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Men's Speedo swimming trunks

Date: c 1946
Overall: 330 x 450 mm, 0.16 kg
Clothing size: 38
Medium: Nylon, cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Speedo International Ltd
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00019016
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    Made in Australia by Jantzen, these swimming trunks feature a high drawstring waist and a leg line on the upper thigh. They have a white gauze gusset, and black cotton elasticised seams.
    SignificanceThe trunks are representative of men's beachwear fashions during the 1940s. They are also an important example of the development and use of textile technologies during the mid 20th century.
    HistoryBy the end of the 1930s the fashion for men's swimwear was topless, high waisted, knitted wool or jersey swimming trunks with a half skirt for modesty, a leg line on the upper thigh and a belt for support.

    Legislation prevented men from wearing swimming trunks without a top on public beaches until the late 1930s. This sparked the development of convertible styles that permitted the top to be removed. Belts and buckles were also often included in the design, primarily as a way of differentiating men's swimwear from undergarments. By the 1950s men's swimsuits mirrored women's trends in fabric and detailing.

    While the actual style of trunks changed little between the 1930s and 1950s, there was a shift from natural fibres, such as wool and cotton, to synthetics. Nylon, developed during World War II by DuPont, USA, was the first in a series of synthetic fabrics used by swimwear manufacturers. It was quick drying and stretched to hug the figure, providing a more self supporting garment than the heavier woollen trunks of previous decades.
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