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A blog with a daily splash of vintage swimwear, vintage fashion, news, designer profiles and all things retro.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Styles of Swimwear

By definition, a bathing suit is an abbreviated one or two piece garment worn on the beach or in the water. Taken in general terms, many things can be worn as swimwear, but custom, as well as fashion, has restricted the selection and developed a separate category of swimwear. Items falling under this heading can be varied countlessly - including even the total number of pieces in the garment. Let's look at the different styles of swimwear.

One Piece Suits:

Heading the one-piece line up is the DRESSMAKER suit - so named because of the dressmaker or fancy detailing found in it. Many times these suits have a skirt, or a front skirt panel and princess seaming, but they can have a variety of other construction details as well.

A MAILLOT is more on the no nonsense yet sophisticated side. Popular in the 1930's, it combines body -revealing fit with classically simple style by using stretch fabrics. Another one-piece basic style for stretch fabrics is the functional TANK SUIT. It's design concept is an old one, but clean lines and a sleek look have kept it totally up to date.

Two Piece Suits:

Consisting of a bra and briefs, two-piece swimsuits are swimwear's answer to the separates issue. The CLASSIC TWO PIECE suit teams a modest bra top with to-the-waist briefs. When the briefs are cut a little lower, you have hip-huggers, a sensuous, yet not too daring look. If your idea of fun in the sun is baring as much as possible, a BIKINI will give minimum coverage for both top and bottom.


Any of the basic one or two-piece styles can be adapted to satisfy any desires or demands you may have. Starting at the neckline, do you want wide straps crossed in the back, a halter top, tiny straps that tie in place, or even none at all? At the midriff, concentrate on close fit, or be a non conformist with the blouson approach. Draped looks are another great fill in for this area. Lastly, look to hips and legs - tie up the sides or give yourself some extra room with cuffed boy legs. If you'd rather skirt the issue, try pleats, petals, or flounces.

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