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Bathing devices were meant to provide privacy and also coverage for women who were an altering into their swimsuits. Hulton Archive/Getty In the 1800s, swimsuits were commonly called bathing gowns and also they were long dresses the didn"t present much skin. They were generally made the wool.

You are watching: Why are women's bathing suits so revealing

Bathing gowns had actually long skirts and also sometimes weights were sewn right into the hems for this reason the towel wouldn"t to rise up when it to be submerged in water.

During this time, women likewise used bathing machines to save things even more under wraps. These carriages were rolled right into or close to water and individuals (usually women) gained inside of castle to adjust into their swimsuits.

In the late 1800s and also early 1900s, bathing pair of shoes were also popular.


bathing shoes aided to defend one's feet. De Agostini / Icas94/Getty

In the 19th and also early 20th century, some women didn"t even let their feet go naked. Shower suits were commonly accessorized through bathing slippers, which were shoes that defended feet from broken glass and shells.

These slippers were generally made the twisted straw or felt and they had laces. Occasionally women would certainly make them look an ext stylish by adding ribbons, bows, or braids.

In the early 1900s, a woman's swim look probably included bathing caps.


it wasn't unusual to undertake a cape, hat, and shoes as soon as heading come the lake. DEA / ICAS94 / Contributor/Getty

During this time, it was also common for females to accessorize your bathing suits with tiny hats referred to as bathing caps. They were oftentimes offered to safeguard one"s hairstyle.

Some womenalso wore sophisticated handkerchieves or scarves on top of their cap to do it a bit more stylish.

Sailor-inspired shower suits came to be popular in the early 1900s.


brand-new swimsuit draft began arising at this time. Getty/Kirn Vintage stock

Per Victoriana magazine, a well-known swimsuit in the 1900s to be made the black-and-white striped taffeta and also featured a sailor-style collar, black silk stockings, and also black leather sandals. Other popular bathing costume of this time featured similar large collars.

Bathing coats were also popularly worn in the early on 1900s.

it wasn't unexplained to pair her swimsuit with a kerchief. Mansell/The LIFE snapshot Collection/Getty

As modesty was still quite important, women popularly covered up their bathing gowns v bathing coats. Occasionally these coats to be made indigenous silk and also they typicallyhad lengthy sleeves and also full capes.

Women typically wore this coat come the beach, took it turn off at the water"s edge, then placed it earlier on again together she obtained out the the water.

Around 1910, swimsuits became shorter and an ext form-fitting.

Swimsuits had quick skirts. Bettmann / Contributor/Getty

After years of piling top top the apparel to walk in the water, women traded shower gowns for more form-fitting swimsuits that featured much shorter skirts.

But roughly this time, women began being referred to as out in public and punished for wearing swimsuits that regulation enforcers thought about to be as well revealing.

In 1907, record-breaking Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman was arrested top top a beach in Boston, Massachusetts, and charged v indecent exposure since she"d to be wearing a knee-length swimsuit the resembled a unitard and also showed she arms, legs, and also neck.

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"Me, arrested!"" Kellerman said in a 1953Boston Sunday Globearticle recalling the 1907 incident, every "We were every terribly shocked, specifically my father, for ns was his innocent protected little girl. But the judge was fairly nice and allowed me to wear the fit if I would wear a full-length cape come the water"s edge.""

She is listed as being one of the first women come wear this style of one-piece swimsuit.