Monday, June 16, 2014

Bikinis & Bathing Beauties: A Bibliography on Swimsuits and Beachwear

“The bikini was named after Bikini Atoll, one of the Marshall Islands, where nuclear weapons were tested in 1946, because the bikini’s impact was considered equivalent to setting off an atom bomb.” (Rooney, 2006, p. 45).

Want to learn more about the history of swimwear? Want to browse images of vintage swimwear?   Come to the library and check out these books or use the suggested databases if you are away for the summer!

Beachwear and Bathing Costume by P.D. Davanzo – 391 POL
The Bikini Book (1996) – 393.4 BIK (pictured above)
The Bikini Book by Kelly Killoren Bensimon – 391.2 BEN (pictured above)
California casual fashions, 1930s-1970s by Maureen Reilly – 391.2 REI
Gottex: Swimwear Haute Couture by Helene Schoumann - 746.9209 SCH
Making Waves: the Story of the American Swimsuit by Lena Lencek – 394.3 LEN
Resort Fashion: Style in Sun-Drenched Climates by Caroline Rennolds Milbank - 391 MIL (pictured above)
Splash! A History of Swimwear by Richard Martin - 391 MAR [Oversize]
Sunkissed: Sunwear and the Hollywood Beauty, 1930-1950 by J. Curtis - 779.24 CUR
The Swimsuit by Sarah Kennedy - 394.3 KEN (pictured above)
Swimwear in Vogue since 1910 by Christina Probert -391 PRO

Search for “bikini”, “bathing suit”, designer names (Rudi Gernreich) or read these:  
Ward, Susan. (2005). Swimwear. In A–Z of Fashion.
Webber-Hanchett, T. (2005). Bikini. In A–Z of Fashion.

Conduct an Advanced Search in the Vogue Archive to find images of swimsuits.  Use Publication Date to look for specific dates and years. Use the “Image Details” search tools for Company/Brand and Fashion Item.  

 Look up Company/Brand.  For great images of vintage swimsuits search for the companies/brands:
-Cole of California
- Armonia
*For best results search for “swim” within the search results

Look up Fashion Item. For swimwear used in editorials look up fashion items:
- One-Piece
- Swim Dress
- Swimsuit
- Bikini

For help searching Berg Fashion Library and Vogue Archive: 

Quote - Rooney, A. (2009).  The 1950s and 1960s. Retrieved from

Posted on June 16, 2014 I Blog post by Lauren Gavin, M.L.S. (Technical Services/Reference Librarian)