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1964-1965 swim shorts (1989.190)
1965-1969 swimming trunks (1990.8)

Increasingly during the twentieth century, parading in ultra fashionable swimwear along the beach has become as crucial as wearing functional clothing to swim in the sea. Socialising on the beach is now an important element of popular youth culture, so that swimsuits are now something to wear while being watched surfing, sunbathing or just strolling along the beach, and this is as important for men as for women. In essence, this is a typically contemporary marriage of fashion with practicality, so that the suitability of an outfit for an energetic pursuit is matched by its flattering and stylish properties.

These late 1960s swimming trunks made by Marks & Spencer in a bright Hawaian style print of olive-green and ivory leaves on cotton towelling exemplify the striking beachwear for men which has been popular for the last forty years or so. Swimming trunks in this style are as fashionable now as they were in the sixties; indeed, the popularity of retro designs means that these would not look out of place on a beach today.

Full item descriptions:

"bathing costume & swimming trunks" [1990.8], St Michael, Marks & Spencer
"bathing costume & swimming trunks" [1989.190], Jantzen

Related Themes:

Women's Swimwear Since the 1920s
Early Swimwear
Beachwear
Sports and Leisure