The Bathing Dress Emerges
Specialized bathing dress silhouettes emerge after the 1850s in Europe. The seminal event is most likely the bathing dress longsleeved bloomered (casually the BDLB), detailed here, which combines a full dress with a hemline below the knee, and with bloomers covering the remainder of the leg and calf. Hose rise up to cover any remaining calf and the ankle, and the foot is shod. A hat remains a mandatory accessory (C1850A).
In terms of exposures the BDLB maintains full coverage, with only the face and the hands exposed. So in many respects this first modern "swimsuit" for women looks much like the street clothes of the Victorian era. None the less, the Victorian swimdress is a revolutionary garment: It is much reduced in layers, so that bathing in the ocean is actually possible. And although a corset may still be latent, the cumbersome bustle is gone.
Two similar silhouettes emerge from the BDLB, the unexpected bathing dress middie bloomered, and the more predictable, but somewhat later, bathing dress shortsleeved bloomered.