I think we can all agree that today’s swimsuits (which are often too revealing) are nothing compared to what our grandmas used to wear back in the day. Long before the teeny weeny triangle top bikinis took over the scene, our grandma’s generation rocked classic, modestly sexy swimsuits on the beach. Take a trip down the memory lane with these throwback classic swimsuits we wish would come back in style.
1. Vintage one-piece suits
A “Coca-cola” bottle-shaped bod was an obsession. Women’s love for huge bosoms, small waist, and full hips were prevalent back in the day. That said, classic one-piece suits designed to emphasize assets, camouflage flaws and create an hourglass shape were selling like pancakes.
The top often had a sweetheart neckline with a very snug, short skirt covering the front portion of the bottom. The top had support mechanisms like padded cups to boost the bust, and the rest was boned and fitted like a corset to cinch the waist. Some swimsuits also have zippers to cinch the suit at the back so they could be more form-fitting or form enhancing.
Ruchings were also commonly used, either on the sides of the swimsuit or down a panel on the front to hide unsightly rolls. Some fabrics have girdle-like stretch abilities.
2. High waist ed two piece bikinis
Although one-piece suits were preferred by the majority, two-piece suits were also admired. There’s not much of a difference anyway as the two-piece suits didn’t reveal too much belly. The bottom styles rose above the belly button and came all the way up to the natural waist. Modesty panels and boy-cut leg openings were commonly used. The tops were often strapless or with halter ties coming from the center
3. Bullet bra pin-up swimsuit
Bullet bras, or conical-shaped undergarments, were a thing in the 1940s and 1950s. Thanks to their adoration of Marilyn Monroe, women back in the day felt much more confident wearing something that’d make their busts look pointy rather than curvy. Apart from being a peculiar trend, I learned that conical-shaped undergarments actually have helped women in the earlier half of the 20th century obtain the “triangular look.”
4. “Halter straps and sweetheart neckline
Who says only skimpy string bikinis scream “sexy”? Women opted for swimsuits with sweetheart necklines and halter straps, which accentuate their beautiful shoulders and collar bones.
5. Skirted swimdresses
Flare for flair – If you want to look more feminine and flirty, then you may check out skirted swim dresses. These are basically one-piece suits but with flared or ruffled skirted bottoms. Not only they are stylish – they can also cover bottom trouble spots, like thick thighs.
6. Vibrant and fun patterns
There’s nothing more classic in the world of vintage swimwear than suits with clean lines and circles. If classic beauty is the name of your game, you can never go wrong with swimsuits with polka dots, stripes, and plaids.
They also loved eye-popping colors, like vibrant blue, red, and yellow, as well as quirky dress embellishments like ribbons, strings, buttons, and ruffles. These are playful and fun, without taking away the sexy feel from the wearer.
7. Decorative swim caps
Swim caps are designed to keep one’s hair covered when in and around water; to protect the hair from chlorine and salt damage. Swim caps first hit the scene back in 1883, after rubber was invented and only the elites were known to own the most ornate bathing or swim caps.
In the 1950s, it’s mandatory for women with long locks to keep their hair covered with swim caps in order to prevent clogging in the pool drains. Decorative swim caps, which put “fashion” in “function”, then became more mainstream. Back in the day, you can see swim
caps in a wide array of colors, shapes, and styles, including petal swim caps.
Author Bio: Ina Salva Cruz is one of the writers for Swimprint, a go-to shop for swimming enthusiasts, specializing in swim caps in the UK. While she’s fascinated in writing articles focused on sport fashion, health, and wellness, she swears to never give up pizza.