Bathing suit shopping is one of those dreaded tasks that you know you have to do, but you wish you could just put it off a little longer till those darn 5lbs finally went away.
With summer unofficially here, it’s time to suck it up (and in) and find a flattering vintage suit for your figure. Retro suits have so many reasons to love them. In addition to saving valuable resources and landfill space, vintage bathing garments are made of high quality materials and allow you to pay homage to the past while looking absolutely fabulous (Added bonus – no one at the pool will have the same suit! So this year, there will be no comparing yourself to that little 14 year old size 0 by the snack stand that has the same suit as you on.).
Newer ‘vintage’ bathing suits are the easiest to find and are in the best shape because they aren’t that old. You can find early 90s and 80s suits at your local thrift or vintage store for a decent price ($15-$50) that look practically new. With neon all the rage, it is hard sometimes to tell the difference. Make sure that the garment was made in the USA and has tags that look older (a website URL or cheaply printed tag is a dead giveaway that it’s something newer than early 90s).
My sweet spot is for 60s and 70s suits. They are harder to find than the 80s suits and the price is reflective (starting at $35+). Still all in all, you can find a great deal on a 60s suit that will hold up for seasons to come.
Anything 50s or older is hardest to come by and the highest priced (starting at 100+). There are some darling 20s suits out there, but unless you have at least a few thousand to play around with, a reproduction might be your best bet if that is your favorite style.
Best Places to Score Sweet Vintage Bathing Suits (I’ve added links to my favorite sites to find amazing deals)
- Flea Markets / Rummage Sales
- Thrift Stores
- Estate Sales / Garage Sales / Yard Sales
- Vintage Stores
- Grandma’s Closet – I have some of my most coveted jewelry and clothes from my Nana’s closet. Definitely ask older relatives if they have any vintage suits that they don’t wear anymore. It’s the most economical choice and how cool to tell all your friends that your Nana wore it back in the 60s!
So scour your favorite vintage spot, pick up a killer suit, and let your inner bombshell out! You’ll be happy you did!