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This Is What Mid-Century Women's Swimwear Looked Like

A look back at the sexy and scandalous, presented by Getty Images.

Posted on July 1, 2017, at 1:32 p.m. ET

Frank Worth, Courtesy Of Capital / Getty Images

Actor Natalie Wood sits on a swing wearing a leopard-print bikini and a red scarf in 1959.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

A young woman at the seashore in 1956.

Serge Balkin / Getty Images

A model wears a gray V-midriff swimsuit by Claire McCardell in an April 1945 issue of Vogue.

Robert Abbott Sengstacke / Getty Images

Three women pose on the beach outside the Idlewild Club House in Idlewild, Michigan, in 1938.

Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

Actor Jane Russell sits by the side of a swimming pool, circa 1950.

H. Armstrong Roberts / Getty Images

A woman models a knitted swimsuit by the ocean, circa 1935.

Getty Images

A pair of women (left) lounge poolside at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore on July 19, 1947. A young woman (right) strikes a pose at a swimming pool, circa 1940.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Actor Jayne Mansfield models a swimsuit in 1953.

Adoc-photos / Getty Images

A group of women lie out by the pool with anti-tan masks, circa 1950.

Getty Images

Actor Ann Miller (left) poses beside a swimming pool, circa 1950. Janet Leigh (right), also an actor, poses while leaning against a patio chair in the 1950s.

Peter Stackpole / Getty Images

Actor Dona Drake, in a two-piece swimsuit, takes aim with a rifle on the balcony of her home in 1942.

Charles Hewitt / Getty Images

A pair of women model the latest style of swimming hat in 1954.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Singer and film star Dorothy Dandridge relaxes in the sunshine on the French Riviera as she prepares for a swim during the 1957 Cannes Film Festival.

Gaston Paris / Getty Images

A young woman on a French beach, circa 1935.

Getty Images

Actor Mitzi Gaynor poses by a swimming pool in a green swimsuit, circa 1955.

Afro Newspaper / Getty Images

Members of the Apex Barber and Beauty School in Philadelphia enjoy a day at the beach in 1959.

Keystone-france / Getty Images

A group of women in London walk down the street in the latest beachwear fashions in 1946.

Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

Actor and Olympic swimmer Esther Williams poses at the edge of a swimming pool, circa 1945.

Getty Images

Actor Joan Crawford (left) poses on a diving board during the 1930s. A woman (right) poses on the beach outside the Idlewild Club House in 1938.

Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

Czech figure skater and actor Vera Ralston models while reclining on a diving board over a swimming pool, circa 1945.

Imagno / Getty Images

A group of women in swimsuits walks along the promenade in Eastbourne, UK, 1935.

See more pictures of beach fashions from yesteryear at Getty Images.


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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