You're At the Beach, Now Cover Up!

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2009 8:23 AM CDT
Women in the 19th century "sometimes put weights in the hems of their garments to make sure they wouldn't ride up," writes Paula Marantz Cohen. "If one drowned, one did so modestly."   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Being at the beach is no excuse for unseemly dress, writes Paula Marantz Cohen in the Smart Set, who found herself looking at '09's swimsuit designs and wishing for some outfits from '10—1910, that is. Not wanting to show off vast areas of flesh usually covered up isn't just female vanity, Cohen writes. It's "not about looking fat but about being naked."

Today's bathing suits are "absurd, wrong-headed garments," Cohen argues. The old-style bathing suits may look silly to some, but it's "a lot more ridiculous to see her thunder thighs and his man breasts," Cohen writes. "I should note that swimming is not the only activity whose outfits I find unseemly," Cohen writes. "I feel the same way about football and ballet."