September 12, 2016 | Fashion History

Bathing Beauties

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Ever wonder what 25 cents could buy you in the 1920’s?  Well, for this minimal fee, bathers in Vancouver could rent a bathing suit at their favourite local public pool!  The names of each location were embroidered into the suits, and each pool had its own colour scheme!  Here is a child’s suit from Spanish Banks, and an adult size suit from the Kitsilano pool!

Although we’ve never met anyone who did this, (or has at least admitted to it) we’ve heard that many folks forgot to return their suits after their swim.  Apparently it was pretty easy to unpick the embroidery, thereby removing any indication of who owned your suit before you did!  A new bathing suit for 25 cents – tempting!  When the Park Board realized how many suits were not being returned, they began to stamp a park logo on the back of the suits.  (Apparently not too hard to pick that off either – so we’ve heard!)