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Women's one-piece swimsuit

Date: 1920s
Overall (Width at hips): 830 x 500 x 25 mm
Medium: Wool
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00046704

User Terms

    This swimsuit is representative of the athletic knitted swimsuits worn by women in the 1920s. The bright colours reflect a more fashion conscious attitude to swimwear and a move away from the more subdued colours of previous decades. It features a full skirt for modesty sewn over cuffed shorts.
    SignificanceThe tank swimsuit was the popular style that replaced Canadian two piece swimsuits worn by men, women and children in the 1910s. It represents a transition from purely functional to fashion swimwear.
    HistoryAs neck-to-knee bathing restrictions eased, swimwear manufacturers responded with more revealing designs.

    The one-piece tank suit was developed by Jantzen in the United States of America and was soon imitated by other manufacturers. It fitted the body like a sock and allowed greater freedom of movement in the water. This is the garment that changed bathing into swimming and the style was worn by men and women. A full overskirt provided a double layer of wool for modesty. It was a modification of the earlier dress warn over bloomers for bathing in the late 19th century and the long top worn as part of two-piece Canadian swimsuits in the 1910s.

    In the 1920s swimsuits became fashionable garments with the introduction of a broader range of colours and the use of geometric patterns in the wool knit influenced by European modernist design.
    Related People
    Maker: Tri-Tex

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