Women’s Swimwear

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  • Baseline CPI 1962 – 15.9
  • Today’s CPI (May 2016) – 128.8 (up 0.5 from April)
  • 1962 prices in today’s dollar – 1962 price X 8.10

The Eaton’s Summer Sale Catalogue features dresses and a lawnmower on the front cover. But the next three pages are devoted to women’s swimwear.

Today there are many specialty swimwear stores. And styles have changed. Bikinis and thongs are popular with many women today. But in 1962, every swimsuit for women and girls was a one piece suit, modest by today’s standards.

The bikini, while invented in 1946 in Paris, was roundly condemned by the straight-laced standards of the day. The Vatican “declared the design sinful” according to Wikipedia. It didn’t become popular until the mid-60s when popular movie stars like Raquel Welch and Ursula Andress started wearing them in movies (One Million Years B.C. and Dr. No). Today bikinis and two piece swimsuits are very common. Probably more common than the one piece.

The suits heading this page range from $14.97 to $16.97. That would be $121.26 to $137.46 in today’s dollar. The ones shown in the picture below are less expensive.

Comparable suits at Sears run from $24.94 to $139.99.  At The Bay they run from $19.99 to $180.00.

swimsuitspage2-2
At $9.97 and $12.97 respectively, these suits would cost $80.76 and $105.06 in today’s dollar.

Another swim accessory popular in 1962 and which you will be hard pressed to find today except in streamlined versions for competitive swimmers is the bathing cap. In 1962 you could find all kinds of fancy headgear for swimmers.

bathingcaps
Aren’t these a delight? Running from $1.98 to $4.98, they would be $16.04 to $40.34 in today’s dollar.

Teen and girl’s swimsuits also were one pieces though you will find many two piece and bikini designs for kids today. Prices were generally less than adult ones in 1962.

teenswimwearpage45summer
Teen swimwear ranged from $3.99 to $6.97 in 1962. That’s $32.32 to $56.46 in today’s dollar.
girlsswimsuitspage49summer
Some swimwear designs for young girls in 1962

Swim fashions sure have changed since 1962. The fashions featured here can be found on pages 2, 3, 4, 45 and 49.




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