Tag Archives: Seattle

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.


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!

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. 🙂



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Retro Fashion, Planes, and New Friends Oh My!

Hello, Friends around the world

This post was the hardest, humbling, and exciting blog posts I have written.  Below are my views, if your views differ from mine please be respectful!

Three weeks ago, I met a guy named we” call “Bob” at my Local YMCA.  I was having some trouble being motivated to work out. Anyway, I sought out to make myself stronger again since I stopped working out since I injured myself after running a half marathon.  A nice and friendly lady at the Y who does the Fitpath program made sure to make me feel comfortable with using the weight machines since I get uncomfortable using the equipment. She wanted to introduce me to her friend Bob while I was there.  He mentioned that he was a pilot and that he wanted to take me flying!  I thought yeah right, but being the optimist that I am, I thought okay, what’s the harm in giving him my info.

Afterward, I was too overwhelmed to come back to the gym for two weeks.  I knew that Bob would be there since he goes there regularly.  Again, I was skeptical but thought he was an intriguing person.  We walked the track together and had a nice conversation, but he freaked me out when he starting talking about his friend Barbara (“Barb”) Cooper. He casually mentioned, “I think I know who the real D.B. Cooper is!” For those who don’t know who D.B. Cooper is, he is the Pacific Northwest’s famous fugitive/skyjacker.  “He”, hijacked a plane going from Portland to Seattle, flight #705 in 1971, one day before Thanksgiving.  “Dan Dayton” who got labeled D.B. Cooper jumped out a Boeing 727 with a parachute and landed ironically in Ariel, WA.  This person was very skilled and was able to successfully get away with hijacking a plane with $200,000 (equivalent to $1,160,000 in 2015, according to Wikipedia.com).  You can watch the scenario here: YouTube Video: Skyjacker that Got Away!  Little did I know, my luck would change dramatically. I just befriended a local author, and former Air Force mechanic,  who wrote the book with his wife “Sue”: “The Legend of D.B. Cooper”-Death by Natural Causes.

Anyway, Bob really freaked me out when he said that his friend Barb was in his living room.  I freaked out until he quickly explained that he had her ashes in his living room.  I was so relieved!  His close friend was born Bobby Dayton. In 1969, Bobby takes the painful but liberating journey of becoming Barb. She underwent multiple surgeries and had to face a painful recovery process.  The doctors made her go through extensive psychological tests and had her dress like a woman for 6 months.  She finally made it through months later. For the rest of her life, she had to take hormones. I think that this is outstanding that she made a huge risk to actualize her true self. From what I read in the book it seems very likely that Bob and his wife’s late family friend is the REAL D.B. Cooper!

Given our recent turn in history, Barb stated in the book “I did not ask to come upon this earth”… “Society dictates that I live and work as a male, but laws cannot bend deep feelings and longings that tear me down.”  It makes me sad that this human being had to wait 43 years to finally be able to live the way she was meant to be.  Although, my heart is filled with joy, knowing that Barb Cooper aka, D.B. Cooper spirit is hopefully at peace knowing that ALL people can marry in all of the 50 States!   Even though enormous progress has been made, that still doesn’t change some of OUR attitudes towards homosexuality and gender roles.  I myself, have struggled as a mom, wife, daughter, Sister-in-Law, Sister, and Aunt.

I think the important take away from this story is, We are Who We Are regardless of gender, sexual orientation, color, religion, or self-expression.  Furthermore, I want to mention, that just because someone is different and chooses to go against the grain, it doesn’t give a person or group the right to bully them into submission.  It is our right as American citizens to have “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  We have made enormous progress we still have a ways to go!

On a lighter note, I got to be a copilot with Bob, after meeting his friends at Thun Field somewhere in Washington.  I got to see their cool hangars, chat it up like I was one of the guys! I made it a stipulation to meet his wife before he took me on an airplane, I wanted to make sure he knew what he was doing.  It was really cool to see where he worked on his plane, his attention to detail (which I admire since I’m the same way) and his enthusiasm.  I can’t remember all the details but I was able to have a once in a lifetime experience!

Please remember to follow your heart, passions, aspirations, and dreams.

I’m excited to be on this crazy journey we call life! But I have to remind myself as one of my friends said, “Life is precious”.

Below is a visual experience, I hope to never forget!



Me and Lil in a Black Mafia Car!

Me and Lil in a Black Mafia Car!

My awesome girl in a old still working toy jeep. :-)

My awesome girl in a old still working toy jeep. 🙂

My roots, I grew up 2 hours away from STL!

My roots, I grew up 2 hours away from STL!

Playing dress up and getting to be my retro Self! My daughter Loved got to be her fabulous self as well!

Playing dress up and getting to be my retro Self! My daughter loved wearing a flying hat too. 🙂

Lily Playing Pilot!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, No it’s Super Lily. Cessna 140, I helped fly!

Second to last pic! Don’t be a Cry Baby about it, 😉

Tour of the hangars at Thun field, Puyallup, WA, 6.24.2015

Tour of the hangars at Thun field, Puyallup, WA, 6.24.2015

Okay, drum roll, please this is the final stop when my daughter and I get to take a quick trip over I-5! I still can’t believe this happened to my daughter and I!

Newbie Copilot!!

Newbie Copilot!!

I leave you all with a quote: “You change your life by changing your heart”-Max Lucado

Please listen to this song, by Mackelmore!

P.S.S. Stay tuned for more colorful adventures…It has something to do with the 80s!

have always loved fashion even as a little girl.  I have to admit fashion was an escape. My family didn’t have a lot of money, they both worked hard.  Even though I didn’t come from a rich family, I was always drawn to clothing with bright colors, fun patterns, different textures, shine, and glitter. I especially loved mixing patterns. I remember instead of playing in the dirt (ew!) I hung out with the adults in my family.  During the summers, I was hanging out with my grandmother Maxine (she was a super classy lady who always wore red lipstick) she would take me to garage sales to show me how to get a good bargain. I loved that she wasn’t just the typical homemaker- she was social, fashionable, and she kept everyone connected.  It was hard when she passed away. As an adult, there is a small part of me that wishes I would have played in the dirt, but I digress! Flash forward to the early ’90s, when I was about 10 or 11, I was reading high fashion magazines. One of my favorite magazines was Harper’s Bazaar.

I was always trying to recreate high fashion looks. Below is one of my pulled together fashion looks.

Fashionista in Training!

Fashionista in training.

Okay, the shirt is iffy but remember folks, I grew up in a very conservative river town in western IL.  I think I was pretty fashion forward for the region.  Anyway, I don’t know if anyone remembers this, but for a short while in the ’90s, it was reported that bell bottoms were back IN!  I know some of you are like: “What bell bottoms?!”  In the small town I grew up in the latest fashion trends took a while to arrive. Anyway, I found these really cool black bell bottom leggings on the clearance rack at Bergner’s the local fashion inspiration go to spot! I paired it with a light denim chambray shirt tied up in the front, which screamed the ’90s.

My point is to use what you’ve got and flaunt it.

All my best,


P.S. Please share your fashion beginnings down below, don’t be shy!

Don’t forget to follow me on my social media: I’m ThatRetroRuth on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Okay, so I admit writing a blog seemed easy and straightforward, it’s not!! I for one am a self proclaimed type A perfectionist.  That’s right, I demand perfection, not necessarily from everyone else but from myself.  I like to over plan things A LOT.  Just to write this is and was terrifying, I talked it over, promoted in on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. My husband who is very sensible said you don’t need a logo to write a blog, did I listen? No! Just for the record I am furiously working on a getting a logo done.  Don’t worry it will be PERFECT, ha!  But seriously, I am looking forward to this journey and I hope I get to enjoy it with those who like to try to be perfect in an imperfect word.

All my best,


P.S. Don’t worry my next post will be on fashion, I promise!

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