Library of Congress
Swimsuits of the 20th Century
Swimwear evolved during the 20th century, which began with heavy wool garments as the order of the day. Annette Kellerman, an Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville and film star, became famous for this custom swimsuit she wore beginning in the first decade of the 1900s. It was designed to allow for serious athletic swimming, unlike conventional women's swimwear of the period. The suit was considered indecent by some, and led to Kellerman's arrest for indecent exposure.