In my retro fashion closet the dresses, skirts, high waisted pants and retro style tops are represented very well. Retro swimwear and bikinis? Not so much. Time to do something about it…
When it comes to retro swimwear. There are two important categories. The bathing suit and of course the retro bikini. I limit this post to the swimwear fashion trends of the 1950s and 1960s, because those are my favorite eras when it comes to retro bikini fashion. So what is a typical retro style bikini? Well, a 1950s style bikini usually includes halter straps, bright prints and especially high waisted briefs. Those extremely high waisted briefs are something ‘m not really fond of when it comes to bikinis. Other than that, I love the cheerful prints and halter tops of the old days. Ruffled tops or tops in the shape of a bow with halter straps are also very retro. Retro bathing suits also have halter straps and bright prints: polka dots, stripes, cherries, bright plain colors and ofcourse skirted bottoms.
So the most popular retro swimwear nowadays comes from the Esther Williams swimwear collection. There are some very nice designs with not-too-high-waisted briefs. But…is that the only retro swimwear brand all in the retro fashion world? I felt the need to do some retro swimwear online webshop research.
Retro Swimwear webshops
Pita Pata Diva (AU). I already like the sound of the name. One of my favorites. A lot of modern vintage glamour. From floral and bow tops with high waisted briefs to very unique retro monokinis. For every retro fan there is something to like.
Bettylicious (UK) This shop has a lot of halter bikini’s with floral bright prints and lower-than-average high waisted bikini briefs.
For Luna (UK) For a lot of pinup-style 50s style bathing suits with the typical prints for that time period: polka dots and cherries!
Bikini Boo (UK)
For 50s style bikinis with (floral) bright prints and very high waisted briefs.
Aloha Beachwear (GER)
A German brand that offers 50s style bikinis and bathing suits.
Mama Maria (NL)
Dedicated to retro swim- and beachwear. A lot of retro swimwear with unique prints. The prices are definitely on the higher side. On the other hand, it’s possible to have a custom made bikini. Or just use it as inspiration ;-).
Sassy Mania (NL)
Pin-up style alert! Typical pinup style bikinis. Think about the sailor style, cherries and stripes!
Unique Vintage (US)
Here you can find a lot of 50s & 60s style bikinis with very high bottom briefs. Next to that they have a large assortment of bathing suits.
This is actually a wholesale company that offers a lot of vintage style bikinis. But it’s nice to browse around for some inspiration.
A lot of retro halter bikinis in differents typical 1960s patterns.
Do you want to go retro, but not all the way? Go Vintage meets Present. There is enough choice in regular webshops. Bikinis with polka dots or stripes can be found everywhere. Halter strap bikinis with slightly higher briefs also give you that modern vintage look. Or mix and match. The greatest advantage about that is that you control the price…For example, combine a strapless bikini top in combination with (high waisted) bright red/striped/polka dots briefs. Anything is possible. It’s you retro beach party.
Note: take into account that you have to pay import duties when ordering from a webshop outside of Europe. Also, most real retro swimwear is more expensive than “regular” swimwear.
Pictures via Pixabay