The 1940s was a time when no one gave much thought to sunscreen and you could happily chain-smoke cigarettes and drink cocktails while you tanned, without so much as a thought to the health consequences. In 1948 the Senator Hotel in Atlantic City installed sunlamps in the ceilings so its patrons could tan, even when(…)
Er, I can’t claim to tell you much about these photos except that they were labelled ‘wet proof paper’ 1953. I have to assume that the bikini and beachwear are made from ‘wet proof paper’. Why, or what that is, and whether it’s suitable material for swimwear I have no idea. Sorry! If you can(…)
It was the lovely Armi Kuusela from Finland who won the first ever Miss Universe contest in 1952*, with Miss Hawaii, Miss Greece, Miss Hong Kong and Miss Germany in the runner up positions. Interestingly Miss United Kingdom, Aileen P. Chase, who was a runner up in Miss World the previous year didn’t even make(…)
We tend to think of 1950s swimwear as being the height of style and sophistication, and some of it WAS beautiful, but as you can tell by these photos some of the more experimental items of beachwear were more miss than hit! The giant puffy beachball look anyone?
It’s easy to get carried away and think that swimwear styles in the past was more beautiful, more elegant and more chic than those available today, but as these photos prove that wasn’t necessarily the case! The photo above, for example, is a gorgeous photo full of joy and laughter, but unfortunately those flimsy woolen(…)
Apparently some people prefer taking exercise on the beach rather than just lounging with a Margarita. I don’t understand it myself. It’s all very impressive but I’d be hanging out with that handsome guy in the bottom photo chilling out and getting a tan.
The sun is shining gloriously here for the first time in, well, what feels like months! Am I too early to start thinking about sunshine and swimwear? We’re at that longest point of winter where we all start dreaming about lounging on a fabulous holiday somewhere so I’ve rounded up my best vintage swimwear finds(…)
Christmas is hurtling towards us now. How many sleeps left? I think it’s 4 but I’m writing this before I’ve had my 2nd cup of coffee of the morning and I might be wrong. I should have asked my 7-year-old, he would have answered without hesitation! I thought I’d get in the festive spirit and(…)
If I was having my photo taken in wet woolen swimwear I think I’d close my eyes too… I know we all reminisce about the gorgeousness of vintage swimwear, and how it’s all more stylish and more lovely than lycra, but I think even a pair of tiny budgie-smugglers would be more flattering than these(…)
Chorus girls from the Theatre Royal on Tamarama Beach, ca. 1938. Photographed by Sam Hood. I’ve never been tempted to do acrobatics on the beach but it seems to be a common theme for vintage seaside photos! Is it just me?
Some very pretty 1960s bikini models running on the beach in Pensacola, Florida (1969). Aren’t they gorgeous?
This is something which I’m sure we’ll all find useful in everyday life! This amazing 1950s video shows a young woman learning to be a mermaid at Weeki Wachee. Her lessons include breath control, synchronized swimming, diet, modeling, announcing, and how to eat and drink underwater.
Beauty contestants at Tri-City Suncoast Festival: St. Petersburg, Florida 1962. Left to right: Tri-City Queen, Rita Mathies; former Tri-City Queen, Pinky Clough; Miss St. Pete, Marja Paulsen; Tri-City Princess, Sally Fuller; Tri-City Princess, Judy D’Angelo; Miss Clearwater, Marie Stragar and Tri-City Princess, Paula Reeves.
I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Vintage Swimwear Patterns: Historical Patterns and Techniques this week. It’s a fabulous book, and absolutely fascinating. It contains around 25 patterns for retro swimwear, ranging from the 1880s to the 70s. Each pattern has a photograph of the original swimsuit from which the pattern has(…)
Another beautiful Cole of California advert from the 1940s. I don’t know why more people don’t wear high-waisted bikinis, if this one is anything to go by they look fabulous! This ad was shown in The Californian, May 1947.
This photo was taken in Panama City, Florida in 1966. The model is Melody May. Fabulous bikini, fabulous view!
A gorgeous collection of 1950s swimsuits, photographed in Florida in 1959. Which is your favourite – I love the red and white one! Source and copyright: No known copyright restrictions
It’s tipping it down with rain here today and I’m sitting here with a living room full of new garden furniture which needs oiling before it goes out in the garden. Oh how I *wish* we had the weather to be frolicking in the surf like these 1920s girls! Isn’t this photo great? I love(…)