The Dress Silhouette Emerges
Around the turn of the century, after the sleeve has shortened to bare the elbow and forearm, the bloomers component of the swimdress is shed. By 1901, the bathing dress rises to the knee, exposing more calf, although again, it is calf which is not actually exposed, and still layered with black woolen or silk hose, or tights, least one appear coy and available (MM189510). Shoes and, to be proper, a hat, remain a requirement for the proper lady.
This silhouette is called a bathing dress shortsleeved bloomerless, or just the bathing dress shortsleeved (aka the BDSSBL). In its initial configuration, just after the turn of the century, it is the profile of the Gibson Girl (GG0150, GG0550), although it is also worn by less hourglass-shaped women (BB0110).
In structural terms the dress is less thick, mitigated partly by a change from wool to cotton fabrics, but the layering aspect of the bathing dress remains a major theme; one assumes it is worn over hose or tights (JS0810). It represents an obvious one-step evolution from the bathing dress shortsleeved bloomered.
Other characteristics include a sailor-like bob below the neck (ED1010), sailor-like trim around the collar and waist (LM10A5), and contrasting collars (BG1050). Black is the favorite color (JS0810, AC1080) but not exclusive (HK0710-34BS. PC0650, PC0710, PC0910, LM1075). The silhouette remains popular throughout the decade (PC1090).
Garters and Hose
Lacking bloomers, the upper leg is now unencumbered by the pant-like encasement and becomes more playful. In the hands of the naughty lady, the shorter skirt enables the top of the stockings to be flashed (TR189301). Sometimes it is a "careless" girl on the beach (PC0640), or a puff of wind (PC0712).
More explicit is the lady who doffs her shoes and hose entirely and goes wading barefoot. This "trend" is first popularized in the pinup postcard and other risqué imagery (NYC1900A), and migrates from the pinup (PC0880) to the real beach (SB0L10). This is another excellent example of the molting theory aspect of relative modesty.
The bathing dress shortsleeved bloomerless enjoys a prolonged popularity, lasting throughout the late oughts (1905-1910). It is congruent with its bloomered sister, and often shares the same stage with it, certainly in body, weight, texture and color (PC0920).