1947: Creepy Bathing Suit

August 18th, 2008


Tommy Goodwin, well known in golfing circles, here wears the wrap-around handkerchief suit. This probably will not become a broadly accepted type of swim trink, but it does in its way typify the Nassau idea

- Fairchild’s Mens Wear, March 7, 1947

Creepy wasn’t owned and patented by the 1970s, though the 70s definitely must have had the “creepy moustache” trademarked.  There were plenty of fashions in eras that were supposed to be considered “the time of the classic and timeless attire” that had its own corner on the “what were you thinking factor. The Speedo may have been the 70s answer to the creepy bathing suit that few really should have a license to wear. The 1940s had the wrap front trunk.

Although the trade publication above doubted that it would catch on, it seemed notable enough to include in a special Southern Resort Wear Issue.  It may be an exciting and sought after fashion footnote to collectors, but a sigh of relief to the general public that it didn’t catch fire.  In fact, I have never found another reference on the internet or in a book so far for it.  I am sure once this is published, I’ll find out that there are 42 books written about it.

Tommy Goodwin was referred to “Suntanned Tommy Goodwin” in a 1949 New York Times article, and perhaps the nom de vis was an explanation of his mental state.  Perhaps too much Bahamian sun caused him to have heat stroke and influenced his swimwear decisions in years prior.  He had actually spent much of his time in Nassau by then.

So, the next time you look down your nose, thinking the 40s were the epitome of style, manners, and grace, and the 70s was a sleazy time of tacky swimwear and bad hair, remember the wrap front swim trunk.

Until next time,


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2 Responses to “1947: Creepy Bathing Suit”

  1. Lidian on August 20, 2008 3:55 am

    Oh my stars, what a terrible and horrific bathing suit! And yet – he looks so happy…how can that be?

  2. vintagegent on August 20, 2008 3:48 pm

    Like I say…heat stroke! That is the only thing that would get him off the hook for that one. Or he lost his trunks in the ocean surf, so stole something from a diaper bag and thinks he is oh so resourceful.

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