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Men's maroon Thistle swimming trunks

Date: 1930s-1940s
Overall: 300 x 375 mm
Medium: Wool
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00004831
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    These Australian made trunks follow the late 1930s fashion for men's swimwear that was topless and high waisted. The design features a half skirt and a leg line on the upper thigh for modesty, as well as a belt for support.

    SignificanceThe trunks are representative of Australian men's beachwear trends from the late 1930s and 1940s.

    HistoryThough there had been a move towards topless suits throughout the 1930s in Australia and the United States, government regulations still promoted the one piece swimsuit for men.

    In 1935 the New South Wales Minister for Local Government, the Honourable E.S. Spooner announced dress regulations that stipulated men's swimsuits must have legs that covered at least three inches of the thigh and covered the front body up to the armpits and the back body up to the waist. In the United States men were banned from wearing trunks without a top on public beaches until 1937.

    Belts and buckles were also often included in the design, primarily as a way of differentiating men's swimwear from undergarments. 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.
    Related People
    Maker: Thistle

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