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September 8, 2022

30 Vintage Photos That Defined ’30s Swimwear

Since the early 20th century, swimming came to be regarded as a legitimate leisure activity or pastime and clothing made specifically for swimming became the norm. Since then, swimwear for women has become increasingly more scanty and form-fitting, and the use of high-tech materials has become more common.

By the 1930s, necklines plunged at the back, sleeves disappeared and sides were cut away and tightened. With the development of new clothing materials, particularly latex and nylon, through the 1930s swimsuits gradually began hugging the body, with shoulder straps that could be lowered for tanning.

Men were allowed to swim in bare-chest suits in 1936, and in briefs only at the 1948 Olympics. Take a look at these vintage photos from Steve Given to see what swimwear looked like in the 1930s.

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