Acting on a tip from Meggiecat, yesterday evening after a strenuous day of hiking around Vincennes (the one in Indiana), I sat down to do some exploring on Google Patent.
Meggie suggests you type "design" in the search field and go from there, but I decided to narrow the parameters a bit and typed in "design dress," "design sweater," and finally "design bathing suit."
The dresses were quite fun, and a couple of the evening gowns were pips (although one 1941 day dress with life-sized artificial chrysanthemums centered over the bust points would never have found it's way into my wardrobe). The bathing suits, on the other hand...
This one falls, I think I can safely say without fear of contradiction, smack dab into the "what were they thinking?" school of design.
Another mind-boggling number; can you imagine a live human female willing to be seen out in public in this?
And this one...oh my. To be fair, it is supposed to be a sunsuit rather than a bathing suit. I don't know whether the aesthetic is more Tarzan or The Last of the Mohicans.
This one, though...ah, this one makes up for them. You'd have to have the figure of a goddess to carry it off and I see buckles instead of the bows, but what a smashing, sexy suit.
Go play around on Google Patents (and tell Meggie I sent you!)