Fashion Magazine

1940s War Era Influence on Swimsuit Style

By Glamourdaze @GlamourdazeBlog

Just months before the US entry into war, it appeared that patriotism was already taking a hold in the imaginations of American designers.

From hats to sandals to swimsuits, the girls love it in the same way they love a parade. The summer is red, white and blue this year. By good fortune, the national colors make a fine, bright, hot weather combination, good for both day and evening wear and particularly for beachwear. Chances are that the patriotic fervor of preparedness and National Defense is superseded by the unfashionable grimness of real war.

1940s War Era influence on Swimsuit Style

Individually, the girls in the picture by Life photogrpaher Herbert Gehr would cut quite a figure on any beach. But as a sun bathing trio, they inspire the patriots to cheer. They are wearing figure-molding, skin tight bathing suits made of a new featherweight silk material processed with rubber.

1940s War Era influence on Swimsuit Style

Flag-waving on summer beaches takes this subtle form. Kay Williams flaunts her patriotism in a rubber bathing suit with a red-white-and-blue bra, pleated blue trunks with tight white ones underneath, flag-colored sandals and a huge sailcloth beach bag.

Originally published
LIFE Magazine - 7 Jul 1941

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