Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bathing Beauties

My friend Michelle, over at Tales of a Vintage Wardrobe/The Red Velvet Shoe (yes, the one who keeps sniping me here - and writing to tell me about it!) is trying to date this awesome vintage swimsuit she found just last week.   This got me thinking about some photos I had of vintage swimsuits, which, in turn led to this post.
The top pic has been in my collection for quite some time.  I just love the playfulness of the photo!  I believe it dates to the Edwardian period, perhaps into the next decade.  I think the girls are at a boarding school or college.  I lost one corner along the way (sure I have it somewhere) but it still has charm.  I think I also have a pic showing the same girls from the front but this one is the best!   The photo above, I believe dates to about the same time period.
This girl looks very 1920's to me with that bob and the cut and style of that great plaid suit!
The time period on this one looks very early to me, but it is hard to tell.  I love the action of the surf and the people holding onto the rope!  I wish I knew exactly where this was taken and if the rope was designed for the purpose shown, or, if these people just took advantage of it to dare to wade in some spectacular waves!
We are into the 1930's now and  Oh Boy!  Will you just look at those guys' swimsuits!
I love how people at the beach in 1939 look exactly the same as people at the beach today!
Look at this group of bathing beauties!  Look at those embellishments to their suits!  What a fashionable lot!
These gals look like best pals!  We may be heading towards the 1940's here...
This attractive couple came from an album I have that is dated 1944.  I believe, somehow, this guy has actually returned from the war at this point.  They are quite the couple!
I can't recall where or when I found this photo but I think it is clear why I had to have it!  It is priceless!  What more can I say?
Michelle's post also clued me into a site that I had not been previously aware of.  It is called Glamoursurf and is simply the best collection of vintage swimsuits for sale, and, references for dating vintage swimsuits I have EVER seen!  Really, it is worth a visit as the place is amazing!  The pic above (click to link!) is for a fantastic NOS Catalina swimsuit new with the tags!  In the listing they even show vintage advertisements from 1944 for the same suit.  Impressive!  Not all suits are as pricey as the one I chose to share, take a look!
As always, Etsy is a fantastic resource for some great vintage suits.  Check out this awesome newly-listed number above in a very wearable size from chicvintagevixen.  (PS: She has more...)
This beauty is a Rose Marie Reid (See Glamoursurf for details on the influence of THAT woman on vintage swimwear!) also offered on Etsy by LipstickWhiskey
I think that vintage swimsuits in good condition are more typically found out on the west-coast, but, I did manage to find this little 1950's/1960's  swimsuit romper in slightly faded but clean condition here last year.  It is still for sale at my shop so stop by and check her out!


  1. The few times he went to the beach in the 1950's my father wore one of those 1920's woolen suits with the chest covered like the guy is wearing in your 1930 era photo. Straps and all. I also recall the thing had moth holes in it.

  2. great great post!! The embellished lot is my fav, and the cute gils turned back (how cheeky of them). I linked this post on my blog today too. Thanks so much for sharing these photos!

  3. Love the yellow suit - this is something that Fiona has been looking for. She was commenting on how she has the old style body type (as shown in your photos)which modern bathing suits does not suit. I'll have to show her this particular blog!


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