Looking back over a decade of changes in seaside style ; The 1920s and 1930s marked a decade of change, fun and innovation in seaside fashions.... [Hull Daily Mail (England)]
(Hull Daily Mail (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Looking back over a decade of changes in seaside style ; The 1920s and 1930s marked a decade of change, fun and innovation in seaside fashions. Reporter Lucy Leeson finds out more
IN THE 1920s and 1930s, holidays abroad were the preserve of the wealthy and a holiday at home was the only option for most British people.
Seaside resorts such as Bridlington, Hornsea and Scarborough marketed themselves as being able to offer the glamour and sophistication associated with continental destinations. A trip to the seaside did not just mean a dip in the sea, fish and chips on the beach or building sandcastles with your bucket and spade.
The 1920s and 1930s saw a decade of change when it came to seaside fashion.
A new exhibition at Beverley's Treasure House highlights how women sported a cloche hat and slave bangle - the height of fashion, while men wore sporty plimsolls with their suits to mark their holiday and relaxation. Curator Sally Hayes said: "The exhibition shows an innovation in seaside fashion.
"Fabrics became more colourful and styles more adventurous.
"This exhibition showcases those changes with the objects we have on display."
Items on display include an original Jantzen swimming costume from the 1920s; an original picture of the first Miss Bridlington Betty Salmon, who modelled for an advertising campaign to attract people to Bridlington; and a replica of a paper umbrella women used to shade them from the sun.
Ms Hayes said: "This is an exhibition for all ages.
"Young people interested in retro fashion will particularly like the different styles the exhibition shows.
"Older people will be able to reminisce about their trips to the seaside."
The 1920s saw a huge increase in the popularity of swimming. This was demonstrated by an increase in the number of swimming pools and clubs.
At the start of the 19th century, women's costumes were for "sea bathing", the term used for standing in the sea for therapeutic purposes.
The costumes were typically dark, kneelength dresses worn over bloomers.
The move away from bathing towards active swimming demanded a new style of clothing and American company Jantzen was the first manufacturer to use the term "swimming suit".
Ms Hayes said: "The new one-piece swimming suits were made of light-weight material.
"We are lucky enough to have an original Jantzen suit for people to see."
For women, the cloche hat, which fitted over fashionable hair cuts such as the "Eton Crop", was a must have on the beach, as was the slave bangle. The slave bangle, a close fitting bangle, was worn on the upper arm. The fashion for dresses that revealed bare arms added to the bangle's popularity. The men could get away with wearing their usual suit and shirts on holiday, but heavy work boots were out of character on the beach.
The fashion must-have for the gentlemen was a pair of sporty plimsolls, which gave them an instant sporty look.
During the 1920s and 1930s, British resorts such as Bridlington marketed themselves as being able to offer the glamour and sophistication associated with Monaco, Saint Tropez and Cannes.
Seaside towns would produce annual visitor guides, and the copywriters were not shy in promoting what the resorts had to offer.
Designers often used images of people rather than places to market their resorts.
Holidaymakers would be shown wearing fashionable summer clothing rather than workaday styles.
In 1933, The Spa Bridlington marketed itself as a glamorous, adult space with solariums and palm courts.
Advertising campaigns, designed to attract people to the East Yorkshire coast, featured in cities such as Nottingham and Liverpool.
Ms Hayes said: "As well as the fashion, it was important that resorts marketed themselves to the rest of the world.
"We have been lucky enough to secure the advertising booklets they used from the Bridlington Local Studies Library."
A holiday to the East Yorkshire coast was also an opportunity for families to spend time together.
These moments were captured on the beach by local photographers.
Ms Hayes said: "The nature of photography changed in this decade.
"Formal portraits taken in a studio went out of fashion. Instead it became more popular for families to have their pictures taken using hand-held cameras."
Photographers on the beach would take spontaneous pictures of holidaymakers.
In Bridlington it was the company Snaps that cornered the market.
Unlike holidaymakers using their own cameras, Snap would make sure all members of the family were included on the photographs.
A selection of pictures taken by Snap workers is on display at the exhibition.
. ? Get Set For The Seaside: 1920s And 1930s Seaside Fashion runs until July 5. Admission is free.
Follow Lucy on Twitter @HDMLucyLeeson
Fabrics became more colourful and styles more adventurous Curator Sally Hayes
We are lucky enough to have an original Jantzen suit for people to see Curator Sally Hayes
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