The Roaring 1920s: Swimsuits!

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Hello everyone,

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 get away, which is rare for me(any who). Today, we will talk about swimsuits from the 1920s. My goal is to make this post 500 words or less. 😉  Also, I am including how to rock the 1920s vibe later on, so keep scrolling!

The 1920s, is when men and women had to cover up their more of their bodies and modesty was really important.  Women even wore swim caps and swim slippers, which were a little over kill for my taste! Although, who doesn’t love a cute swim cap?!  Believe it or not, the swimsuits during this time were wool. Later, in the 30s(after doing my homework) is when they made swimsuits with other blends such as Lastex/wool blends which changed 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.com.

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.

Famous 1920s Burlesque dancer: Gypsy Lee Rose.

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.

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

Below is her famous “Girdle of Bananas” 1926 Joséphine pictured in her most famous outfit – the legendary ‘girdle of bananas’. Via Wikipedia.

STL native, Josephine Baker famous Vaudeville performer.

STL native, Josephine Baker famous Vaudeville performer.


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 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. Check them out!

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

1920s Purple swimsuit with polka dots (my favorite).

Mod Cloth-Purple Swimsuit

!920s Mod Cloth. Lavender swimsuit with polka dots.

1920s Lavender swimsuit with polka dots.  By Modcloth.com.

1920s inspired Peacock Swimsuit. This Modcloth suit is also offered in a plus size!
Mod Cloth: 1920s Peacock Swimsuit.

Mod Cloth: 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 Etsy. 
Buy on Esty. White floral 1920s swim cap.

White floral 1920s swim cap. Buy on Esty.com by HeadcoversUnlimited.

I hope everyone enjoyed this post as much as I did! I am going to try to keep my posts a little shorter but more fun! Stay tuned for more of my retro style, with a twist of modern thrown in.  Also, keep a look out for another fashion interview/guest blog post by the fabulous Burlesque Elephant.

Keep smiling!

All my best,

~Ruth

thatretroruth😎💜👍🏻

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