[Young woman in bathing suit with small dog in front of studio backdrop of beach]
J181469 U.S. Copyright Office.
Copyright by Stadler.
In 1860s, a bathing outfit could weigh as much as 20 pounds and cover up as much as the full street dress. Later, lighter-weight version features a knee-length gored skirt that buttons over a one-piece romper, topped off with a jaunty cap appeared. By the end of the 19th-century people were flocking to the oceanside beaches for popular seaside activities such as swimming, surf bathing, and diving. A need for a new style bathing suit that retained modesty but was free enough to allow the young lady to engage in swimming was obvious. By 1910 bathing suits no longer camouflaged the contours of the female body. The yards of fabric used in Victorian bathing skirts and bloomers were reduced to show a little more of the figure and to allow for exposure to the sun.
Portraits of Young Women 1890-1930