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Bare facts about bathing suits

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By SALLY COWAN

What am I describing

“Made out of serge, alpaca or flannel in dark blue or black and usually trimmed with white braid with a fitted bodice, high neck and elbow-length leg-of-mutton sleeves.  Bloomers were worn under the knee-length skirt with black stockings and low canvas shoes.”

Again, what am I describing?

Answer: A bathing suit in 1890.

The reason I am writing this column is because what I saw the other day was mind-blowing.  I had to pull over to the side of the road, just to regain my composure.  I witnessed some young girls in what I would call naked suits. If they had been naked it would have been the same as wearing two bits of fabric and barely a G-string.  This was the kind of bikini of the French Riviera, producing an effect more naked than the nude figure. Young women, I know you have these cute little, tight bodies, but these postage stamp bathing suits are not becoming and certainly don’t send a clear message to the young men. These girls were standing in line to get some food and I don’t understand why they couldn’t put on a T-shirt and a cute wrap-around skirt.

In the 1920’s bathing suits were still accompanied by long stockings.  They disappeared by the middle of the decade and were replaced by a knitted woolen one-piece suit.  Now I realize these are two extreme examples but I saw the “almost nothing” example with my very own eyes.

Don’t you just love to go to the beach with your folding chair and just watch people?  It really is a also dignity that should be sewn into the label.  Commonsense, perhaps would be good to throw in with the suit.

Let’s enjoy the beach this summer by raising our expectations of one another and that way we can all enjoy the view.

About Sally Cowan (23 Articles)
After Keeping You in Stitches for over 45 years, Sally enjoys her memories of events that happened on her way to retirement. Author of 6 books, lectures, teaching, and TV host on PBS and now has time for her many cats and Snuggles, the dog. She also loves playing trumpet in the Anastasia Baptist Church orchestra.

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