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Desire for Speed and Equality: Women's Olympic Swimwear in the Early Twentieth Century Open Access

Women's fashion during the years 1912-1936 developed along with advances in gender equality and women's participation in competitive sports. During this time, changes in the design of women's swimwear allowed female athletes to assert their emerging independence and enhance their aquatic performance. Referenced in this work are historical photographs, documents, books, articles, and consultation with representatives of the United States Olympic Committee to obtain information from their archives. Ultimately, this research investigates how the design and materials of early women's swimwear impacted aquatic performance and influenced acceptance of new fashions. This parallel between performance and popular fashion has not been fully examined by scholars. The intended audience for this thesis is able to refer to this work for studies in the history of fashion, sports, and the Olympic Games.

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