Since the 18th century, going to the seaside to experience the restorative effects of salt water and sea air was a common practice. During the 19th century, holidays at the beach were not only seen as beneficial to one's health, but also as fun. Women who participated in these outings wore modest bathing dresses or bathing costumes that many times were not meant to actually swim in, but rather as a more comfortable alternative to the many-layered ensembles of the period. They were worn while walking along the shore or romping in the shallow waves, and were often made in materials, such as the taffeta of this ensemble, that would be ruined by the water. However functional a bathing ensemble appeared, bathers were still required to wear elements such as a corset and stockings to remain modest. This particular fashionable bathing ensemble comes with two headwear options that would protect the wearer from salt water and sun.