Great Grandmother’s Bathing Costume

This costume  (and other garments)  were given  to Market Lavington Museum by  the great grandson of the lady who wore them.

Swimming Costume worn by Florence Letitia Williams of Easterton Manor - about 1905We

The costume is certainly not the skimpy little things we might think normal today. A lady must keep herself well covered so here we have a costume with sleeves and a collar and even a belt on the top part and a length of leg on the lower part. The general style of this cotton garment might be called ‘sailor suit’.

We have met the lady who wore the costume before in these pages. She was Florence Letitia Williams, of Easterton Manor, but of Jersey in the Channel Islands in her unmarried life. She must have been accustomed to the sea.

The wasp waisted style of the costume (actually, it is about 25 inches around) was certainly appropriate for this lady, seen  in the photo below.

Florence Letitia Williams of Market Lavington who wore the bathing costume.

Another costume, although not identical, has many similarities with our new acquisition at Market Lavington Museum.

 

This one, found at http://www.corsetsandcrinolines.com/timelineitem.php?index=190007 , dates from 1905 so we think Florence’s costume was Edwardian.

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