Mid Twentieth Century Bathing Suit Cover Up

I’ll be honest, there are few things that get me as excited as seeing a fantastic vintage novelty print, especially one that has a beach theme.   Make that novelty print into a wonderful piece of sportswear and I’m moving into the thrilled category.  And to find out that this treasure is actually for sale, that registers into the ecstatic range.

Seriously, this print is about as good as it gets.   The hats, the suns, the waves, the sand!

And that’s not just a collar; that’s a hood.  The interior of the jacket is lined in the green.

Even the buttons are super, being covered with the same green fabric as the lining.

The maker was Ceeb of Miami.  Ceeb was a label of the Miami Sportswear Company, which was owned by Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Brasington and Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Rose.  (I wonder why C.B. got the label named after himself.)  The business is still in operation, and they still manufacture bathing suits in the USA.  According to their website the company was started in 1942, but the US Trademark Database says 1946, with the name being trademarked in 1949.

That means my jacket has to date after 1949, as the label tells us the name is registered.  The print looks early to mid 1950s.  I’m really tempted to take out part of the hem to see if the selvage is intact and if so, does it have any information printed on it.  The more I think about this, the more I want to do it.

Ceeb made a variety of “Florida” fashions including jumpsuits that were really bathing suits with capri length legs.  They could be quite fancy with shiny fabrics and sequins and such. Today their image is decidedly less sexy.

What really has me excited is that I’m sure that out there somewhere is a matching bathing suit.  It is there, I know it.  And I will find it.

You might be wondering how I found such a perfect object.  I found it by way of Instagram.  This has become my favorite way to find new things for my collection, as sellers usually post their new finds there even before they are offered for sale.  It’s like an auction preview, and with me at least, it is quite effective.

If you are a vintage seller, you really should be on Instagram.  It is an excellent way to not only show off things you have for sale, but also to give your business a personal face.  The Instagram accounts I find to be most interesting are the ones that feature the family dog, their garden, their travels, the sunsets.  Throw in some nice historical clothing and I’m ready to follow.

With Instagram, it’s important to remember to be social.  I really find it to be the most social of the big sites.  Perhaps it is because the great majority of photos posted are of a more personal nature (as compared to Pinterest and Facebook, where most of what you see is not original to the poster).  For whatever reason, it is a great place to post photos and get feedback.

For those of you who sew, there is a growing sewing “community” at Instagram as well.  People share tips and show off their patterns and projects.  It’s a lot of fun as well.

Beach jacket from DnJVinage.


Filed under Collecting, Sportswear, Summer Sports, Vintage Clothing

17 responses to “Mid Twentieth Century Bathing Suit Cover Up

  1. Well that’s fun and funky! I love the hood!

    Like you, I too have snagged things that I’ve seen on Instagram. It’s a great selling tool!


  2. I have no doubt you will find the matching swim suit! Can’t wait to see it when you do!


  3. The Conservative Hill Billy

    I live in central California, and have been brain storming ideas for an at home/part time business. I came across several sites that list vintage clothing as a great way to build a small business. I worked for many years in retail while attending college. I found your blog and really like it. Do you have any tips that can help get me started?
    Thanks so much!
    John Heaton from Modesto Ca


    • Start by visiting local vintage clothing stores to see what is selling, and then visit your library to learn about fashion history. There’s a lot to learn.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been working at a vintage shop (not mine) for two years and also sell on line (though mostly not clothing). It’s not that easy to find great stuff (unless you already have a large personal collection to get started with), plus constantly finding fresh affordable inventory to keep your business alive is a lot of work. Then there’s attracting a following. Not as simple as listing stuff on Etsy and waiting for the orders to come in (not that you probably thought that). What I’ve seen over and over is that the best stuff (eg coral new looking 1950s cashmere cardigan with bows and beading in perfect condition, or a labelled Mary Quant blouse from the 70s, or a Swirl dress in good condition) sells fast and easily and everything else waits for that one person to come along. Which could be literally years. It’s fun though.


  4. Great find! I love the vintage novelty prints you come across! Your IG is always so interesting. =)

    For anyone interested in finding a big chunk of the IG/Twitter sewing community, look up the hashtags “#sewcialists” and “#sewcialist”. We have tons of fun!


  5. Not only is the print adorable, but the garment itself–the hood! Fabulous. And I look forward to seeing that matching swimsuit when you find it.

    I love Instagram, too. I particularly enjoy following the feeds of people in other countries and getting to see bits of their lives. (And it was through Instagram that I found my friend Achim of @viennacitytypeface who gave Andy and me the best tour ever of that city when we were in Europe!)


  6. A swim suit with legs! I’ve been looking for one all my life!
    When full body suits appeared in the Olympics one year, I had hopes they would make it to the mass market, but they turned out to be so tight the swimmers had to have help putting them on. With all the marvellous fabrics we have today, a wrist or elbow-length-to-below-the-knee-swimsuit shouldn’t be impossible, and would be a life-changer for those of us who 1) have to avoid the sun for medical reasons, and/or 2) have OK figures but big thighs, or 3) are older and less firm than they once were. I used to be a 2, but am now a 1,2,3. (I live six blocks from the beach. I go there fully dressed, with sunscreen and a big hat. I don’t get in the water.) Land’s End sells UVL tops, but not full cover suits.
    If there’s somebody out there who seeks a niche market… I recommend a design with a colored panel down the front and dark panels down the sides, for a flattering, slimming effect. (You’re welcome!)


  7. Love the print and the buttons! I agree about Instagram. It’s definitely giving my blog a bump in traffic. And it’s lots of fun!


  8. Pingback: The Summer Girl at Carson, Pirie, Scott, Circa 1895 | The Vintage Traveler

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