Baring the Arms
Twenty years after it first appears the bathing dress middie bloomered begins to get squeezed out by a shortsleeved version of an earlier silhouette, the bathing dress longsleeved bloomered. The new silhouette, the bathing dress shortsleeved bloomered (aka BDSB), is established by 1890 and will remain a popular silhouette for the next twenty years (C189001, BB0120). Color is more abundant in these garments (LM0565, BP0610, PC0720, PC0920). Aside from baring the arms, the shortsleeved bloomered silhouette returns to conservative values, retaining the hose and shoes of the earlier period, as well as the hat.
It might also be said that its conservatism was contrasted against other excesses, including some very saucy pinups, discussed elsewhere.
Although the bloomers of the BDSB keep the leg covered, the legline of the silhouette does rise, opening up a second major erogenous zone, the calf. although it is still covered by a single layer of hose. As the skirt and pantaloons shorten, they play hide-and-seek together: shorter skirts with longer pantaloons, and longer skirts with shorter pantaloons. This is a game that will last for the next twenty years, and in the long run it will yield a net rise in the hemline. Everyone wants to know what is underneath (NYC1900A).
The Next Evolution
Two obvious direction are in site: eliminating the bloomers entirely, producing the bathing dress shortsleeved bloomerless. and augmenting this by eliminating the sleeves also, producing the bathing dress sleeveless bloomerless, and eliminating to bloomers.
There is also a relationship between this silhouette and the maillot skirted pantaloon.