Men's woollen bathing costume

Pat Evans remembers her father wearing this bathing suit. "During the 1940s my father Richard Robert (Bob) Evans wore this bathing suit when swimming at Rogers Road beach, Ohinepanea, near Te Puke. Many happy hours were spent by families, friends and neighbours at the beach." In 1910 men were wearing one-piece swimsuits, with narrow shoulder straps and mid-thigh shorts. Some more conservatively minded by-laws required men to wear V-shaped trunks over their costumes. It was considered indecent for men to bare their chest, and it was a struggle for men to discard their tops. "No shirts" was a hot magazine topic. In the late 1930s concessions were made and trunks could be worn – providing the navel was covered. Read more about wearing the colour black in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Black: The history of black in fashion, society and culture in New Zealand.


Credit: Garment loan courtesy of Pat Evans
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Garment type: Bathing costume
Material: Wool
Colour: Black
Label: Pacific Swimwear by Canterbury
Date: 1930s