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Edwardian woman’s swimming costume bloomers

Date: c 1900
Overall: 780 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Mercerised cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00016510

User Terms

    These bloomers were worn with a smock top as part of an Edwardian woman's swimming costume. The smock top of this homemade costume billowed in the wind and buoyed in the water. Its style made swimming difficult, while its weight when wet made it positively dangerous. The draw string waistline reduced the billow and enhanced the silhouette of the swimmer but did little to remove the danger of drowning in drapes.
    SignificanceThis costume was produced in the Edwardian period, and illustrates the changes in swimwear style from the 1900s to today.
    HistoryBy the early 1900s a thriving tourist industry had become well established around the seaside towns of Australia. The beach had become a place for rest and recreation. During this period, known as the Edwardian period, women bathed in knee-length dresses, often featuring a sailor collar. These were worn over bloomers or drawers trimmed with ribbon or bows. This outfit was generally accessorised with black stockings, lace-up boots or sandals and cloth caps.

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