Vintage-Inspired Swimwear: 4 Retro Bathing Suits for this Season

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By: Pippa

There’s no doubt that swimwear has evolved since the mid 1900’s, mainly due to ever developing fashions, life style choices, cultural influences and society. But the classic, ultra-flattering, vintage chic style is back for another summer.

When we think vintage swimwear, those classic icons Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly immediately spring to mind, with their classic glamour and timeless elegance. And it’s this classic style that so many modern women are now trying to recreate, complete with an up-to-date take on the 1950’s Hollywood one piece.

These retro swimsuits often featured a fitted skirt sitting on the hips, a high and nipped-in hourglass waist, and a strapless or halter neck. Polka dots and bold stripes were also popular in these kinds of swimsuits, as well as colour blocking (usually white) along with various trims like belts, bows, and buckles. More fitted and modest in comparison to the ever popular triangle bikini of more recent years, it’s this chic modesty which is making a comeback. Women want to stand out in the summer, but for style, class, and elegance, rather than for baring it all.

This swimsuit above is what inspired me to write this article. What Katie Did have got it spot on again, borrowing the style and silhouette from the 50’s and 60’s while using modern fabrics, styling, and construction techniques. I love the all in one colour blocking and let’s not forget the element of ease…the one piece means you don’t have to think too much about what else to wear, it’s already all there for you!

With some more subtle elements of vintage swimwear, this S/S 12 Camilla and Marc Resort one piece swimsuit exaggerates colour blocking, while suggesting a high waist and sweet heart neckline.

Polka dots and strips are commonly seen in vintage swimwear, and Michael Kors has successfully brought them back in this in a brilliant sunshine yellow swimsuit from his S/S 12 collection.

Finally, Mama Maria uses clever tailoring to create a nipped in waist and pointed bust – very much the desired silhouette of the mid 1900’s. A Dutch swimwear company, Mama Maria, specialises in creating beautiful swimwear with a very vintage feel in nearly ever kind of colour and pattern.

One last note, the vintage come back is ideal for curvier girls, because those are the exact body types they were originally designed for. Remember, no one looks more fabulous than someone having fun, and in any one of these swimsuits, who wouldn’t be loving every minute?

What do you think of the vintage-style swimsuit look? Do you have any favourites?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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7 Comments

  1. Leah
    21/05/12 at 10:53

    Any idea on whether the Mama Maria suits have underwire? I adore them, but as a 34H I really can’t go underwireless. :(

  2. Amaryllis
    21/05/12 at 15:10

    Ah, I love the vintage style swimsuits, but all too often I find that my petite chest fails to fill the bodice. I have great hopes for the upcoming Kiss Me Deadly range though, and I was very taken with cute blue sailor pattern bikini’s from Fraulein Annie, on the Hepburn & Leigh website – with two different styles of top, one indicated as being more flattering for smaller chests, and the other as offering more support for larger chests. http://www.hepburnandleigh.co.uk/shop/brandproducts/FrauleinAnnie

  3. 21/05/12 at 16:57

    I’ve always LOVED the vintage swim suit styles, however I can never find one for myself when swim suit season rolls around! Most of the ones I find are too expensive and I can’t afford them o.O

    I quite love the style and shape of the first swim suit, but the yellow polka dot one stole my heart :)

  4. Tricia
    21/05/12 at 18:00

    Unique vintage has some awesome swimwear. I wish I did more swimming because vintage swimsuits are so much cuter than the modest ones today.

  5. Donnet
    21/05/12 at 21:00

    I love how these style bathing suits are coming back around. Call me an old-soul, but I feel like these styles and designs really flatter women shapes. Great post!

  6. liz
    25/10/12 at 21:55

    I love Albion. They do vintage swims– super high quality. http://thelook.today.com/_news/2012/06/22/12362326-the-13-cutest-retro-swimsuits-under-the-sun?lite
    My fave.

  7. tina
    19/02/14 at 17:37

    The only thing missing is the classic fabrics. Polyamide/Lycra, about the only type you can get today, is a really bad fabric compared to the vintage thick polyester ones. Just buy a vintage suit and use it for another 50 years. The new copies will be gone after one summer.

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