Why were bathing suits ever made out of wool?
In Australia, tiny mens’ Speedo bathing suits are called “budgie smugglers.”
The giggle-inducing nickname has been around since the '90s, and it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016! The name is thought to be a derivation of “grape smugglers,” also a hilarious name for Speedos.
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The first bathing suits for women were more like gowns, and they were made out of heavy fabrics like flannel and wool.
They were often worn with pants (or bloomers), hats, socks, and shoes. Unsurprisingly, the fabrics and accessories made it difficult for some women to stay afloat.
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And some women, including Martha Washington, sewed lead weights into the hems of their bathing gowns to prevent the skirts from floating up.
Sure, it ensured modesty, but it also definitely could've caused drowning, so was it really worth it?
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It was illegal for men to go topless on American beaches until 1937.
Freeing the male nipple was a long process in the US. In Atlantic City, lawmakers defended the rule, saying they didn't want “gorillas on our beaches.” Jantzen invented “The Topper,” one of the first mens bathing suits that allowed them to show off their chests, in 1932. It basically looked like an undershirt and shorts attached by a zipper.
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