Sunday, March 22, 2020

Large Groups, Part 2 - Men in Bathing Suits

We start the G rated part of our double feature 
with this interesting photo of seven men on a beach.


  1. The men's belted swimming suit came into vogue in the 1920s, the tops of the one-piece getting briefer over the next decade with a detachable "topper" until the tops were abandoned altogether. There is a remarkable similarity in the swimming trunks of the mid-1930s and the early 1950s. Trunks became briefer in the 1940s owing to the material rationed for wartime and started to take on the higher cut with which we are familiar today but with rationing relaxed, the styles became more generous - albeit that modesty in the conservative 1950s became an issue. Trunks in Britain and Europe became very brief in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In America, the 1950s saw the belted trunk as well as the 1920s "box" cut which resembles today's "boxer brief" come into fashion. Both were still made of wool. This photograph features both cuts, the belted trunk identical to the 1930s. It is in fact very difficult to date this photograph from the swimwear alone. Given the hairstyles - which became longer after de-mob from the forces - I would plump for the late 1940s or very early 1950s.

    1. I have trouble dating this one, too, and I think your late 40's suggestion is as good as anyone will get. The war materiel rationing comment is spot on, and women's skirts became shorter as a result.