Apart from the elite, most Thai women went topless until the early 20th century.
Thailand’s guardians of culture will go beyond offering discounts to people wearing period costumes and draft schools in their effort to make it a popular thing.
To fan the flame of a small trend of people posting photos of them wearing period costumes, the Ministry of Culture Culture said it will ask the Ministry of Education to encourage university faculty and students to wear “traditional Thai clothes.”
The goal seems to be having everyone dressed up like extras from a Naresuan film to fulfill some fantasy of a Return to The Way Things Were.
Or weren’t, in this case.
A contemporary version of how Thai women supposedly dressed through the ages – if they had red hair, enormous eyes and a timeless supply of skin bleach. Photo: Mindmelody
Before Thailand’s military government, allied with imperial Japan, compelled all women to cover up with 1941’s “Mandate 10,” traditional clothing would mean boobs. A lot of boobs, as was common at the time, at least for the masses.
Like these boobs:
Photos: Photograph Album of Siam 1900, Cornell University Library
Or these of unknown provenance found in a Pantip.com thread discussion:
Given the ministry's troubled relationship with boobs, it's unsurprising they were ommitted from examples offered by state media announcement of the coming August campaign.