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Men's Belford swimsuit

Date: 1930s
Overall: 780 x 465 mm
Clothing size: 44
Medium: Wool
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00000969

User Terms

    This 1930s knitted Belford swimsuit features a Racerback and a full skirt for modesty. During this period the common use of fabric in solid colours emphasised the cut of the garment as the main design element. The swimsuit was sold by Beare & Ley, who retailed men's and boys' wear in Australia.
    SignificanceThe swimsuit is representative of mens beachwear fashions from the first half of the 20th century.
    HistoryIn the 1920s and early 1930s men's swimwear was influenced by the development of textile technologies that created a more streamlined and athletic shape. The use of knitted cotton and wool, which hugged the body when wet, predates the introduction of rubberised fabrics such as Lastex in 1931.

    Though 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. 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.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Men's Belford swimsuit

    Primary title: Men's Belford swimsuit

    Related People
    Maker: Belford

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