Tag Archives: swim suit 1930s

Two Piece Bathing Suits, 1930s

I was looking for an illustration of men’s swimsuits from the 1930s for a post about Tattoo brand makeup. I found this:

Illustration by Cordrey from Woman's Home Companion, April 1937.

Illustration by Cordrey from Woman’s Home Companion, April 1937.

That woman’s print bathing suit on the right looked familiar — and it was.  I had posted its photograph from an article about cruise wear that appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal in 1936:

Photograph of swimsuits, Ladies' Home Journal, February 1936.

Photograph of swimsuits, Ladies’ Home Journal, February 1936.

Not just the bathing suit, but the pose is very similar. So is the hairstyle. It’s an intriguing insight into how illustrators worked. [Note: The illustration is not from the same magazine as this photo, but this is apparently the reference photo used for the drawing which was made a year later.] To see more fashions from this article about 1936 cruise clothes, click here.  [I remember that a very similar print in the same color was available as a chintz decorator fabric in the 1980s. I made a tablecloth from it. Fashion recycling keeps on happening….]

Technically, I doubt that it’s a two piece swimsuit; the top is probably attached to the waist of the shorts in front, like this white bathing suit from the black and white illustration: WHC april 1937 p 3 nmen bathing suits tans illus Cordrey 500

While searching for the print swimsuit photo, I found some other inspiring red (or pink) and white print bathing suits for 1936 – 37:

Story illustration by a. parker for The Delineator, May 1937.

Story illustration by a. parker for The Delineator, May 1937.

Butterick Early Spring Home Catalog, 1936. From an ad in The Delineator. This is Butterick pattern No. 6586.

Butterick Early Spring Home Catalog, 1936. From an ad in The Delineator. This is Butterick pattern No. 6586.

I also like this two-piece red and white swimsuit decorated with seahorses, issued by McCall’s in 1950:

"No. 1552, the Glamour Mermaid swim- or sun- suit." McCall Needlework Catalogue, May 1950.

“No. 1552, the Glamour Mermaid swim- or sun- suit.” McCall Needlework Catalogue, May 1950.

The skirt-like shorts from 1936 were still around in 1950. There were versions for adults or for little girls. For complete descriptions, see the mother and daughter fashions by clicking here.

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Filed under 1930s, Bathing Suits, Hairstyles, Menswear, Sportswear, Swimsuits

Swimsuits and Cruise Clothes, 1936

Ladies' Home Journal, February, 1936

Ladies’ Home Journal, February, 1936

Here are a group of photographs by Fowler-Bagby showing appropriate outfits for a cruise, or for wear in warm climates; the article appeared in the February issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, 1936. In order to show details more clearly, I will break up larger pictures into closer views.

Bathing Suits for 1936

Bathing suits, LHJ, 1936.

Bathing suits, Ladies’ Home Journal, 1936.

From left, a brown maillot under a brown jersey wrap-around skirt; “Up the ladder, skirted swim suit in the new green, with salmon-pink top, bands crossed under the chin. In blue, the famous surplice suit that came from Antibes and does wonders for a good figure. The printed cotton two-piece suit, coral pattern and coral color with white. The blonde lastex crepe suit, with the square peasant scarf worn in immigrant fashion. The heavy terry-knit maillot and swagger coat in pink and red, with a red shiny straw hat in unusual shape.” [A maillot is a one-piece swimsuit.]

The brown outfit is trimmed with “Mexican-colored bands” and includes co-0rdinated purse, belt, and shoes.lhj 1936 feb p 20 striped shoes leftThe blue surplice suit is also shown with colorful sandals:lhj 1936 feb p 20 blue swimsuit shoesI’m afraid the “blonde” lastex suit does not make a very good impression on this particular model, but the coral print two-piece shares the back interest of some evening dresses featured later in the article. The “heavy terry-knit maillot” would probably feel like swimming in a wet bath towel; it’s probably more for lounging than swimming. lhj 1936 feb p 20 swimsuits rightThe 1950s swimsuits that I remember usually did not show separate leg openings like these from 20 years earlier, but had a sort of modesty panel, like the green ‘skirted’ suit on the ladder.

Two Piece Tropical Swim Suit, 1936

This story illustration, by Ritchie Cooper, appeared in the same issue as the swimsuits pictured above:

Story illustration by Ritchie Cooper, LHJ, Feb. 1936

Story illustration by Ritchie Cooper, Ladies’ Home Journal, Feb. 1936

The setting is tropical (Hawaii?) and the full, skirt-like shorts resemble the coral and white print bathing suit above.

Cruise Wardrobe, 1936

This article in the Ladies’ Home Journal reminds women that they will probably be going ashore, so they will need appropriate clothes for the ports they visit, as well as evening dress for dining on board:

“Don’t misjudge your destination. Havana . . . is a metropolitan city, where you should be dressed as circumspectly as in Boston. In some places, . . . you might want to stop in at the big hotel for tea. Better wear a more conventional costume [than “your little deck dress”] and be ready! Only if you know your ground can you be casual about your clothes. If you plan to grab bicycles the minute you get off the dock in Bermuda and ride all day, then your culotte skirt would be completely comfortable and appropriate.”

lhj 1936 feb p 21 22  cruise clothes culottesThe dress on the left has a culotte skirt, which looks like a normal skirt when you stand up straight. It is still not considered dressy enough for Havana. The pants on the right are very full knickers (“plus fours”) which are described as “a coming (but not an arrived) fashion. This year, probably only a few leaders will take them up.”

Versatile Jacket Dresses

The jackets make these dresses appropriate for “deck” or more formal situations on shore.

A dress with matching jacket. 1936, Ladies' Home Journal.

A dress with matching jacket. 1936, Ladies’ Home Journal.

Mauve jacket dress with halter top, 1936.

Mauve jacket dress with halter top, 1936.

Red, white and blue jacket with a nautical print. 1936 cruise wear.

Red, white and blue belted jacket with a nautical print. 1936 cruise wear.

 

"An 'American peasant" outfit for ship or shore; blue denim suit, cotton bandanna blouse, farmer's hat, and a red bag. 1936.

“An ‘American peasant” outfit for ship or shore; blue denim suit, cotton bandanna blouse, farmer’s hat, and a red bag. 1936.

Evening Gowns and  a Dinner Suit

Chartreuse chiffon evening gown, pleated skirt. "The transparent wrap, copied from Heim, is of printed organzine." 1936

Chartreuse chiffon evening gown, pleated skirt. “The transparent wrap, copied from Heim, is of printed organzine.” 1936

lhj 1936 feb p 21 22 evening cruise clothes btm rtlhj 1936 feb p 21 22 evening cruise clothes btm left

Bon Voyage!

 

 

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Filed under 1930s, Bathing Suits, Hats, Shoes, Sportswear, Swimsuits, Women in Trousers