Bathing Suits

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women suit history of bathing
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The history of bathing suits

Bathing suits are a convenient form of clothing worn by men and women while they swim. They are also now called swim suits. It is interesting to see the immense variety of bathing suits that are available in the market. There are those that are completely conservative concealing the entire body, and then there are those that are incredibly sexy and revealing. There is not much of a restriction on women now to choose what they wear while they bather. Bathing suits are ofcourse available for both men and women, but for men the bathing suits has always been a simple pair of shorts or trunks. However, for women it has been totally a different sort of situation. For many years women had not even been allowed to bathe on beaches because of the exposure they were indulging in. The bathing suit has an interesting and a very long history, let's have a look at it.

The bathing suit can be traced back to more than 2000 years. There have been traces found of bikini style bathing suit dating back to 300 B.C. Many mosaics have been found with women wearing such bathing suits, bathing in the royal public baths. In the ancient France and England there had been trends of public bathing. There were public baths where men and women bathed frequently and it was an increasingly popular trend. As the years passed modesty took over and women stopped taking part in water sports or public bathing activities. Only men participated in such activities.

Before the 18th century modesty was the decorum to be followed, and women cared more about hiding there body, rather than the ease to bathe. In the early 18th century women were known to wear full length gowns when they went to the beach, their skin was to stay untouched from the rays of the sun so their complexion stayed white. They even sewed small weights into the hems of their gowns so they wouldn't be lifted by the wind and reveal their legs. There was no concept of a bathing suit for women at all. By the mid 18th century the bandwagons became popular and more and more people crowded the beaches to spend their leisure time. There was a bathing machine especially created for women, which was a small cabin that was led by a horse into the sea. In the cabin the woman changed into a bathing suit. Jumped into the sea to bathe and then went in the cabin to change when she was done. This way the modesty of women was protected as they bathed away from anyone's eyes.

The 19th century saw the revolution in the bathing suit. In the early 19th century women wore knee high dress with black stockings and shoes. The body was still fully covered, but when the dress became wet with the sea water it became quite heavy to handle. 1907 saw the arrest of the swimming star Annette Kellerman for appearing in public in a one piece bathing suit and exposing her arms, legs and neck to the public. She was charged with indecent exposure. Such a violation of rights can not even be imagined today, but then that point became the start of a revolution in the bathing suit history. Soon the one piece, skin-fit bathing suit was in fashion. Women started to participate in water sports in the Olympics. Convenience won over modesty. In order to swim women needed to wear a bathing suit which made it convenient and did not weigh them down while they were in the water. The 1940s saw the first glimpses of the bikini, which is the two piece bathing suit. It was completely light and did not cause any hindrance while swimming and it was totally fashionable. Also, sun bathing became very popular and women wanted to expose their skin to the sun so they would tan.

Since the ancient times the bathing suit has now evolved into a two piece bikini, which is the height of fashion. Yet there are many places in the world where still women prefer the one piece bathing suit because of the need to cover more of their body while swimming. Those are religious and cultural consideration imposed on women.

Now, women are capable of taking their own decisions and they decide what sort of apparel they want to wear. The bathing suit has evolved over many, many centuries. The public bathing activity is still as popular as it was more than 2000 years ago.




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