Then&Now: 1920’s Swimsuits


Swimming attire has had an interesting history. In ancient Greece and Rome, for example, women wore very little or nothing at all. But with the fall of Rome and through the Victorian era came a period of complete coverage- long sleeved wool dresses worn with bloomers. By the 1920’s, swim suits were inching upwards following the current fashion of rising hemlines.


Then– In 1926 fashionable swimmers reveal arms and legs which was considered a lot of exposure!


Then-Lehmann Stern Superknit‘ label. A vintage black wool one piece suit with raspberry red pockets and trim.


Then‘Water Sprite’ label. A vintage sky blue and white striped wool one piece with belt loops.


Then- ‘Schumelers Athletic Goods, Atlantic City’ lable. A vintage birght orange wool one piece suit.


Now- Capture the 1920’s in these two wonderful swimsuits from Lina Rennell


Note- More 1920’s bathing suits can be seen here.

(Top photos- Cobis, Life Magazine. Vintage suits- James Montague)

Update- Swimsuits from Urban Outfitters:


Bright red suit.


Navy and white striped suit.

12 thoughts on “Then&Now: 1920’s Swimsuits

  1. Hi Tanya-

    I love all the retro inspired suits now. Have you seen the ones made by Blugirl? :)

    Hi Erika-

    I’m all for hiding ‘yucky spots!’ :)

  2. I love retro swimsuits! Do you know where I can purchase these? I love how they cover those “yucky spots” as well! :)

  3. Martha — Can I purchase a copy of the l920’s swimsuits — they are great!!!!
    I just today came across your website and love it!!!!Thanks. Carolyn.

  4. Hey Nikki. I wish I were going somewhere warm to wear a swimsuit. It’s 20 degrees outside…

    1. MidSouth- Ohh…I know. I read that the Victorians favored a more full figured woman. But the Gibson Girl (early 1900’s) through the 1920’s showed an increasing interest in thinner models.

Comments are closed.