Tag Archives: timeline

Bathing Suit Timeline

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


1909, McCall’s


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.


Filed under Proper Clothing, Summer Sports

1800 – 1869 Fashion Timeline

Several years ago I found this set of little cards, which show the progression of fashion from 1800 through 1869.  Starting with the Empire line, we can see its gradual fall and the rise of the crinoline, and the beginning of its descent.  My knowledge of the fashions of the 19th century is sketchy, so I cannot vouch for the complete authenticity of the illustrations, but I do appreciate the lovely drawings.

These are printed on watercolor paper and are hand painted.  Unfortunately, these were made before everyone became so aware of the dangers of acid in paper, and you can see the evidence of deterioration in darkened edges .

If anyone has a clue about when and why these were made, I’d love to hear about it.  There are no printing or clues other than what you can see on the fronts of these.  I’ve shown these in their actual size.

I’ve only chose about a third of these to show here.  The rest can be seen at fuzzylizzie.com.


Filed under Collecting