The Roaring 1920s: Swimsuits Edition

Hello guys and gals,

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. 🙂 I know I did I got to take an actual break! I went to my husband’s family reunion, it was a nice getaway and it was nice to unplug. Today, we’re talking about swimsuits from the 1920s. My goal is to make this post short and sweet. 😉 I’m also including how to rock the 1920s vibe for the #retromodern fashionista so keep scrolling!

The 1920s is when men and women covered up their bodies and being modest was the main goal. During this time, women wore swim caps and swim slippers, which I think the later is a little overkill for my taste. Although, who doesn’t love a cute swim cap?! What surprised me is that the swimsuits of this time were made of wool (talk about itchy!) In the next decade in the 30s is when they made swimsuits with other blends such as Lastex (an elastic yarn)/wool blends which revolutionized the swimsuit industry.

Does anyone recognize this logo?

1920s Jantzen diver girl logo.

1920s Jantzen diver girl logo.

Above is the iconic Jantzen girl diver logo. Jantzen was the premier swimsuit maker of the time and during the beginning of the 1900s and in the 1920s, they only made swimsuits.

Below is a classic 1920s summer look complete with parasol, body-conscious swimsuit, and what looks to me like ballet swim shoes!

1920s Swimsuit ensemble!

1920s Swimsuit ensemble. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Scandalous Two-Pieces in the 1920s

Surprisingly, after doing some digging, I found that certain women rocked two pieces!  Women in burlesque and vaudeville performers wore two pieces, gasp!  A famous burlesque dancer during this time was Gypsy Rose Lee a Seattle native. She was also an actress and an author.

Famous 1920s Burlesque dancer: Gypsy Lee Rose.

Gypsy Lee Rose: Famous 1920s Burlesque dancer.

I couldn’t find a picture of her in a swimsuit but you can imagine for the time being a burlesque dancer was a risky career choice for a woman!

                                     Famous Vaudeville Performer

Josephine Baker was a famous Vaudeville performer for the St. Louis Chorus vaudeville. Unfortunately, she was 13 when she quit school and had to live on the streets. During this try time, Josephine was discovered on the streets because of her street dancing.  Fortunately, she was a success story, Josephine became famous and went to Paris in 1925.  In the 1950s, she was very active in the civil rights movement.

Below is Joséphine’s famous Girdle of Bananas outfit! Stunning if I say so myself. This was taken in 1926, the image was taken via Wikipedia.

STL native, Josephine Baker famous Vaudeville performer.

STL native, Josephine Baker in her famous outfit. 

How to rock the 1920s vibe today

Okay, we made it through fashion history.   Let’s move onto how to wear the 1920s vibe while hanging out at the local pool or beach. 🙂  For those who know how to sew, there are patterns on Etsy that you can buy.  I personally have no sewing skills, but will hopefully someday I will!

When I was searching for the 1920s inspired swimsuits I found the amazing website: Modcloth. I also consulted my all-time favorite retro/cool/vintage/handmade site Etsy. This site is amazing for people who like to rock the older styles with a modern twist. Definetly check them out.

Below are my favorite 1920s swimwear looks. Click the links above to discover even more retro fashion looks!

My first pick, is a super fun lavender polka dot 1920s style swimsuit from Mod Cloth.

modcloth_vintage_lavender_polkadot_swimsuit

You can’t go with this classic one-piece lavender swimsuit with polka dots.

My next pick is a 1920s inspired Peacock Swimsuit. This Modcloth suit is also offered in a curvy size!
modcloth_vintage_peacock_swimsuit

A super fun 1920s Peacock Swimsuit.

Finally, is one of my favorite swim accessories, a retro swim cap.  Below is the fun white floral 1920s swim cap found on HeadCoversUnlimited.
Buy on Esty. White floral 1920s swim cap.

You can buy this particular swim cap from HeadcoversUnlimited.

I hope everyone enjoyed this post as much as I did! I’m going to try to keep my posts a little shorter but still fun. Check back for more of my #retromodern style. Finally, keep a lookout for another fashion interview/guest blog post by the fabulous Burlesque Elephant.

Don’t forget to have fun with your fashion. 🙂

~Ruth

thatretroruth😎💜👍🏻

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