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May 08, 1952 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1952-05-08

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History of Bathing Suit Styles
Shows Vast Yearly Change
Attached Bloomers, Knee-pants, Dust Caps,
Added Spice To Women's Swimming Attire

Plans for Formal Weddings
Present Problems for Coeds

Back in the days of 1886 wo-
men's bathing suits were of a style
the men enjoyed and made the
women annoyed.
An immodest suit could be des-
cribed as black silk, very short
skirt (above the ankles), very low
neck (not up to the throat) and
no sleeves. This creation was
doubly daring if worn with trans-
parent black silk stockings.
WOMEN ON the beach could be
heard to utter derogatory remarks
about this type of suit, and specu-
late on what the world was com-
ing to.
Nineteen years later the de-
mand for bathing suits had
hardly increased because most
of the women who swam, only
swam in salt water, and with
transportation as it was then,
very few people ever got to the
An advertisement of the 1905
bathing suit attire described one
number as "Ladies' bathing suit
with attached bloomers, made of
brilliantine. Has large sailor col-
lar trimmed with two rows white
cord and row of braid. Sleeves
trimmed to correspond. Detach-
able skirt, waistband trimmed
with rows of cord and row of
braid, trimmed around bottom to
correspond. Colors, black or navy
blue with white trimmings. Price
popular number went like this:
"Our one-piece best cotton bath-
ing suit, made like a union suit
(buttons over shoulder). It is like
an ordinary shirt and knee-pants.
but all in one piece, made in solid
colors and fancy stripes. Price.
Bathing caps had been in-
vented by that time and were
much more practical than to-
day's: "Bathing or dust caps,
made of pure gum rubber. These
caps are also useful as dust caps
when house-cleaning, etc."
Opposition to the new sort of
immorality, ushered in with the
bathing suit era, ran high. In
Atlantic City, New Jersey, a mob
hurled sand and insults at a wo-
man who ventured near the water
with a suit with a short skirt. She
was nearly frightened to death.
* * *
WOMEN'S organizations were
up in arms about the trend in

styles and didn't hesitate to voice
their opinions. On the other hand,
men kept their mouths shut and
their eyes open.
One editorial comment made
in favor of the new trend said
"Surely there is less impropri-
ety in displaying the feet and
legs as far as the knee, than in
furnishing such a general and
liberal exhibition as is to be seen
in the boxes on any good night
of the New York opera season."~
After 1915 the movies, spread of
sports, cult of the sun, and bath-
ing beauty contests all helped to
increase the demand for more and
more bathing suits with less and
less fabric.
* * *
statesmen banked a local business
promotion on a number of shape-
ly females in bathing suits with
prizes for the winner and publi-
city. It was an enormous success
and spread throughout the coun-
Small town women vied for
county honors, then state hon-
ors and finally one lucky wo-
man, armed with the prayers of
her folks, blessings of the mayor
and governor, and acclaim of
the newspapers went on to com-
pete for national honors. This
modern institution is with us
Fashion designers by 1925 nam-
ed thier creations "California style
bathing suits" and they had bare
arms, rolled silk stockings and a
mere knee-length pair of trunks.
One daring example was "Gin-
ger Rogers' two-piece effect suits,
backless and skirtless."
All this time, women had been
lowering their standards, but men
remained conservative as late as
1925. Not until then did men wear
short trunks, and the athletic
shirt worn with them came off
only when the wearer was in the
Handkerchiefs have behind them
a long history of varied uses. The
Empress Josephine set a fashion
by raising a pretty handkerchief
to her lips to hide, her bad teeth.
It was then in 1600 that handker-
chiefs came to be in the height
of fashion. In ancient Rome and
Greece hankies were used exclu-
sively by the men to wave them
at games and festivals.

With spring here and summer
approaching, many coeds are
thinking about the phases neces-
sary to create a beautiful wedding.
One of the first problems which
the modern bride faces is whether
or not to have a formal wedding,
and just what constitutes a formal
IF SHE PREFERS an informal
wedding, the bride is often in
doubt as to how her wedding can
be simple and still beautiful.
According to some authorities,
it isn't the amount of money or
the fanfare involved in a wed-
ding which make it formal, but
it is the traditional pattern fol-
lowed in time honored customs.
The formal wedding also has
certain dress regulations, which
include a full length bridal gown.
* * *
BESIDES dress customs, the
formal wedding includes engraved
invitations, an aisle canvas, bride's
cake, wedding photographs and
many other cherished sentimen-
All the plans for a formal
wedding may be extravagant or
they may be very simple and
still follow the beauty of tradi-
The degree of formality often
depends on the financial status of
the bride, the sizes of the imme-
diate families and the number of
guests which the bride wants to
include, as well as the bride's
* * *
FOR THE semiformal wedding,
there are certain changes in dress
and in the overall effect of the
The wedding ceremony is
usually between a highly formal
and the very simple type, and
the bridal gown is usually more
simple, though it may also be the
traditional floor length gown.
Semiformal weddings may be
held in a church or chapel, in the
home, club, or even in a garden.
Smaller, less formal engraved in-
vitations may be sent, and the
floral decorations should be simple
but still beautiful.
IF THE WEDDING is held in
the evening, the male attendants
may wear dinner jackets with
dark trousers.
Bridal attendants may be
dressed in festive but not too
formal gowns and usually there

are not more than three or four
attendants for an informal wed-
For many occasions, an informal
wedding is the most suitable.
AN INFORMAL bride may wear
a ballerina gown or a short day-
time dress with a small hat. In
spite of the dress, many of the
wedding traditions may still be
carried out.
Women Working
For Achievement
Of New Sun Tan
That smiling old sun is the most
popular guy in Ann Arbor these
days since the chief idea in every
coed's mind is to get a golden
bronze tan.
Working toward that ultimate
goal demands a lot of foresight. A
major question is the type of oil
to use that will block out the sun's
harmful rays.
** *
WHILE MANY students either
prefer the well advertised products
or don't use any lotion, others live
by their own concotions. A favor-
ite is baby oil with either iodine
by their own concoctions. A favor-
or salt water.
However, Irene Lansman, '55,
uses cocoa butter! She says, "It
is the best thing for suntans be-
cause it is a substance closest
to the natural oil of the skin,
and also it smells nice."
The job of sun bathing requires
more essential articles than the
average person realizes.
* *
NOTICING THE girls of Alice
Lloyd Hall hard at work, can see
sun reflectors made out of card-
board, cotton pads and dark glass-
es to protect the eyes and nose
guards. Also bathing caps are used
so that the hair won't dry out.
Comfort is another major fac-
tor, as old blankets and pillows
are strewn all over the grass. A
favorite position is to sit facing
the sun with the back against
a building or pole.
Of course books are always tak-
en outdoors along with radios and
decks of cards but they usually
remain unopened.
Why all this bother? Maybe the
men who are in favor of sun tans
for women hold the key to the

Picture Picture Cottons!
Dressy Cottons - Tailored Cottons
Cotton Co-ordinates
Dresses -- Blouses - Skirts
Jackets -- Shorts --Halters
Smarty Pants

-Daily-Maicolm Shatz
EVOLUTION OF BATHING SUITS-From the early 1900's to the
1950's taste in bathing suits has changed from the ridiculous to
the sublime. On the left is a popular number with bathing cap
designed for double duty-doing the household dusting as well
as bathing. In the center is the type of suit grandmother (or
father) wore for an active day at the beach. The style on the
right needs no explanation.
Academic Traditions Remain
The traditional caps, gowns and with closed sleeves which have
diplomas that symbolize gradua- square ends and slits to let the
tion have an ancient beginning, arm through.
dating back to the thirteenth and Full, round, open sleeves trim-
fourteenth centuries. med in velvet distinguish the doc-


Academic gowns take their ori-1
gin from the clerical robes of the,
ecclesiastics. Originally the long1
gown was civilian dress.
The hood, which at first had no
scholastic significance, later was
lined in different fabrics and col-
ors to denote academic ranks.
Today different types of gowns
and hoods are worn to designate
bachelors, masters and doctors de-
grees. The bachelors gown of black
worsted material has pointed
sleeves that hang to the knees,
while the master wears black silk

tors' gown of black silk. Sometimes
doctors wear a gold tassel on the
traditional square cap.
At universities abroad, academic
dress has uncierone little change
since the seventeenth century, re-
maining elaborately formal.
Diplomas also stem from ancient
days. The actual meaning of the
Greek word "diploma" is a doubled
or folded sheet of paper. To the
Romans it meant a passport or
license to travel by public post
and later came to designate any
imperial grant of privileges.

Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17
at the Student Publications Bldg.



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