Period Fashions Reference Library

Contemporary Descriptions of Ladies’ Bathing Costumes
arranged chronologically
This page is still under construction.

Bathing Dresses, from the Delineator, June 1902.

1890 hairstyles and combs
1890 hairstyles and combs

FIGURE No. 8B.—An asso-ciation of contrasting fabrics is suggested in this misses’ bathing suit, for which pattern No. 2907, price 10d. or 20 cents, was used. The blouse has a square back and front yoke and a sailor collar, and is in one with the drawers. The skirt is a four-gored mode, and the sleeves may be in full-length, bishop or short puff style.

FIGURE No. 9B.—Pattern No. 2921, price 1s. or 25 cents, was employed to shape this attractive bathing suit, which consists of a straight, full skirt and a combi-nation blouse and drawers. The neck may be made high or slightly low, and the sailor collar extends in revers to the waist-line in front. Short puff sleeves are shown, though provision is made for those in full-length style.
1890 hairstyles and combs
1890 hairstyles and combs
FIGURE No. 10 B.—This new and very stylish bathing costume is known as the “Gibson” and is distinguished by the plaits crossing the shoulder seams in the blouse, and at each side of the front-gore in the three-piece skirt. A sailor collar and removable shield are other points of interest, though provision is made for a Dutch round or square neck with corresponding collar, and the sleeves maybe in full length or in short elbow bishop style. The blouse may be attached to the knickerbockers if desired. This suit, which will be alike becoming to slender figures or those inclined to stoutness, is fashioned from pattern No. 6055, price 1s. or 25 cents. Figure No. 11 B.—This attractive suit intended for misses’ wear is cut by pattern No. 6056, price 9d. or 20 cents, and it is shaped upon the same lines that characterize the ladies’ suit in “Gibson” style.


Bathing Dresses, from the Delineator, June 1906.

Fig. 1: 9299, in tucked style, with yoke.
Fig. 2: 9299, in shirred effect with fancy collar.
Fig. 3: 9309, with shield and sailor collar.

Figures 1 and 2: Princess effects are apparent even in bathing dresses, and a particularly charming mode is here portrayed in checked Japanese silk trimmed with plain satin bands, and in plain cashmere with black and white accessories. The knickerbockers are separate, and are of the usual formation, with darts and a shallow box-plait at the back removing all fullness from about the waist. Draw-strings or elastics are used for securing the legs at the lower edge.
The seven gores which shape the skirt continue to form the waist, and gathers or shirrings adjust the slight fullness at the top where a band or a fancy collar provides a finish. Shirrings or fine tucks that extend a little above and below the waistline may draw the garment in to the required size, and a back closing is arranged. A yoke or shield-tucker with standing collar is an optional feature, and the short puff sleeves may have cuffs adjusted over the bands that finish them. A body lining, consisting of backs and dart-fitted fronts seamed at the centre, gives support to the waist, and holds the fullness in place.
Pattern 9299 is in 8 sizes from 28 to 42 inches bust measure. For the medium size, it requires 7 yards 44 inches wide, each with 3/8 yard of goods 27 inches wide for yoke or tucker, and 7/8 yard for bands.
Figure 3: Here are depicted developments of a pleasing design in black satin with reliefs of white taffeta, and in mottled sicilian with no trimming. The blouse, which is in shirt waist style, has three tucks in box-plait effect at the centre of the back and at each side of the front, and short tucks introduced at the sides of the latter. The pattern allows high neck and standing collar, or open outline in square or V shape, a shield being inserted and a sailor collar added in the latter development. Full-length sleeves in sailor style are provided, and allowance is made for short puff and shield sleeves.
All superfluous fullness is eliminated from the knickerbockers. Inside leg and centre seams are employed, and buttons are used for closing. Elastics confine the legs.
Nine gores shape the skirt, and are joined to give the effect of box-plaits, extensions on each gore forming an inverted box-plait below each seam. A narrow belt serves as waist finish, and the skirt may close at the back or at the left side. The blouse may be attached to the skirt or to the knickerbockers, as preferred.
Pattern 9309 is in 9 sizes from 28 to 44 inches bust measure. For the medium size, it requires 7 1/4 yards 44 inches wide.

9309, fig. 1: with square neck and puff sleeves, fig. 2: with sailor collar and sleeves. 9299, separate knickerbockers. 9309, with shield sleeves and standing collar. 9309, sepatare knickerbockers.
The Delineator, June 1906

Gentleman's and Boy's Bathing Costumes

Wanamaker Bathing Suit Ad, Spring/Summer 1899

Butterick Men's Bathing Suit, Summer 1902

Butterick Boy's Bathing Suit, 11 years old, Summer 1902

Butterick Men's and Boy's Bathing Suit, Summer 1905

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