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Jantzen Diving Girl logo reproduced courtesy of Skye Group

Men's navy blue Jantzen swimsuit

Date: c 1930
Overall: 330 x 740 mm
Clothing size: 34
Medium: Machine knitted cotton stockinette
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Jantzen Diving Girl logo Skye Group
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00000167

User Terms

    This 1930s Jantzen swimsuit has low cut arm holes and shortened legs, allowing for greater freedom of movement in the water. The design of this swimsuit, made using machine-knitted cotton stockinette, was a rival to the popular Speedo Racerback costume introduced in 1928.

    The Jantzen swimsuit, known as 'the tank', was made in Australia and still has its original price tag and box.
    SignificanceThis Australian made Jantzen tank swimsuit reflects the streamlined androgenous swimwear fashions popular with men and women in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
    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, which hugged the body when wet, predates the introduction of rubberised fabrics such as Lastex in 1931. During this period the common use of fabric in solid colours emphasised the cut of the garment as the main design element.

    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

    Primary title: Men's navy blue Jantzen swimsuit

    Web title: Men's navy blue Jantzen swimsuit

    Related People
    Maker: Jantzen

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