18 Fascinating Vintage Photographs Reveal What Women Wore at the Beach 100 Hundred Years Ago

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Before the 1920s, women’s swimwear was unwieldy and burdensome. A typical swimsuit had multiple layers of wool clothing meant to hide all exposed skin, however impractical. But as the 1920s progressed so did women’s swimwear — necklines dropped and sleeves disappeared into a single article of form-fitting clothing that allowed for some exposure to the sunshine.

Still, it was not uncommon to see police officers patrolling the beach with a tape measure for a surprise “modesty check.”

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