bathing costume & swimsuit

bathing costume & swimsuit


Maroon textured polyester knit jersey with deep front "key hole" décolletage, clasped between breasts with circular gold metal buckle and halter neck fastening with gold metal buckle depicting a ship's wheel; bust supported by dense foam cups, low, cut away back and cut-away leg holes; crotch and halter strap lined white nylon jersey.

Display Label

This swimsuit in textured maroon woollen jersey features a revealing keyhole cut-out at the front, to show off the wearer's cleavage. During the early 1970s, it became far more common to flaunt previously taboo parts of the body and for women to wear extremely minimal beachwear including skimpy bikinis and cut-away swimsuits. For the first time, and very like today, a woman's cleavage, mid-riffs and thighs became frequent sights at the beach, shocking the old-fashioned and often leaving little to the imagination. This outfit is cut particularly low in the back and allowed the wearer to tan without white lines formed by straps, as it was still socially risque to sunbathe topless on most British beaches in the 1970s. Society has moved to a greater liberality and freedom since then, but even so, many female sunbathers still fight shy of appearing topless in public.

Object Name

bathing costume & swimsuit

Date Created



Length: 69cm
Bust: 76cm

accession number




© Manchester Art Gallery

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