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Time Traveller: Check out the 'bathing dresses' women wore while swimming

How would you like to go for a swim in a wool outfit that covers the arms and legs and gets heavy when wet?
Swimsuits have definitely changed over the last 100 years.

Three unidentified women in “bathing dresses” alight from their boat to stand in the water. Typical of the time, their outfits are modest, covering their upper arms and legs with skirts down to the knee.

Prior to the 1930s, these suits were commonly made of wool, making them heavy with water when attempting to swim. In as short as five years, women’s bathing outfits began to show bare legs and arms.

The archival photo collection at MONOVA carries many photos of people swimming along the North Shore, allowing researchers to see how swimsuits have changed over the last century.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver, at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley, is open for drop-ins on Monday and by appointment Tuesday-Friday, 12:30-4 p.m. Contact:

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.