1940s Beach Pajamas & Bathing-suit Patterns
1940s swimwear covered more than it does today but was working its way to being less modest than it had the decade before. Separate two pieces were slowly gaining popularity as a precursor to the bikini and were closed with either buttons, or metal zippers at the back. 1940s one pieces bathing costumes also had an interesting little addition, and something to look out for if you’re searching for a 40s bathing costume. A forties swimsuit had a skirt panel in the front and back that reached the top of the thigh, and when buying one, whether it’s vintage or inspired retro swimwear, it should have the skirt panel intact. It can come with a little swing or be tight and straight. They usually had thin straps and no cleavage with a bra top that covered everything. Sometimes there’d be a little cut out showing some of the midriff, but that would be the only concession to a little flesh. As two pieces became more popular the midriff became a little wider and eventually the 1940s bikini came into being. It was named after Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific where the United States had carried out nuclear tests. However, conservative opinion still prevailed and many two pieces as well as the new, more daring bikini weren’t allowed on some beaches until the 1950s. A popular design that offered a very stylish cover-up was the 1940s beach pajama pattern - this is still a must have design today.
Our 1940's vintage Beach-wear pattern collection is available in sizes ranging from XXS – XXL. We offer either the original pattern, a high-quality true to scale 1940s sewing pattern reproductions or an easy PDF sewing pattern to download at home.