Unworn deadstock, this vintage early 1960s bright rose pink maillot or sheath swimsuit in a figure-molding lastex faille has navy and lemon yellow self-fabric appliques that create an abstract flower to echo and enhance the streamlined silhouette.
The suit features an adjustable halter strap, hip-length front panel, and scooped back with metal zipper. Constructed like a foundation garment, as were most 1950s and early 1960s swimsuits, it has built in bra cups, a double tummy panel, and elastic around the legs, back, and at the bottom of the hip-length front panel.
In fact, the very fabric--an acetate, cotton, and rubber blend alternately referred to in period swimsuit ads as “lastex faille”, “sharkskin”, and “Bengaline”—was commonly used for early 60s bras and girdles, as it yielded figure “sculpting” without boning. The fact that it was lightweight and dried very quickly made it even more attractive as a swimwear textile.
No manufacturer’s label, but the ILGWU label in use from 1955-1963 is present, and the WPL number on the reverse was registered to a New York City manufacturer/wholesaler/retailer (“Our Darling Sportswear Corporation”) that began in the 1940s or earlier, and dissolved after the founder’s death in 1981. Also on the reverse of the label: The fabric content (60% Acetate, 30% Cotton, 7% Rubber) and vintage size (12/13).
Measurements of the suit are: Bust (stretched) to 33”, waist to 24”, hips to 33”, strap length adjustable from 18” to 20” (two buttonholes on either end), length highest point on bust to hem of front panel 20”, length center back to bottom seam 16”.
PLEASE NOTE: The measurements given above are the maximum possible and require stretching to achieve them! The measurements of the dress form the suit is shown on are bust 33”, waist 23”, and hips 33”.
Condition is excellent, unworn; the suit came from the estate of a woman who shopped compulsively in the 50s and 60s, acquiring many items that were of no practical use to her and then storing them away untouched.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild