Sunday, August 16, 2015

Late Teen's Swimsuit

From the seller:

This vintage bathing suit with matching booties and storage bag belonged to my great grandmother Helen Rose Esser from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her daughter (my grandmother) was born in 1888, so I am guessing this swimsuit was from that time period. The lace-up booties were common in Victorian era swimwear. However, the swimsuit itself looks more like those from the 1900-1920 era, so my best guess is that is from sometime between 1880 and 1920. There are no labels inside the suit, so I don't know the manufacturer. It's made of a knit fabric (wool?).

The suit has some small holes, fading and wear associated with a garment of this age and is being sold as-is. Included with the swimsuit are the original matching lace-up booties, that have a "6" imprinted on the bottom. Also included is the original tulip-shaped fabric storage pouch that the suit came in. The bathing suit measures 18" from armpit to armpit.

Also pictured here are two photographs that are for fun/reference and not included as part of the auction. One, taken sometime between 1957 and 1959, is of a family friend wearing this bathing outfit in our backyard. The other photo is of Helen Rose Esser (pictured with husband Henry), the original owner of the bathing suit. I will include the portion of the cardboard box my mother kept the suit stored in, on which she wrote my great grandmother's name and year she guessed the suit was from. I will also include a scanned copy of the photos.
Thanks for looking, I hope this goes to a good home!

From Me:

There is a similar suit (with booties!) shown in the linked to page here. By the 1910's, swimsuits were going sleeveless. I seriously doubt great granny wore this and it was more likely her daughter that owned the suit. In all honestly, I'd love for bathing shoes to come back - walking across the hot sand is painful and then you never know what's in the water. I used to wear jelly shoes all the time at the beach for this reason. :-)

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