19th Century Bathing Costumes from Harper’s Bazaar

19th Century Bathing Costumes from Harper’s Bazaar

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Harper’s Bazaar is an American women’s fashion magazine, first published in 1867.

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…Since its debut in 1867 as America’s first fashion magazine, the pages of Harper’s Bazaar,  [were] first called Harper’s Bazar

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When Harper’s Bazaar began publication, it was a weekly magazine catering to women in the middle and upper classes. It showcased fashion from Germany and Paris in a newspaper-design format. It was not until 1901 that Harper’s moved to a monthly issued magazine which it maintains today. [source]

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Kristin Holt | 19th Century Bathing Costumes from Harper's Bazaar. Dec 19, 1885 HARPER'S BAZAR (BAZAAR) with Pattern Supplement, Fashion etc, currently for sale on ebay

Dec 19, 1885 HARPER’S BAZAR (BAZAAR) with Pattern Supplement, Fashion etc, currently for sale on ebay

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Kristin Holt | 19th Century Bathing Costumes from Harper's Bazaar. Ladies' and Children's Bathing Costumes illustrated within Harper's Bazaar, 1871. p46 of 1867-1898.

Ladies’ and Children’s Bathing Costumes illustrated within Harper’s Bazaar, 1871. Source: Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar, 1867-1898, p46.

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All 19th century editors of Harper’s Bazaar were female: [source]

  • Mary L. Booth (1867–1889)
  • Margaret Sangster (1889–1899)
  • Elizabeth Jordan (1900–1913)

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This cast of all-female editors is surprising, even for a magazine marketed directly to women. Roles such as this fell firmly in the domain of “men’s work.” Nineteenth century women, constrained by society’s expectations of female roles, seldom fit into the business world. The female realm consisted of Domestic Happiness… for as queen, she controlled the happiness at home.

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Bathing Costumes Illustrated in Harper’s Bazar [sic]

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Krisitn Holt | 19th Century Bathing Costumes from Harper's Bazaar. Turkish Toweling Bathing Cloak. 1881. Harper's Bazaar p. 127 of 1867-1898.

Turkish Toweling Bathing Cloak. 1881. Source: Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar, 1867-1898, p 127.

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Kristin Holt | 19th Century Bathing Costumes from Harper's Bazaar. Bonnet, slippers, hats, as part of bathing costumes. 1881. Harper's Bazaar 1867-1898 p. 126.

Bonnet, slippers, hats– all parts of a proper bathing costume. 1881. Source: Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar, 1867-1898, p 126.

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Kristin Holt | 19th Century Bathing Costumes from Harper's Bazaar. Beach and Bathing Dresses, 1885. Harper's Bazaar 1867-1898 p. 179.

Beach and Bathing Dresses. 1885. Source: Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar, 1867-1898, p 179.

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Kristin Holt | 19th Century Bathing Costumes from Harper's Bazaar. Bathing Costumes, 1892. Bath cloak. Harper's Bazaar 1867-1898 p. 244.

Bathing Costumes. 1892. Bath cloak. Source: Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar, 1867-1898, p 244.

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To see Victorian-era sales drawings (and vintage photographs) of bathing suits for ladies and gentlemen, please see my post: Victorians at the Seashore.

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Updated January 20201
Copyright © 2016 Kristin Holt LC