are endless these days! You have the one piece, two piece, retro style (love!!), tankinis, boardies, itsy bitsy, and 3 pieces of string that when twisted together somehow makes a swimsuit. We’ve all seen them they look fabulous on the models who don’t have to move, but you put an extra lump or bump in them, and even lift your arms well you’ve gone from ‘swimsuit’ to ‘birthday suit’ in 2 seconds flat.
Such choices weren’t even a consideration in days gone by.
Let’s take a little wander down swimsuit memory lane..
In the Victorian era (1800’s) ladies, who although were able to go down to the beach, were VERY modest. They were to be transported to and from the water via a Bathing Machine. These mobile cabana’s (ok that may be glamourising them a little to be honest they looked like an old Australian ‘out house’ on wheels!) were pulled behind a horse who would have to manoeuvre this contraption into the sea to allow the bathing lady to enter the water, and when she is ready to get out of the water straight into this contraption whilst maintaining her dignity. Sure this isn’t a swimsuit as such but just stick with me here.
The attire that was worn would be a dark flannel bathing dress which would be weighted around the hem so that it would not cause any accidental flashing so to speak. Could you just imagine stepping into the water and effectively netting a school of fish!! They couldn’t escape! Cue pass out mode”¦now!
Skipping on to the turn of the last century the 1900’s. This seen a little more freedom (small steps). Women wore knee length, puffed sleeve wool dresses (Yes. I said wool it was thought it would keep you warmer when you were wet”¦.riigghht!), spunkified with an on point little sailor’s collar.
This was worn over ribbon and bow trimmed bloomers. I hope they were strong swimmers imagine how heavy that was once wet! The more common choice of colour was black, I get that it’s slimming right?! The swimsuit was also accompanied by black stockings and lace up bathing slippers to protect their delicate feet from shells, coral etc and a fancy cap.