Well in the past, some cultures did wear nothing, like the Aborigines in maybe only a possum skin cloak. Maybe civilizations demand clothes, but the Egyptian and Cretan ones functioned quite well with the women walking around topless. Where is the tyranny?
It sounds like you want Edwardian standards of modesty. Maybe those ladies wore more to the beach than today, but in 1906 you know they would soon be living through the Great War, then a lethal flu, or not living. Just as we have today. So don't be so nostalgic for the past, it wasn't like you think it was.