1920s, 1930s and 1940s wool swim suits

A general overview of men’s bathing suit styles from the 1920s through 1940s. Blue and Burgundy were the most popular colors. Almost all have belt loops, though not all currently have belts.
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1930s Gatner Wikies men’s swim suit

Now on eBay! LINK

This vintage men’s swim suit was made in the 1930s by Gatner Wikies. There are ribbed wool, and have belt loops, but no belt. There is a flapped key pocket.

Size: 34
Waist side to side (unstretched): 15″ (doubled = 30″)
Waist side to side (stretched): 18″ (doubled = 36″)
Rise: 13-1/2″
Side Seam: 10″

   
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Vintage 1940s Puritan Sportswear satin swimsuit

Now on eBay! LINK

This vintage men’s swimsuit was probably made in the late 1930s or 1940s. It was made by Puritan Sportswear and is made of a white satin Lastex. Lastex was an early latex elastic based stretchy miracle fabric, woven in with other materials to give them elastic properties. This suit has a drawstring waist and internal buttoned key pocket. I’ve attached some images from Life Magazine from the the 1930s of similar suits being worn.

Waist unstretched: 16″ (doubled = 32″)
Waist stretched: 21″ ( doubled = 42″)
Rise: 16-1/2″
Side Seam: 12″

   
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1950s Jantzen

Now on eBay! LINK

This jantzen swim suit was made in the 1950s. It is a silver stretch knit material. It has the famous Jantzen diving girl on the hip. The gront is lined, the waist is secured with a draw string and there is an interior key pocket. There is a tag inside reading “Robert F. Mertz”. The original owner? If so, it looks like he barely every wore it- this suit looks brand new. The workmanship is a cut above other suits of the period- all you have to do is look at the embroidered reinforcement around the drawstring to tell that.

Waist unstretched (side to side): 11″
Waist stretched (side to side): 15″
Rise: 12″
Side Seam: 8″

   
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1930s Jantzen

Now on eBay! LINK

This vintage swimsuit dates from the 1930s and was made in the USA by Jantzen. It’s made of wool, and maybe a bit of lastex- there’s a tag that’s faded that is the size and shape of “Lastex” tags. It is maroon and ribbed, with a wide white belt. The buckle has the Jantzen girl on it, as does the body of the suit. There is a flapped watch pocket, and a cotton lining in the front. It shows a bit of age, but I don’t see any moth holes or noticeable damage.

Marked size: 38″
Waist unstretched (side to side): 17″
Waist stretched (side to side): 19″
rise: 17″
Sides: 11-1/2″

   
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Montgomery Wards Permafit

This vintage men’s swimsuit was made in the 1930s by Montgomery Wards. It is “Permafit Swimwear” made from wool and lastex. It is ribbed and has a draw string waist. There are belt loops for a fairly skinny belt. This pair is stained and has holes- please refer to the pictures.
Waist unstretched (side to side): 15″ (doubled = 30″)
Waist Stretched (side to side) 16″ ( doubled = 32″)
Rise: 13-1/2″
Sides: 8″
   
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1930s Gatner Wikies

Now on eBay! LINK
This vintage men’s swim suit was made in the 1930s by Gatner Wikies, the originators of this type of suit.  The patent number on the tag is for a 1932 patent for a very similar pair of trunks- the patent, along with 1930s Gatner Wikies ads showing very similar models to this are below.  The suit has a hole just at the corner of the key pocket, and one at the gusset seam- because of the location, I would think a repair would not show too bad.  Otherwise, they are in very good shape.  They have a flapped pocket, diamond crotch gusset, white belt with a chevron and star buckle.  They have a heavy ribbed cotton lining in the front.


Waist unstretched (side to side): 15″ (doubled = 30″)
Waist stretched(side to side): 17.5″ (doubled = 35″)
Rise: 13″
Sides:  9-1/2″ 

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