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Men's 1968 South African Olympic team-inspired swimming trunks

Date: 1968
Overall: 420 x 325 mm, 0.05 kg
Clothing size: 42
Medium: Nylon, cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Speedo International Ltd
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00019013
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    These swimming trunks were made in Australia by Speedo in 1968. They have a green gauze gusset, green and white cotton seams and a white nylon cord draw string waist.

    The green, black and white panelled style was probably based on the South African Olympic swimming team design. 1964 was the first year in which designs incorporated different coloured panels. Previously competitors had worn costumes in solid colours.
    SignificanceProduced as a stock item, these trunks demonstrate the influence of Olympic team designs on Speedo's commercial swimwear ranges.
    HistoryIn 1955 Speedo introduced nylon into its competitive swimwear range. The 1956 Olympics in Melbourne saw the widespread use of the new fabric, as well as a change in men's swimwear design.

    At the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) allowed men to swim skirtless. At this time trunks were still to the waist with 20cm side seams. The development of Speedo's brief design followed the competition guidelines dictated by FINA. The process of lowering the waist and raising the leg line was a slow, though by 1972 FINA had allowed men to swim in suits with 5 cm side seams.
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