A Brief History of Swimsuits

With temperatures reaching the 90s this week in Colorado, we here at BeWeave It have one thing planned for this weekend (well, in addition to weaving): swimming! We figured it'd be fun to explore the history of the swimsuit in today's post.


As we're sure you may have guessed, people back in the day didn't wear anything when they'd take a dip. And until the mid-1800s, there wasn't a definite law against men swimming nude in the U.K. However, this practice was banned in 1860, which incited a number of protests amongst angry swimmers.


Bathing suit 1858



Bathing suits made an earlier appearance among women, dating back to the mid to late 1600s. These early swimsuits are described as being "made of a fine yellow canvas, which [was] stiff and made large with great sleeves like a parson's gown." The gown-like attire carried on until the introduction of more water-friendly fabric and tighter clothing in the 20th century. We can't imagine trying to swim while wearing a dress today!


Image by Anonymus (American: Harpers magazine.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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