This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Bathing Suits And Trunks. Bathing "trunks" are usually made of knitted cotton or worsted, and shaped to cover the loins and trunk of the body. Bathing "suits" are of various shapes and made of many materials. Surah silk of thick quality is used extensively. It is claimed that it does not retain as much water as flannel, and that it does not cling so closely to the figure. The medium quality bathing suits are manufactured of flannel and of a coarse wiry cheviot. The more modest suits are made with the waist and drawers in one, cut in continuous pieces or attached to the same belt; a seperate skirt reaching to the knees is then buttoned on to this belt. The drawers fall below the knees and are quite wide with rubber in the hem to draw them into shape. Jersey suits are also manufactured and these do not shrink. The waist and skirt are all in one piece in this variety, and the skirt is made full. The drawers are close fitting like equestrian tights and have stockings woven with them - but how and where they are fastened no man has ever found out.