Charm, January 1957

I can imagine that to the average Charm reader, a trip to somewhere in which a swimsuit would be needed in January was just a dream.  It was, after all, The Magazine for Women Who Work, and not for the women who had large sums of money with which to take winter vacations. Or maybe this was meant to be for the “later” mentioned in the caption.

I’m really interested in the idea of swimsuits with sleeves.  Ever since the sleeves were banished from bathing suits in the early 1920s, makers have tried on numerous occasions to bring them back, and in fact, many of Claire McCardell’s designs for swimsuits had sleeves.  Nevertheless, it is very rare for one to come onto the vintage market, so I’m betting they just didn’t go over, especially in the days when much of the object of wearing one was to get a tan.

Today  everything from two pieces of string tied strategically to a long sleeved leotard paired with leggings can pass for a bathing suit.  I rather like the idea of a short sleeved bathing suit, but then I’m pretty much in favor of all sleeves these days.

Bathing suit was part of the International Set line from Jantzen; hat by John Fredericks; copyright Conde Nast.


Filed under Curiosities, Fashion Magazines

13 responses to “Charm, January 1957

  1. I could use sleeves on my suits now… though I have noticed designers coming out with suits with sleeves recently, to act as rash guard/sun guards for the sporty gal that McCardell was shooting for.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leigh Ann

    I really like that swimsuit. I’m not sure it would be practical to actually swim in, but it’s so cute! I just bought a new suit for an upcoming vacation, and I bought a rash guard that matches it. So…long sleeves!


  3. The suit is cute but I *really* love her hat!

    I’d love to read that “Why aren’t you married?” article. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have noticed swim shirts recently, part of a two piece set. I’m wondering if that is more about modesty or skin cancer.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great Article!!! As it was explained to me by two Fashion Editors of that period…. These suits were designed for lounging and lunching and even late afternoon cocktails by pool -on board ship or resort- and yes…by the wealthy on their Winter getaways – I found a Claire McCardell one shouldered swimsuit and a dress(sample circa 1955-6) collection most likely “Resort” i donated to Hood College in memory of my mother- In the 1980s while at Washington Dossier – I remember photographing a white sequined tank suit with a floor length white organza P-Coat for the January edition!


  6. The Designer not listed above of the sequined swimsuit and organza trench coat is Andre Van Pier and the issue of Dossier was January 1987

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I made myself a couple of rash guards (with the print in the CENTER not the sleeves, Thank You!) for swim tops, as I grew tired of frying on and in the lake. I love that suit. Maybe not for diving, but certainly for ladylike treading of water at the cocktails end of the pool….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.