Vintage Summer: Beach Scenes in Europe Before the Bikini


For many of us, summer is all about basking in the sun and having fun at the beach, with bikini-clad beauties and board-shorted hunks frolicking by the shore. However, it hasn’t always been the case. Let’s go back to the time before the bikini was “born” and see what beach scenes were like during the early 1900s!

Believe it or not, these are not vintage super hero costumes — the models were sporting swimwear in 1906. Photo via Mid-Century Love on Blogspot.

The sexy ladies' swimwear we're all familiar with was “born” in July 1946 and unveiled in Paris, causing such an uproar that a report even said, “Wearing a bikini actually ignited more cries of outrage and scorn than exploding an atomic bomb.” It was a truly explosive piece of fashion history, since many were not too keen on the idea of showing more skin than the bathing suits at the time were already showing.

The Library of Congress states on the Bathing Suit Law in the United States: “Col. Sherrell, Supt. of Public Buildings and Grounds … issued an order that bathing suits at the Wash[ington] bathing beach must not be over six inches above the knee.” Hence, we see Washington policeman Bill Norton measuring the distance between knee and suit on a lady. Photo via Retronaut

Now, here comes the part where we time travel even further back. The photos below were taken in European beaches between 1900 to 1919, with our bathing belles and beach hunks sporting swimwear that look hardly for swimming by today’s standards. By the 1920s, beach-goers, especially the ladies, started to shed their bloomers and swimming dresses and wore fitted suits like the ones pictured below.

Photos via Vintage Everyday

If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to check out Monochrome Seaside by LIFE Photographer Wallace Levison

All information for this article were sourced fromvia Vintage Everyday.

written by plasticpopsicle on 2013-07-30 #lifestyle #history #summer #black-and-white #retro #vintage #beach #lomography #1900s #analogue-lifestyle #swimwear

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