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Sportswear Workshop ~ Part 1: Intro and Bathing Suits

Discussion in 'Sportswear 2008 by Fuzzylizzie' started by fuzzylizzie, May 30, 2008.

  1. dorotheascloset

    dorotheascloset Registered Guest

    There is TOO TOO much fabulous eye candy here!!!!

    I wanted to add a few cool suits I've had or have over the years. This is a very early 50s (maybe late 40s given its source) bikini from Port-Cros, France.




    Plastic bag/sleeve it came in...


    A photo of Brigitte Bardot on her first appearance at the beach in Cannes, circa 1953 (same lines, same top, only missing the cut out detail at hips!)

    A late 60s paper polka dot bikini in its original plastic sleeve, by "Candy Wrappers" (love that name!)....



    Catalina 50s swimsuit with a risque "naughty birds" print!



    And while not mine and I WISH it was!!! This is a two-piece bathing suit worn by Lois Nelson of Racine, Wisconsin, c. 1947. designed for Catalina by Elsa Schiaparelli, now in the museum of the Wisconsin Historical Society...pic is a clickable link to the site w/ some great info on Catalina...love that last picture of Lois wearing that racy, ruffly red suit to gather cranberries!

    Would that I could find a picture of Schiaparelli's swimsuit & cover-up with the hand and rose from the film "The Women"!

    I forgot this one, new-old-stock DeWeese 70s swimsuit that a friend of mine stumbled upon 50+ of in a back room at a shop in Florida!! One of them sold to the show "Swing Town" and should be seen on said show soon....


    Thanks for doing this, Lizzie!

  2. glamoursurf

    glamoursurf Alumni

    Absolutely you can borrow the ad Lizzie!
  3. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Accessories, starting at the head:

    In early photos and drawings, you see a variety of headgear, including hats, scarves and mobcaps.


    By the 1910, there were caps made from oilcloth (like mine below)

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/plaidswimcap.jpg>

    In the early 20s, rubber was being used, but it was usually covered in fabric. This one is a silk jersey with a rubber liner.

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/20sbathingcap.jpg>

    Here's a fan showing a swimmer wearing a similar one:

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimphotos/fan1920s.jpg>

    By the late 20s, caps made from all rubber show up in photos:

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimphotos/1920sbather.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/magazine/pendleton.jpg>
    Don't you love that Pendleton ad!

    Molded rubber caps were commonly worn from the 30s into the 1960s. Some pools had rules that women and girls must wear caps. Those rules died in the 1960s when many boys had hair longer than the girls!!

    I find rubber caps really hard to date. The color is sometimes a clue, and look inside for patent numbers. They were always trying to invent a better seal.

    I have a few caps that I know the dates of because of the packaging. I'll get them photographed and posted later.
  4. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Ang, I posted a link to your French bikini sales page. It is pretty awesome! I've got our order in: a Schiap for you, a Dior for me!

    Thanks, Pam!
  5. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Cover ups

    Beach capes were actually around in Victorian times. I'm not sure how common they were, but I've seen them in fashion prints.

    They were THE cover-up of the 30s, which yours is, Lynne. they lasted into the 40s, but were not as popular. Here's a little one in my collectiom:
    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/40schenillecover.jpg>

    In the 1920s, beach blankets and shawls were big. See the above Pendleton ad.

    By the 40s, beach cover-ups were very much like bath robes, but shorter

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/salesimp3000/simp3592.jpg>

    And by the 60s, they were usually sleeveless:

    <img src=http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e270/fuzzylizzie/maryann/ma5483.jpg>
  6. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Mary, the illustrations for that story are a hoot!
  7. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Beach totes

    Great straw totes from the 50s-70s are fairly common, but totes have been around for a long time. My favorite is one I bought from Jody a couple of years ago:

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/30sbeachtote%20001.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/30sbeachtote%20002.jpg>
    Isn't that great?!

    And I just found a nautical themed one from the 50s last week:

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/50sbeachtote%20001.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/50sbeachtote%20002.jpg>

    These are actually pretty hard to find. Many are rubberlined and the wet swimsuit in contact with the rubber tended to shorten the life of the bag. I'm always in the market for them...
  8. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Jonathan, feel free to correct or add to!


    Until the middle of the 1920s, bathers usually wore stockings, and so they also wore shoes. Early bathing shoes were made from canvas and commonly had ties or were like high top boots that laced.

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/swimboots.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/bathingslippers.jpg>
    ad from 1905

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/bathingshoe%20002.jpg>

    As swimsuits became smaller and tanning became fashionable, women did away with the stockings. This photo of bathing beauties from the early 20s shows only a few of them with stockings:

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimphotos/1920sbeauties.JPG>

    During the 20s, many women began wearing sandals for the beach, though bathing shoes were still worn. But they were now made from rubber, like the ones Pam posted above. I don't have a pair, but I do have the box:

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/box/usrubber001.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/box/usrubber002.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/box/usrubber003.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/box/usrubber004.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/box/usrubber005.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/box/usrubber006.jpg>

    There were also sandals made from rubber:

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/usrubber%20001.jpg>

    The last gasp for beach shoes ( until their re-incarnation in the 80s) was in the early 50s.

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/bathingshoes%20003.jpg>
    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/swimsuits/bathingshoes%20002.jpg>
  9. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    I want everyone to feel free to continue to add to this thread over the next few days. I can never get enough of vintage bathing suits, and I hope you enjoyed a bit of the background.

    Tomorrow, I'll continue by talking about gym and camp wear.

  10. wyomingvintage

    wyomingvintage VFG Member

    What timing.
    I'm not quite sure the exact era of this childs suit but I think the 20s.

    <img height=400 src=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v306/wyomingvintage/june/swim.jpg>
  11. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Yes, Lucy, you are right. How cute with the pocket and stripe!
  12. Luckysparrow

    Luckysparrow Alumni

    As a young designer from Texas, Tom Brigance grabbed the attention of the fashion world in 1940 when he introduced a line of gleaming white swimwear intended for “moonlit bathing.” His 1942 spring collection, titled “Marimba Rhythms” received enthusiastic attention in the fashion section of the New York Times. Advertisements from stores such as Lord & Taylor described the “spicy medley of impressions of Central America and Mexico,” that were, “In tune with your pleasure-bent mood when you relax from work and war duties for sunshine furloughs and interludes of fun.” After completing his spring collection for Lord and Taylor, Brigance joined the Army to fight in World War II. While on furlough in the fall of 1942, a reporter from the New York Times interviewed Brigance regarding soldiers’ impressions of women’s fashion.
    "First of all…men want their women to look gay; they don’t want them to have that war-time look. They want bright shades, colors that bring cheer. I believe that if girls knew how much it means to men to have them show imagination and taste in their dress they would be careful about their appearances when they go out with men in the service. If a girl looks pretty, it gives them something to dream about when they return to camp or to overseas."
  13. Luckysparrow

    Luckysparrow Alumni

    The Tillett brothers, (James and Leslie) were just two of the North American or European designers who produced fashions and textiles in Mexico during the 1940s. Tina Leser used their handprinted textiles in some of her designs during the 1940s. Through their shops, “Tilletts of Taxco,” the Tillett brothers sold their own textiles and resort fashions. Many Mexican citizens recognized James Tillett’s wife, Nieves Orozco de Tillett, as one of Diego Rivera’s favorite models. Photos of Nieves (often in swimwear) posed against exotic backdrops appeared in fashion magazines during the 1940s.

    Photo of Nieves wearing a swimsuit made of printed fabric from her husband's workshop.
    Harper's Bazaar, June 1944 p56.
  14. Luckysparrow

    Luckysparrow Alumni

    Vogue, May 15, 1940 p79
    Vogue, June 1945, p 118
  15. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer VFG Member

    Lizzie, this is delightful. Claire
  16. glamoursurf

    glamoursurf Alumni

    A pattern to make your own slippers... Again sold already, but I think this was late 40's.

  17. thevintagebungalow

    thevintagebungalow VFG Member

    This is so great Lizzie! I'm enjoying reading!

    I have this swim cap that I found at a local antique mall. Can you help me date it?


    Also, it has some discoloration. Is there anyway to clean it??
  18. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

  19. Laura

    Laura Alumni

  20. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG Vice President Staff Member VFG Past President

    Sensory overload! You have a wonderful collection Lizzie, and everyone else's additions are so great!

    So, how would these 3 pieces be worn? I have seen several sets (have one now even) with a swimsuit and a dress and I had the impression that the dress was along for the ride, but not a cover up--but now I see you have mentioned that a sleeveless dress would be a beach cover up in the 1960s.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    (Carol & Mary Honolulu by Kahala)

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