Want to inject some flair into your wardrobe this summer? Look no further! From the original bikini girl Brigitte Bardot to reality TV star Kylie Jenner, we’ve rounded up 10 swimwear sirens from past to present day to help you find your perfect retro swimwear style!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years (I’d be slightly concerned if so), you’ll know that one piece swimsuits have been all the rage recently, from plunging halter necks to lace up maillot’s, the once ‘dowdy’ look has sprung back to life and has been winning in the style stakes. While we’ve been revelling in this revival, someone who was way ahead of the game and proved that one pieces have always been just as sassy as the bikini isBaywatch goddess, Pamela Anderson. Sporting a high cut red swimsuit whilst playing C.J. Parker, it’s easy to understand why the blonde bombshell gained a legion of fans through this simple yet unforgettable look. Vibrant and most importantly confident, Pam’s look is still being recreated now, over 20 years later, so why not throw it back to the 90’s and practice your own slow-mo beach run in one of our vintage swimsuits?
Who could forget the moment Ursula Andress emerged from the sea wearing that white bikini in Dr. No? Considered one of the most famous bikinis of all time, the Bond Girl made a lasting impression in this scene not only because bikinis were still seen as taboo at the time but also due to the general badass nature of her look. Featuring a white British Army belt that held a large knife, Andress’ bikini was part of an empowering look that led to the sales of the two piece bikini rocketing! While we’re not suggesting raiding your cutlery drawer and sellotaping your mum’s favourite carving knife to a belt, we definitely think everyone should embrace Andress’ badass babe vibes this summer with a fierce vintage swimsuit that screams strong independent woman!
Another trailblazer in the history of the retro bikini was the effortlessly stylish, Brigitte Bardot. One of the best-known sex symbols of the 60’s, the French actress was no stranger to the two piece and actually earned the nickname “The Bikini Girl” thanks to her performance in the 1952 film Manina, the Girl in the Bikini. While her appearance courted controversy due to her young age (she was only 17 at the time) and the skimpy nature of the bikinis, Bardot served up the perfect clap back to the naysayers by posing on the beach at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival in a floral bandeau bikini. Exuding glamour and confidence while playfully posing for the paparazzi, Bardot’s iconic appearance led to the two-piece slowly being accepted into the mainstream fashion world. Be inspired by Bardot’s candour and make your own statement in one of our exclusive floral vintage bikini tops!
Whether you hate that you love them or love that you hate them, nobody can deny the impact the Kardashian/Jenner clan have had on fashion trends over the years, especially the youngest of the family, Lip Kit Queen: Kylie Jenner. Known for turning to her beachwear to make a statement, Jenner’s Instagram (aka the holy grail of swimsuit inspiration) is littered with snaps of her posing by the pool wearing an array of snazzy swimsuits, with one of our favourite looks being a retro inspired Louis Vuitton monokini which she wore to Coachella 2016. Sporting a matching head scarf alongside her monogrammed one piece, Jenner shunned the boho feels of Coachella for something a little more glamorous, so why not embrace those vintage vibes in one of our retro swimwear pieces?
With a nickname like “The Body”, it would be impossible to compile a list of swimsuit sirens without mentioning the cool cat that is Elle Macpherson. From bikinis to tankinis, Macpherson has been snapped rocking a plethora of trendy beach styles over the years, with one of our favourite looks featuring in the 1986 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (also her first cover). Modelling a bandeau one piece swimsuit, Elle embraced the eccentricity of the era with her choice of psychedelic swimwear and showed the world why she’s known for having the best beach style a girl could want! Flashback to the funky 80’s and channel Elle’s eccentric look in one of our vintage swimsuits, the more colourful the better!
While not necessarily the most practical beach look, Carrie Fisher’s gold bikini in Return of the Jedi (1983) is easily one of the most iconic swimsuits in film history. Worn by Princess Leia (played by Fisher) while she was held captive by Jabba the Hut, the bikini has become somewhat of a classic among the masses and is regularly imitated at Comic Con and on Halloween. So why not pay homage to your favourite Princess this summer and sieze those funky metallic vibes in your own retro swimwear?
It’s all well and good to make sure you’re clad in the snazziest swimwear you can get your hands on, but Grace Kelly’s look in To Catch a Thief (1955) proves that accessorising is the key to becoming the ultimate beach babe! Lounging in the sun wearing a canary yellow ensemble, Kelly nailed Riviera chic with her cat eye shades, a silk chiffon head scarf and most importantly a beach basket by her side because while looking funky fresh is important, there’s no better beach babe than a well fed one! Head over to our website and browse through our vintage accessories, we’ve got everything you’ll need to become the ultimate retro swimwear siren!
Sixteen years may have passed since Destiny’s Child released their Survivor music video, but it’s still as celebrated now as it was back in 2001. Not only because of its empowering message that women do not need to rely on men to succeed (who’d a thunk it!?), but also due to it serving up some of the sassiest beach looks known to man! Dressed from head to toe in camouflage while dancing on a seemingly deserted island (that just so happens to have 20 backing dancers appear out of nowhere), the trio’s camo co-ords have not only become an iconic beach look, but they’ve also made it the print that everybody wants to wear. Who knew being stranded on a deserted island could be so stylish?
Although she may have been best known for wearing that white halter neck dress in The Seven Year Itch (1952), this lively snap of a 27-year-old Marilyn Monroe proves that she was just as glamorous off screen as she was on! Lying in the sun wearing a white high waisted two piece, lucite heels and of course her signature red lipstick, Monroe’s trendy look not only cemented her status as the ultimate poolside pin-up but also serves up some stellar swimsuit inspiration. So why not get in touch with your own inner glamour-puss with one of our vintage 50’s swimsuits?
Making history as the first plus sized model to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Ashley Graham’s sultry shoot proved that whatever shape or size you may be, everybody’s bodacious bods should be celebrated! Modelling a purple string bikini, with wet hair and a wave hitting her hip, not only does Graham look just as good as any other SI model but her resilience to showcase her perfectly normal figure, that up until recently the fashion industry wasn’t so accepting of, highlights why we think she’s a total beach babe!
Words by Priyanka Rai