A recent project has been developing a timeline of bathing suits from the 1860s through the 1920s. From looking at the sales pages and such on the internet, it seems to me that such a timeline might be useful to people trying to place a date on older suits. I’ll be adding to what I’ve got here and will eventually make a permanent page on my long neglected Fuzzylizzie.com site.
For now, here’s a chronological view of sixty years of bathing suit styles, with date and source, but no commentary.
1864, Godey’s Lady’s Book
1865, Godey’s Lady’s Book
1871, Harper’s Bazar
1876, Harper’s Bazar
1881, Harper’s Bazar
1885, Harper’s Bazar
1892, Harper’s Bazar
1895, Le Bon Ton & Le Moniteur de la Mode United
1902, Sears, Roebuck Catalog
1911, Woman’s Home Companion
1912, Greenhut-Siegel Cooper Catalog
1917, Von Lengerke and Antoine Catalog
1918, The Delineator
1921, B. Altman & Co Catalog
1925, Bonwit Teller Catalog
I’ve chosen to end with the mid 1920s, as after that date there are many more resources for dating, and I want to use images that are firmly in the public domain. You can see there are some gaps, and I’m working on at least an example from every five years or so.
Putting bathing suits in a timeline really shows how fashion was followed, even in the water.