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Boy's Porolastic swimsuit

Date: 1930s
500 x 300 mm, 0.1 lb. (0.045 kg)
Medium: Wool
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00039507

User Terms

    This woollen navy boy's swimsuit features the scopped neck and high thigh line of the classic 1920s tank suit. A red manufacturer's label has been sewn onto the the lower left leg reading 'Porolastic'.
    SignificanceThis is a rare example of a boy's woollen swimsuit made in the 1930s.
    HistoryIn the early 1910s swimsuits for children, men and women were very similar in cut and fabric. As neck-to-knee modesty restrictions were relaxed, skirts gradually rose to reveal more of the thigh, and tops became sleeveless. In the 1920s the unitard, or tubular shaped tank suit, was developed in America by Jantzen. It allowed greater freedom of movement in the water, and help popularise swimming as a recreational pastime.

    By the 1930s designs began revealing more of the body, a trend facilitated by the craze for sunbathing. The aesthetic for the 'new' body was functional, sleek and streamlined. Children's swimwear still largely followed 1920s designs, with the exception of Jantzen's more strappy 'Sunette' suit, recommended for its 'full body exposure to the healful ultra-violet rays of the sun'.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Swimming suit

    Web title: Boy's Porolastic swimsuit

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