Tag Archives: sportswear

A Stylish Stout Woman at the Beach, 1953

In the 1920s, makers of plus size clothing, what was then called “stoutwear,” invented different names and sizes for different kinds of larger bodies.  A big breasted figure with a relatively small waist was named a “stylish stout.”  It was … Continue reading

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At the Beach, 1940s

This almost looks like a staged photo for an older adult fitness magazine, if such a thing existed in the 1940s.  Perhaps, though, it was just evidence of a fun beach day among family and friends. Given the high-waisted pants, … Continue reading

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At the Beach, 1960s

Are they off on a brief vacation, or is this their retirement home?  Somehow I’m guessing the latter. I don’t think they could have achieved their well-tanned look in the course of a few days.  This is some people’s idea … Continue reading

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Summer at Martha’s Vineyard, 1950s

It is the wrong season for this picture, but I couldn’t resist since it contains some of my favorite elements—the many kinds of pants and shorts worn in the 1950s and a stark generational contrast between the old and young. … Continue reading

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Finally Fashion Forward?

I used to think that I was the only woman in America who didn’t wear jeans, but maybe that is changing.  The Washington Post recently featured an article on the decline of jeans sales during the pandemic. More and more … Continue reading

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Mismatched Pair, 1958

Before the summer passes us by, I thought it was high time for some bathing suits.  At first I guessed this might be a Mother-Daughter snap shot, but someone has helpfully written on the back, “Mother and Etta Doey at … Continue reading

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On the Road

When ordinary Americans began buying cars in large numbers, car camping became a popular pastime. The first club devoted to this leisure time activity was formed in 1919.  As we can see above, it was not just for the young.  … Continue reading

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Happy Camper

Did she go into the water with this suit?  It looks to be wool and mighty stretchy. In fact, maybe she knit it herself.  Note that the straps on left and right appear to be two different widths. The texture … Continue reading

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In the Swim, 1940s

It’s not easy to find vintage photos of older women in swim wear. Like me, perhaps many were adverse to pictures with too much skin exposed. But this smiling woman shows no such compunction. It’s hard to guess her age–her … Continue reading

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The Sporting Life, 1923

According to fashion historians, women’s participation in sports was perhaps the biggest engine driving the change to ever more casual clothing in the twentieth century.  Serious sportswomen wanted more range of movement than conventional clothing allowed.  Skirts got shorter, fabric … Continue reading

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