Each one of the late 1950’s swimsuits above had detachable straps and almost very woman appears to be wearing what we would view as the equivalent of a beach corset! This is particularly noticeable in the mustard version which seems to almost be a coloured corselette.
A wide range of fabrics including lined cotton, stretch Lastex and elastic ruched waffle nylon were popular for 1950s swimwear. You can see a floral version of a waffle elasticated swimsuit on the far left. The legs on the floral and red swim costumes are also the ‘high cut’ leg of the day. Today such legs cuts would be described on the label as low cut as suits have become cut much higher up the leg in an effort to make the leg seem longer and of course exposing more body at the same time.
Below is an example of a ruched swimsuit similar to the floral one above. Such swimsuits were even more popular among children.
In the fifties the bikini was still thought of as risqué and best suited to film stars and strippers, but a tame version of the fashion a two piece playsuit was often seen as were skirted 1950s swimsuits.
Two piece suits had sturdy patterned fabric bras with secure wide straps which were set atop shorts with modesty skirts were popular. They were especially favoured by women who wanted to hide their lumpy thighs or hide varicose veins. These were usually made in satin cotton and printed with exotic vivid prints.