VINTAGE 1950s COLE OF CALIFORNIA BOMBSHELL SHIMMERING GOLD LAME PINUP SWIM SUIT
A vintage 1950s bombshell swimsuit by Cole of California in a shimmering gold lame fabric! You will look like a pin up girl and it looks very similar to the the gold lame swim suit that Esther Williams wore in the 1950 movie "Million Dollar Mermaid".
The label on the swim suit is identical to the 1950s label on the Vintage Fashion Guild site.
This following information is from the Vintage Fashion Guild site and my thanks to them:
"Cole of California started as a swimwear division of the West Coast Manchester Knitting Mills. West Coast was a maker of men’s long knit underwear, owned by the Cole family. In 1925 son Fred Cole, who had been working as an actor, was convinced to join the family business. He did not find making underwear very interesting, so he decided to make bathing suits that had a glamourous, (sic) Hollywood edge.
From 1936 through 1972, the company’s head designer was former theatrical designer, Margit Felligi. Felligi was responsible for many innovations in the swimwear industry, such as the use of Lastex fabric, nylon and spandex. She was known for her creative use of fabrics. And in 1965 she rocked the swimsuit world with her “Scandal Suit,” a daring one-piece suit with a plunging net front.
In 1951 (before she had her own line) Esther Williams was the spokeswoman for Cole swimsuits. One ad read:
“Here’s the perfect suit for real swimmers… the best I’ve ever worn. It will really do something for your form – in or out of the water.”
The company is still producing swimwear, and there is a sister company, Anne Cole, which is designed by Anne, Fred Cole’s daughter."
Since the swim suit is gold lame and shimmering, it was very difficult to take photos that represent the true color which is a sparkling gold shade. Absolutely gorgeous!
The suit has a bodice with three tucks for fullness as well as interest. There is a nylon lining with a bit of soft mesh in the bust area with elastic at the bottom for a good fit. The suit is lined at the bottom,front which continues down to form the "pants" under the skirt as shown in the photo. The straps slip through a loop on the sides of the swim suit, criss cross and snap. The suit is very well made as would be expected from Cole. A very sturdy metal zipper in back with a snap at the inside top.
I have seen a couple of these vintage suits listed on various sites for over $500 and the swim suit is certainly worth it. You will never find another suit like this manufactured today with the quality work and the metal zipper. Perfect for Viva Las Vegas!
Just a beautiful vintage swimsuit by Rose Marie Reid perfect for the pool, a vacation to Hawaii or the islands
By: Cole of California
Size: Size 14 but that is vintage sizing.but my model is a Size 6 and it fit her well. However, her bust was too small for this suit so it will fit someone with a bigger size bustline. May fit a Size 8 in other spots since there is stretch to it.
Bust: 34.2 Inches and will fit a large size bust line.
Waist: 25.2 Inches
Hips: 35.7 Inches but leave some room for movement
Fabric: No fabric tag but probably lame and Spandex
Condition: Very good condition. Looks as though it was rarely worn. Very tiny triple pinhead light spot on crotch.
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