Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sea Bathing 18th Century Style

This summer, we have an event coming up that involves creating sea bathing attire. Now, here comes the problem…. Most of the research I’m finding shows people in the 1790’s, which is my particular era, sea bathing nude. I have found a few examples of women bathing in chemise-like garments, but not many. Here are a few pics for inspiration and I will post more as I find out more on the subject. 0ad7ded3e42b1d0f953c44257552

Here you can see why bathing machines were so important. They offered privacy for taking the waters :)

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1813 Sea Bathing… This time, the women are actually clothed.

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And more nudes in the water :/

So, have any of you come across examples of interesting sea bathing clothing from the Regency???

5 Witty Sentiments:

Melissa said...

I seem to recall a scene from a Jane Austen movie where ladies were in Bath taking the waters. They had little trays around their necks with what appeared to be herbs laying on top which I assume would release their aroma when hit with the heat and steam from the baths. They appeared to be clothed in dresses closely resembling their outer attire but much flimsier than their actual dresses. Same style and design but maybe in a cotton fabric. The movie may have been the older Sense and Sensibility (but not entirely sure). Good luck!

Kleidung um 1800 said...

I'm afraid I'm of no help here (tried to raid websites in German, but to no avail), but I just wanted to let you know, how curious I am about this project. Can't wait for your research results.
Good luck on this project!

Sabine

Isis said...

I have looked into the subject too, but as far as I've found, there wasn't anything that we would call a bathing suit back then. You bathed in your chemise, or a garment looking like a chemise but in coarser linen. My assumption is that a coarser fabric wouldn't be as seen through as one in fine linen would.

I guess there wasn't really a need for a special garment as you took to water as part of a health regime, so you dipped yourself rather than swum. :)

Barbee said...

Mount Vernon has a checked bathing gown that belonged to Martha Washington. http://www.wtop.com/41/2881785/A-First-Ladys-burden-Martha-Washingtons-bathing-suit. I think this was meant to be used the hot water springs (like the 1830s bathhouse at The Homestead) but it's something period anyway. :)

Unknown said...

I just wanted to let people know that the scene described by the first person is of bathing at Bath (in the mineral waters), and it's from the 1980s film NORTHANGER ABBEY.