Summer Beach Fashions in 1950

One-Piece Swimsuit and a big straw hat ! –

Catalina, Jantzen and Tina Leser bathing suits 1950

Last month in his Paris salon Edward Molyneux broke a proud Paris tradition by showing a sportswear collection labelled “selected in America”. He included bathing suits and sportswear by the American designers whose 1950 summer beachwear is shown on this page.


Black suits and big hats go so well together. The exaggerated size of the headgear sets off the deliberate plainness of these one-piece bathing suits, which are from the left – Catalina, Jantzen, and Tina Leser.


Some of the styles, designed for long legged American girls, came as quite a shock to Parisians who saw them paraded by short-legged French models and were ready to reject them out of hand. Molyneux however is sure they will come around.


American women, in their turn, appear to have rejected France’s famous beachwear innovation, the scanty, two piece Bikini swimsuit.

The two piece swimsuit in general is running a poor second to the one-piece swimsuit which is far more flattering to the figure.

Since this means losing bare midriffs, designers compensate by cutting the suits high on the thigh to retain a bare look.


The 1950 beachwear ideas come from native classics like T-shirts and everyday materials like towelling, as in the practical but startling salmon pink toga.
They are influenced by foreign styles, as in the Riviera “pirate pants” and the big straw hats from the Virgin islands and Hawaii. The hat shapes add drama to plain black bathing suits and show signs of reviving big sunshade straws this summer on US beaches everywhere.

That’s all!
Transcription©Glamourdaze 2016
Life Magazine 1950

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