I have always had a secret love for vintage bathing suits. I love the style of the ones in movies like Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and of course Ms. Monroe's iconic swimsuit. I like the modesty of the suits, and the fact that it covers essential areas while flattering your figure and accenting your femininity.
But, who wants a fifty or sixty year old bathing suit?
I have a friend in Florida who is a photographer and makeup artist for non-traditional models. She captures the look of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, but with a modern edge. Think Dita Von Teese. I looked at some of her favorite designers and stores and found a few sites with the exact type of swimsuits I was looking for!
My absolute favorite was a suit from Pinup Girl Clothing aptly named The Marilyn. This one-piece suit is “a gorgeous, gathered, skirted thing of beauty that evokes old Hollywood glamour – and is designed to hold you in, and push you up, for an extremely sexy beach silhouette,” according to the product description. I bought it. We shall see if it holds up to its promises. (And girls, this is not your grandmother's “skirted thing.”) It comes in royal blue, bright pink, black, leopard and hot red.
Coming in second place, in my opinion, was a similar style with a halter top called The Bombshell. The neckline is more "plunging." The fabric on this suit is really beautiful. It looks like a thick silk.
The Betty has one of the more traditional mid-century look. It's a soft blue with white polka dots and is also a halter top. The site also has a lot of two-piece suits that are very flattering, but without all the strings and areas you have to keep tugging at.
Unique Vintage is another online store with great suits. They have a similar one to The Betty in red. It has less of a skirt and more of a low thigh-line. It also has the benefit of having a gathered side and is cheaper than the Betty. I might go back mid-summer and and get this one. Their two-piece version is even cuter.
Once you've picked out your suit, head over to Charming Charlies at the Avenue on Webb Gin. They have fanastic hats and accessories. Then, when you get to the beach, pool, or lake, don't waste time obsessing about your flaws.
The worst a person will think of you is, "hey look, she has cellulite." Woop-di-doo. People really only give you more than a second's thought if you are exceptionally beautiful or hideously ugly. Other than that, no offense, but you're just not on their radar.
So go out and enjoy yourself!