Imagine hitting the sand and surf on a scorching summer day and having to wear a dress, bloomers, and stockings, with just a sash at the waist to allude to the curves of your body. No wonder these early-1900s Coney Island chicks hiked up their skirts for the photographer. A girl’s gotta show a little skin.
Of course, guys also covered up at the beach. By the 1920s they could wear a tank suit with shorts, but it wasn’t acceptable for men to go bare-chested until the mid-1930s. Below, studly lifeguards showing off at Rockaway Beach.