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Play Suit

Play Suit

Play Suit

Second half of the 1930s

Cotton

 

Beach outfits with wide, loose, pyjama-like trousers were well established by the 1930s. (See Related Items). However, the increasing enthusiasm for exposing the skin to sun and fresh air on holiday, whether for their health-giving properties or to acquire a tan, called for the more radical uncovering of the body that the playsuit provided.

This suit is printed in non-naturalistic colours with cheerful motifs, some of which relate to the sea. The joined bodice and shorts has a low back with shoulder straps crossing at the centre back (similar to contemporary evening dresses) and the matching bolero jacket has the broad shoulder line that would continue into the 1940s. Its faded worn condition suggests that it may have had more use independently of its partner.