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August 1, 2023

30 Found Photos Capture Women in Bathing Suits From the 1940s

1940s bathing suits, like many other clothing items, were also losing their modesty. The ’40s was the era when the midriff was born, and it was shown in swimsuits as well as playsuits. 1940s swimsuits were tight, unlike the suits of previous eras.

One-piece swimsuits were still popular, but the new two-piece suit had plenty of fans, too. Suits were made from rayon, jersey, and rayon-jersey blends with knit cotton linings. Many suits had accent panels of a velvet-like rayon velour. Some also featured ruching on the front or side panels that were both pretty and figure flattering.

1940s swimwear featured stretchy control panels in the stomach made from a new type of material called lastex, and bra cups in the bust to keep the figure looking good in the revealing bathing suits. Any color could be found on a swimsuit, but patriotic colors were popular as well as floral patterns and polka dots. Suits fastened with small buttons or metal zippers in the back.

These vintage photos were found by Steven Martin that captured women in bathing suits in the 1940s.


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