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

We welcome you to shop our on-line boutique Glamoursurf, featuring everything you need from the beach to the bedroom. Glamoursurf specializes in vintage swimwear, vintage lingerie, resort wear, cover ups, swim caps and fun in the sun beach accessories.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vintage 1950s Sleeved Swimsuits

I have long admired these sleeved swimsuits from the 1950s. The ones that I have seen are usually made of a knit, most likely a wool or wool blend. This particular piece was created by designer Polly Hornburg in 1954.

Polly Hornburg 1954

The same swimsuit was captured by photographer John Rawlings in 1954. Love the addition of the large brown bow to the suit!

John Rawlings photographer, 1954

So, imagine my surprise when I found this lovely piece. The only label in the piece states Bonwitt Teller, plus a couple of small size tags. I'm attributing this suit to Polly Hornburg, and assuming that she made short sleeve versions as well because it's just so spot on!

1950s Black and Brown Striped Swimsuit @ glamoursurf

The company was created by Polly Trott Hornburg in 1948. A fashion model turned fashion designer, Mrs Hornburg gained a great experience when working as a stylist for an advertising agency in New York. She started her own business out from her kitchen table with the help of her husband who ran an import export business in Bermuda.

Her first collection was a total success, especially the ‘Polly Pants’, a dress pant that caused quite a stir at the time and had a flat front, a back zip, and tapered legs. Polly Hornburg was also the woman who popularised the one piece diving suit, as well as the sheath dress and the dinner skirt.

The company grew slowly and expanded under Polly’s daughter Suzannah. Boutiques were first opened within the most prestigious hotels of the island, then other stores brought always more brands and choice to the residents of Bermuda.

While researching for this post I had to laugh, as my sister Jody, who owns Couture Allure, has a couple of blog posts about Polly, including this image. Thanks sis!!!

1957 Polly Hornburg diving suit

Wnat to see more? You can see another post we did on vintage sleeved swimwear here.

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