It’s always fun in the sun until someone gets burned, right? Well unfortunately that someone was me on my recent trip to Palm Springs. I haven’t been sunburned in years so I didn’t realize that it feels like my skin is covered by a layer of clay and is slowly cracking. Regardless, being in the sun and wearing swimsuits is still one of my favorite things.
This is a special blog post dedicated to my favorite category of clothing – swimwear! I have a constantly growing collection of vintage and reproduction swimwear. I can’t get enough.
For this trip, I decided to take 5 of my favorite swimsuits with me – 3 by Vintage Suits by Mary, one by Pinup Girl Clothing, and one by Esther Williams. I really wanted to take a couple of my vintage suits as well, but I thought I’ll just stick to reproduction pieces since I’ll be in the water most of the time.
I ended up wearing 4 out of the 5 swimsuits I took with me because I didn’t end up going in the pool on the last day of our mini vacation. Although I didn’t wear my bikini, I don’t have anything against bikinis – I love them! However, I just ended up gravitating more towards my one piece suits this trip.
Nina Leen, Life Magazine, 1950
Any time I’m in a swimsuit, I always think of vintage photographs of fabulous girls relaxing at the beach, especially like Nina Leen’s beach fashion photographs for Life Magazine. Nina Leen is one of my favorite photographers and a pretty badass woman. She had a wonderful eye for fashion but also photographed circus life and animals. One of her goals was to publish a book about bats. She is definitely one of my favorite women in the history of art.
The first suit I wore is one of my favorites because I got it on sale from the Pinup Girl website. I’ve had my eye on it forever but never bought it. Finally, it was on sale and although it was out of stock in my size, I took the risk and sized down. It still fit perfectly although it’s a bit tighter than I’d like it to be. Regardless, I’m so glad I finally have it in my possession. I absolutely love spiders and spiderwebs so this was the perfect suit for me!
I love a good mix of vintage, gothic, and swimwear and this piece has all that. It’s inspired by the 1960s Cole of California Scandal suit that had a mesh midriff.
Scandalous, indeed, but modest for us, millennials.
To match my swimsuit I wore my brand new 1922 Blood Red lipstick from Besame cosmetics. It is such a rich shade of red and I was so excited to wear it out.
My second swimsuit is the one and only Queen of all swimwear, the Marilyn swimsuit by Pinup Girl Clothing.
It’s the most glamorous swimsuit I’ve ever owned in a luxurious burgundy color. The slight sparkle, gathered style, and cut makes the piece as glamorous as its namesake. It did come with detachable rhinestone brooches for the swimsuit straps but I honestly forgot to take them with me.
This was my first time wearing it in the water and not just to look fabulous. It looks just as gorgeous wet as it does dry. Naturally, it’s a lot darker when it’s wet. It does take a long time to dry but that’s because there’s so much material. Mine took almost a full day to completely dry, but that’s why I was prepared with 5 swimsuits!
Just a random note: Pinup Girl Clothing even reposted my picture. Day. Made.
My lipstick was American Doll Liquid Lipstick by Anastasia Beverly Hills. Its a true red lipstick that applies smoothly and stays on forever without bleeding. It’s her perfect for the pool or hot summer days when you’re too lazy to reapply lipstick!
The ultimate 1940s inspired swimsuit! I couldn’t get pictures of this by the pool, so I just have a couple of me wearing it before we headed out to the pool. It’s another swimsuit by Vintage Suits by Mary. For this, I stuck to my regular size small and it was perfect – almost as if t was designed specifically for my body. I absolutely love it!
I absolutely love this suit and it got a lot of attention from the other ladies at the pool. I had a couple of girls ask me where I got it from. Kristen Dunst was actually sitting next to me at the pool when I had this piece on – so now I have a very special memory attached to this piece too! After I complimented her swimsuit, she complimented mine. Major achievement unlocked! I just wish I wasn’t so shy to tell her how much I love her work.
The swimsuit is gathered in the center with a little triangular cutout and a little tie bust. It’s pretty much the Renee dress of swimwear.
I wanted to go for my signature color, red, but it was sold out in my size. I never thought I’d wear this swimsuit color so I was hesitant about buying it. However, I thought I needed to add some color to my collection, and I am so glad I did. The back of this swimsuit gives me a lot of anxiety because it shows off so much of my back. If you remember in my last post, I mentioned I have a birthmark on my back that I’m really self conscious about. I had to overcome my fear and go out in it. Although I’m still not fully comfortable, a couple of drinks helped calm my nerves.
My lipstick of the day was Victory Red by Besame Cosmetics. It’s inspired by a 1940s shade of red so it’s perfect for my 1940s inspired swimsuit!
Now, last, but definitely not the least (well…in regards to coverage it’s the least! 😉), I present to you the Scandalous suit by Vintage Suits by Mary. It is inspired by the Cole of California Scandal suit. It has a plunging V neckline with a mesh insert and a completely open back.
I fell in love with this look because of Yvonne Craig’s picture of her Scandal suit. Isn’t she just perfect?!
Seriously, this girl is #goals.
I sized down in this piece per recommendations and it fit perfectly. I was really worried about coverage because I’ve never worn something like this before. However it’s so comfortable and form fitting you can confidently strut your stuff without worrying about….accidents…if you know what I mean! The back, similar to the previous swimsuit, is completely open and it was a challenge for me because I had my hair tied up on top of an open back.
But ladies at the pool were fascinated by the piece itself and no one commented on my back. Which was a serious relief for me!
I wore a hair flower by Nancy’s Fancy Fruits because I didn’t want an empty pony tail.
I also wore my Leading Lady Red lipstick by Charlotte Olympia for Mac Cosmetics. The lipstick is a beautiful shade of red that stays on forever. I’m not kidding. FOR. EV. ER.
This was definitely one of my favorite vacations because I got to wear so many of my favorite swimsuits. I had to struggle and come to terms with my insecurities.
At the end of the day, I noticed insecurities are natural – especially around the pool. We all have insecurities that we try so hard to hide, even if we’re the only ones that are aware of our flaws. If we can confidently enjoy ourselves, it wouldn’t matter what others think of us – or our imperfections.
Nina Leen, Life Magazine, 1950
Suit 1: Vintage Suits by Mary
Suit 2: Pinup Girl Clothing
Suit 3: Vintage Suits by Mary
Suit 4: Vintage Suits by Mary
Besame Cosmetics 1922 Blood Red
Anastasia Beverly Hills American Doll Liquid Lipstick
Besame Cosmetics 1941 Victory Red
Mac Cosmetics Charlotte Olympia Leading Lady Red
Hair Flower: Nancy’s Fancy Fruits from Audrey K Boutique
Sunglasses: Ted Baker
Flip Flops: Target