August 8, 2011

A lovely look at the history of vintage swimwear

Day 220 of Vintage 365


For various reasons (not being a jet-set millionaire definitely being one of them Winking smile), it's been a long time - far longing than I care to admit, actually, since I last frolicked around at the beach.

Chalk it up to poor health, living away from bodies of water, and a hectic life. Yet, these excuses really don't seem to cut it any more. I miss swimming a great deal (I'm very allergic to chlorine, so I can't use chlorinated public pools and Toronto, to the best of my knowledge, does not have any public salt water pools unfortunately), and wish dearly that I could blink my eyes, tap my heels, and suddenly find myself on a tropic beach somewhere gorgeous, the ocean lapping at my ankles.

Alas though, as the fan whirls in my ear and the constant rush of city traffic roars past below my balcony, I know that such a dreamy vacation is just that, a dream for the time being. Nevertheless, even if (like me) you're not en route to the Caribbean, Mediterranean or Riviera right now, a gal can still have fun thinking about what kinds of vintage swimsuits she's wear to the beach if she was suddenly standing in the sand.



For a quick, yet thoroughly delightful overview of the history of swimsuits as they evolved through the first decades of the twentieth century to help bolster your vintage bathing suit inspiration file, be sure to check out one of Glamourdaze most recent Youtube videos, a look back at vintage swimwear.

The styles seen in this lovely clip run the gamut from gamine to vixen. Some are relatively modest, others full-on pin-up girl worthy beguiling, leaving just a hint to the imagination.

All, however, share in common the fact that they are beautiful, well-tailored, elegant, becoming, feminine, and marvellously appealing. Whether you prefer one pieces of the 1920s and 30s, or go gaga for flirty 40s two piece suits, these examples of yesteryear swimwear are exceedingly easy to swoon over.

As I sit here, the hours of another beach-less summer day ticking past, I can't help but feel refreshed by this wonderful vintage swimwear video, which has made me even more determined to get to the beach next summer!

Whether you're diving into the lake every day, just get a few hours at the each summer, or have your own backyard pool to splash around in any time you please, I hope that you enjoy this charming look back at the history of bathing ensembles as much as I did. Here’s to hoping we all make to the beach a whole lot sooner than later! Smile


  1. Thanks for the fabulous video! Like you, I rarely go swimming but I loved watching this nonetheless. I've seen some vintage-inspired swimwear recently which I'm tempted by as I have an upcoming one-night stay in a hotel with a pool... but I know I'm unlikely to need swimwear again after that for ages! Is it worth it...?

  2. Hi Jessica,
    I have so enjoyed this video, thank you. I was a teenager in the 50's/60's and I was one of the lucky ones, my mum worked at the Jantzen factory and every Friday they had a sale day where they sold their costumes, towells etc which had minor faults, at a reduced rate to their employees. My mum used to regularly bring home new surprises for me and I was so well "dressed" at the beach, with an ever changing wardrobe of beachwear. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.