22 August 2016

High Street Vintage Inspired Swimwear: 1960s-1990s

In my last post I wrote about swimwear from the 1920s-1950s and how you could get the updated look on the high street. This post contains swimwear from the 1960s-1990s with ruffles, Moroccan prints, string bikinis, racer backs and high leg swimwear. Get ready to show off some skin and pull off some groovy tan lines.

The 60s surfing, surf music, and beach party movies were everywhere, so everyone wanted to recreate the looks they saw on screen. Bikinis became a lot more popular and the belly button was properly exposed for the first time, shock horror!
By the late sixties swimsuits had revealing side mesh net panels, ruffles or cut out midriffs, filled in with see through plastic rings. Sorry ladies, its time to do some leg lifts.

 Fabrics were mainly Nylon or Lycra, so zips were no longer needed and they were able to easily stretch and be pulled on like a pair of knickers. No one wants to spend half an hour jumping up and down trying to squeeze into a bikini do they.

These bikinis with the ruffles and bright 60s style prints are perfect. I love the bikini tops that have cut outs on them, which show off some skin.  If you want to cover up more, the light pink cut out printed outfit is perfect. The gorgeous bikinis with holes on the side remind me of the plastic ring aspect of swimsuits in the 60s, just modernised. I've found some great bikinis with mesh panels, including halter styles and skimpier bikinis. I absolutely adore the dark blue bikini with the mesh top, it's so sexy and the white and black bikinis with the ruffles combine two 60s swimwear trends. Plus they have a little diamond finish along the top of the ruffles which add some sparkle to your swimwear.

The bikinis with the cut out panels help turn the 60s trend into a modern look with both tops and bottoms having cut out sides. The bottom row of bikinis continues on the mesh theme, but is a hole cut out type of mesh, so shows off more skin. If you'd rather cover up a little more, you can go with the more supportive ones and the less skimpier ones. Wearing all these bikinis, especially the ones with holes, cut-outs and mesh and hole mesh detailing, you'll get some seriously unique tan lines.

With the 70s being full of free love and hippies, swimwear got on the bandwagon becoming more revealing with triangle cups and fashion designers bringing in string bikinis, with bottoms fitting on the hips. It was all about showing your assets off and being oh so sexy was the aim. Some women even wore sheer swimsuits, now that takes some serious confidence, that or too many Martini's.

Women wearing string bikinis were shown in popular magazines, such as Sports Illustrated making them even more lusted after due to the sexual revolution of the late 60s. There were no hiding those extra Custard Creams now.

If you don't fancy the Playboy bunny sheer costume look you can work these bikini's and costumes I've found here.
 Prints were big in the 70s, particularly moroccan style prints, aztec ones and tie dye, so give these a tribute with these superb pieces. I love the first bikini top which has fringing on the ties, as fringing was another big trend of the decade, there are also some bottoms with fringing ties I've added. The two printed bikinis with frill tops and the pink floral one with a ruffle trim are beautiful and unique.
The halter neck style ones are gorgeous, the white paisley one with a ruffle trim just screams this decade. I love the mustard coloured ones, the one with the floral pattern and the tie dyed one. Mustard colour was everywhere in this decade.

Crochet was a massive trend in the 70s and these two halter neck bikinis include two trends, one with tie dye and the other with denim, which was also everywhere.
 There's more crochet with the mustard bikini in the top row, which also comes in a rose colour and a stunning cream crochet swimsuit. I love the swimming costumes I've found if you want to cover up a little more, but still rock the trend. These floral swimsuits are beautiful and the scarf print twisted wrap bandeau swimsuit is gorgeous.

The 70s is going to continue to be a huge trend this summer, so one of these pieces is bound to be perfect for you.

In the 1980s, the thong bikini was introduced mainly due to Playboy bunnies, thanks very much Hugh Hefner, no more second helpings of pudding for us.
With supermodels like the beautiful Christie Brinkley and Cindy Crawford appearing everywhere looking gorgeous and aerobics and other exercise becoming a popular hobby, the athletic build became a body type that was sought after by women.

Bandeau bikini tops were worn a lot, along with racer T backs styles, to show off toned arms and backs, with shoulders and backs being the focus. For some women it was all muscles and abs.

In contrast to the athletic look, a low cut bodice was often worn and bikinis and swimsuits with a high leg, showing off a women's sex appeal. Due to Pamela Anderson running along the Baywatch beach with her assets in a sexy red swimsuit, they got revitalised with the use of neoprene. Gone were the days of your Grandma doing knit one pearl two to make you a woollen swimsuit.

You can get the athletic look with these array of racer T back bikini's, whether you fancy going for a pattern, contrasting colours or just going for a plain colour, there are some great ones here. If you want to still work the athletic look in a bikini, yet still be a little sexy these two neon racer back bikini's with mesh inserts and the black and nude mesh bikini are perfect.
I've found two great sporty style swimsuits, one that is stereotypically sporty with a racer back and another one that has a graphic print with a high neck and low back, but still great for the sporty look.

These gorgeous strapless bandeau bikinis with bold colour blocking and the bikini with a bright print, will show off those abs you've been working on and gorgeous strong shoulders. If you haven't been hitting the gym, don't worry you will still sparkle in these.

For the low cut bodice, high leg look, there's this gorgeous black bikini and some fabulous swimsuits to choose from, including an olive coloured one and a Pamela Anderson style red one, so start practising running along the beach with your hair flowing in the wind.

There is also this seductive black one showing off a hint massive amount of side boob which also has a tantalising open back, hey if you've got it flaunt it girl.
I love the pink one with a print and the gorgeous blue one that has a lace up front, which is bound to get you noticed, oh so sexy.
I included both of these silver metallic high leg ones, as it reminds me of the real party vibe that was going on in the 80s, so you can continue that at the beach or at the pool. One of these 80s style pieces  is definitely perfect for lusting over the hotel waiter in.

In the 1990s there were lots of small string tops and criss-cross halter necks showing off cleavage, this meant that boob jobs became pretty popular in this decade.
There were lots of stripes, prints and bright and bold colours. The one piece stayed popular with high leg lines like the 80's and zipped fronts. They also contained lots of cut outs, criss crosses and halter necks like the bikini's. Bikini's also had high V-cut bottoms too, so there was still no hiding from the dreaded bikini wax, sorry ladies.

Since the 90s has become such a popular trend the past few seasons, there are some great swimsuits out there to re-create it. I've found some fab bright and bold bikinis with a criss-cross style, some string tops and also some halter necks to give you some more support such as the black Boohoo criss cross halter neck bikini. I love the pink and black swimsuits with the criss cross detail across the tummy and the straps and the other swimsuits with criss-crossing on the side, or just a small amount on the tummy area, like this gorgeous blue one. The two black criss cross wrap around style swimsuits with neon colours are great, as well as the two neon coloured swimsuits with mesh inserts.

I've included some high leg low cut bodice swimsuits with a zip, as well as a gorgeous periwinkle keyhole cutout halter neck design. I simply love the beauty of the low cut bodice high leg blue swimsuit with the gorgeous detailing around the bodice, Liz Taylor would be jealous of it.

Swimwear has evolved a lot over the past hundred years and now we can cover up any wobbly bits we have or flaunt our curves as much as we want. From bandeau bra bikinis and high waiters to high V-cut bottoms and intricate criss cross designs, we can conquer any style we like and pull off any swimwear trend.

I really hope I have helped you find something. Whether it's at the beach or at your local swimming pool, with these and the swimwear from my 1920s-1950s post , you are bound to feel like you've just walked off a catwalk, just without the 7 inch stiletto heels you can barely walk in.

Second Hand Rose


  1. Such a fun post - and one that stirs up its fair share of memories for me. I was born in 1984, so the swimwear of the eighties fill my earliest beach recollections. Hop to the 90s, and I was rocking similar styles of some of those that you highlighted here. How time flies! :)

    I hope that you're doing well and having a sunny, wonderful month, sweet dear.

    Big hugs & many heartfelt thanks for your lovely recent blog comments,
    ♥ Jessica

  2. So many amazing bikinis! Love this post!


  3. Gosh, who knew there is such a variety in swimsuits! You have pulled together an terrific collection of looks to wear, nice post.


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