This little advertising brochure is from Edwards Department Store in Rochester, New York. It was “Rochester’s largest popular priced store.” By popular priced they did not mean cheap; they meant moderately priced. There is no date on the folder, but judging from hairstyles, skirt lengths and clothing details, my best guess is 1940 or so.
Two piece swimsuits were just coming into being in the late 1930s, and they were quite daring.
What’s really interesting is the wide variety of bathing suits that had become available by the end of the 1930s. Suits were being made from woven cottons, like the middle one pictured, and were a lot like very short dresses with bloomers.
Lastex was added to both woven and to knit fabrics to give shape and a bit of control. And for the traditionalist, wool jersey suits were still available.
The sports shop featured both slacks and shorts. On the left is a blue denim overall. These were very popular during WWII as many women went to work on farms and in factories.
The playsuit was a versatile, if inconvenient at times, garment. Wear it with the skirt on the street, without it on the tennis court.
Click each photo to see an enlarged view.