Saturday, March 19, 2011

1952 Spring Break Wardrobe: Vintage Jantzen Lastex-Powered Swim Suits

I work at a university, and this past week the talk among the students was all about - "So where are you heading for Spring Break?"

Whether the destination is Cancun, Key West or Montego Bay - here are the perfect swimsuits to take along to wow your friends...

Jantzen swim suits advertisement - Life magazine, June 9, 1952



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Love this vintage ad copy.  "Figure shaping genius...frankly alluring lines...Jantzen streamlining...the most exciting swim suits in all the world." 

Isn't the heart shaped bodice and the shirring on this brocade Delilah swim suit fabulous?  Her suit is laton-powered - his is lastex-powered...

In the 1980's Real Men Didn't Eat Quiche - and they probably didn't in the 1950's either.  But real men of the 1950's were apparently wearing skimpy Jantzen swim trunks like these.  

Jantzen has named these red trunks: "Daredevil."  An appropriate name considering a guy would have to be pretty daring to go out in public with this peek-a-boo criss-cross design on his hips - don't you think?

Love this Jantzen ad, but I was lucky enough to own some real live 1950's swim suits for a short time...

This past summer, I found a group of three vintage swimsuits - two Jantzen, one Catalina - tucked away in the zippered pocket of this suitcase.

The thing is - when I bought the suitcase at an estate sale for a couple of bucks, I hadn't bothered to investigate the inside of the suitcase thoroughly - and apparently neither had the estate sale pros.  What a nice surprise I had waiting for me when I came home and pulled a family's trio of swimsuits out of the pocket!


Here's Junior's suit - a pair of boy's size 12 black swim trunks with a colorful striped band, and a Jantzen label inside.

The Mrs. wore this buttery yellow 1950's swimsuit with a Jantzen label and "diving girl" emblem.

It's hard to tell from the photo, but it's a rather sexy swimsuit.  The cups have a pretty pleating, and have boning to help hold it up when the straps are removed!

This suit deserved a curvier bosom than mine - so I decided to put it up for bid on eBay last summer.  It was popular with the bidders ($92), but not nearly as hot as the men's swim trunks that Dad wore...


These vintage 1950's swim trunks have a Catalina label inside that says - "Styled for the Stars of Hollywood."  



I love the five bold brown and orange sharks swimming from back to front!


Apparently eBayers liked the sharks too:  these trunks sold for $142.  

Note the elastic around the legs.  Like the swim trunks in the 1952 Jantzen ad, these Catalina trunks show off a bit more leg, etc. than American men these days are generally comfortable with. 

But Spring Break is a good time to be a bit of a "Daredevil" and let it all hang out (figuratively speaking, of course).  So guys, toss a pair of trunks like these into your backpack before you head south. No question, you will impress the ladies when you step out onto that beach.

Better yet...


...make sure you bring along a pipe.  That will impress her for sure.  :-)

94 comments:

  1. great post Susan, good to see you back.xx.

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  2. What a find! I'm always disppointed when I find vintage swimwear as it's always huge. xxx

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  3. Love! My Boyfriend just informed me that he would be willing to wear a vintage suit when we go to Viva this year. I have been on the look out for awesome men's suits. (I already bought 3 new ones for myself, Naughty!).

    This has my mouth watering with excitement. THis post couldn't have come at a better time! Thanks and great to see you back!

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  4. Fabulous find in an old suitcase, wow! I particularly love the men's trucks, fabulous, but I think my OH wouldn't wear something so short either. I love those cut out men's trucks too, I can't imagine anyone wearing them actually!

    Nice to see you Susan :o)

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  5. I love the ladies' vintage swimsuit styling! But those men's trunks with the 'peek-a-boo' lattice cut-outs on the sides are a bit much! Wow! lol! I cannot see my guy wearing anything close to that ever! lol!

    Nevertheless, I adore the vintage Jantzen and Catalina ads! I hope to find a couple of suits for the summer in the style pictured above. I bet it is very figure-flattering and after being lazy this winter, I need all the help I can get! lol

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  6. I just love the vibe of those old adverts, but am laughing at the Daredevil trunks - looks like something hideous in nylon we'd see in the window of Ann Summers (raunchy high street 'sex' shop) come Valentine's Day. But he doesn't care, insouciantly puffing on his pipe...he's secure in his masculinity!

    Love the ladies suit though, and your amazing suitcase finds.

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  7. What a great find and what great prices you got well done you.

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  8. lovely yellow swimsuit,I have never seen any at the boot sales or jumbo sales here.guys sharks trunks are cute.
    Where you been at?

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  9. Blimey some hefty prices going there. I don't have a vintage style swimsuit, wish l did though - some great pics here.

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  10. Yay ... your back. Nice suits. Click my name to checkout a swimsuit from 1910. Or go to this URL:

    http://bit.ly/SwimsuitOrLifeRaftNotSureWhich

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  11. hey susan! ohmygosh, i LOVE your blog. i haven't visited in a long while ... and shame. on. ME!!!

    thanks so much for stopping by mine and leaving a comment. s'wonderful to hear from you!

    your "surprise" finds in the $2 suitcase = TERRIFIC!! you GO girl. i LOVE finding treasures like that.

    really enjoyed the vintage swimsuit ads too. how much fun is that?! a pipe on the beach. haha!

    stay in touch!

    hugs,
    terry lee

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  12. That's one terrific goof on the estate seller's part! Wow! LOVE the yellow suit. I really want to make a vintage suit this summer, if I can find suitable fabric.

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  13. I really enjoyed this post!! Gotta love those man trunks lol :)

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  14. Glad you're all enjoying the swimsuits - thanks for your fun comments!

    I especially enjoyed Lakota's comment: "...he doesn't care, insouciantly puffing on his pipe...he's secure in his masculinity!"

    Michael thanks for leading me to that great 1910 postcard. You're right - her swimsuit is big enough to be a life raft! haha...

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  15. Ho Susan I think I know this swimsuit!! I "talk" to you for the first time thanks to it!;)

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  16. Lexy - Yes! I remember! It was back in June when my blog was still new. You were interested in the swimsuit until it started going way too high! Too bad you didn't end up with it - I'll bet you would have looked fantastic in it!

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  17. You surprised me with the men's swimwear ... in my town there is a bowling alley, the walls are painted with old ads and one of them is this brand of swimwear.

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  18. That red Jantzen suit the fellow is wearing is quite daring, with the peekaboo side panels. The pipe is definitely the perfect accessory at the beach! Thanks for a fun post once again, Susan!

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  19. Great swimsuits! I wonder if there was fabric under those criss-cross strips or it it's just skin? Quite daring!

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  20. Hello sweet S!
    I just adored the yellow swimsuit <3 Thank you for sharing :)

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  21. The shark briefs are so. KILLER. I'm looking for a yellow swimsuit like the very one you found! I'll keep checking vintage luggage pockets and maybe I'll get lucky, too. Let the lightening strike twice! Also... cutaways on men's briefs in the Jantzen ad? Feels so wrong! Why!

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  22. What a coincidence, I have that exact case too! It's part of set I bought from a car boot sale. Unfortunately, I wasn't as lucky as you with the vintage swimsuits, though I did get a couple of folding clothes hangers to match the cases.
    I LOVE that yellow swimsuit, amazing finds! xx

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  23. Weren't the ladies suits of the era just darling??!! Love'em!And so bosom supportive!
    I have a pic of my father in some fabulous trunks,I must find it!
    x

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  24. I absolutely adore vintage swimwear. Unfortunately, we didn't get to go on spring break this year and there aren't many beaches in Kansas... I had to wear my swimsuit at the YMCA!

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  25. Oh! Sharks!! I love sharks!! What a great pattern!! :")

    And a lovely vintage bathing suit in yellow.. *sigh*

    Well, at least I have my red Esther Williams bathing suit - so I am not THAT envious.. ;")

    I just noticed that you have a link to my film blog on your blog list!! I am so honoured!! Thank you so much!!!

    Have a great time,

    Irene

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  26. I have a red Jantzen I wore in Vegas last year. I purchased it deadstock and I love it. It is hard to find a cute vintage suit that fits me, and was thrilled to win the auction, though I paid more than I wanted to for it!

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  27. love the advets and you were so lucky to find those swimsuits x

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  28. Dear Susan,
    Love the post! Happy Springtime to you! Hope all is well...
    Peace & Plenty,
    Sheila and Sherrill

    ReplyDelete
  29. I hope you're okay, Susan! I miss your blogging.. :/

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  30. Amazing post! Love the 50's swimsuit, I've got similar one, in green color.
    Hugs and kisses
    Taida

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  31. Wow! Great presentation of your themes. Good presentation. Thanks.Beautiful bangladesh

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  32. Hello :) Thanks for the comments, so nice to hear from you again!! I hope you're doing well and having a good summer. I'm enjoying my holiday but missing my boyfriend back in Ireland heaps! Hope to see you blogging again some day, but take your time. No need to rush when you're not up for it :) All the best xxx
    Miss K

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  33. Hey Susan!! Just to say that I miss your posts...! But I've got to admit that I'm pretty quiet on blogspot myself cause I found a new job in Paris. And it keeps me so busy I lost my creativity!;)
    I would really like to have some news from you.
    Lexy

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  34. Dear Susan, just a little hello from your blog friend :) Miss your blogging. I hope you're okay :)
    hugs and kisses
    Miss K
    xx

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  35. That yellow Jantzen is GORGEOUS! x

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  36. Hello and happy new year! Thanks for your comment, I was glad to hear from you again! :) xx

    ReplyDelete
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  38. Timeless, these are. Well, maybe not. But if they ever go out of fashion, I will stage a fashion show. Or a fashion coup.

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  39. ADORE!!! I have a 50's bikini that I have yet to be brave enough to wear...!

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  40. Oh my gosh! Those red swim trunks for men in the 50s! Those are so daring! I adore that yellow bathing suit though, so cute!!!

    xoxo,
    Rodellee | Adore Vintage

    ReplyDelete
  41. Haha, those trunks certainly leave little to the imagination don't they?

    My husband would gladly relax with a pipe... however in a sensible pair of baggy shorts I think! It might just be a vintage look too far for him, no 'streamlining' please we're British!

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  42. Those sharks are just frikkin amazing! I would like to see George Cloney in a old fashioned movie with 50s flair to it with those on.

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  43. Is it odd that I find the criss cross mens trunks quite sexy :s

    Great post there is something really fabulous about vintage swimwear.

    India
    x
    themarilynadventures.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  44. Estate sale shopping is the best. Straight to the source without all the outrageous mark-ups (sometimes). That yellow suit is way to sexy for words. I collect every vintage 50's swimsuit I can get my hands on, but have never been lucky enough to find one at an estate sale.

    ReplyDelete
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