Bathing suits for women in the 1930s

Written by dawn sutton
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Bathing suits for women in the 1930s
Swimming costume styles have changed over the years (The woman in a swimming costume on beautifully dim background image by Sergey Galushko from

Swimming costumes for women in the 1930s took a departure from the 1920s mid-thigh suit. All previous swim suits had modesty shorts sewn into the suit under the swimsuit legs. The 1930s also saw a change in patterns for swimming costumes. Swimmers the 1920s most often wore loud abstract patterns or striped suits while women in the 1930s began wearing solid colours.

Swimsuits With Skirts

Women's swimsuits in the 1930s were made of Lastex, cotton or wool. Many suits had a sewn on skirt that covered the thigh areas. Typical colours were solid blue, peach or orange with some patterns of small flowers. Most were made fully-lined and some had adjustable straps.

Swimming Costumes With Higher Cut Legs

Swimming costumes in the 1930s were greatly influenced by film stars of that era such as Esther Williams and Dorothy Lamour, who appeared in movies about synchronised swimming. Swimming costumes with more revealing, figure-hugging styles appeared and with higher cut legs. Two-tone suits were quite popular.

Shorts-Like Bottoms

The lower half of a 1930s female swimming costume often looked like shorts. Some suits were made with a piece of Lastex fabric running straight across the upper thighs with a body suit underneath. Bathing caps were often worn in the same colour as the suit.

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