Monday 5 August 2013

Full of beans in tomato stripes or the Bukta CC41 utility swimming suit




Perhaps not the late 1920's or 1930's dream swimsuit I was chasing, still here I am happily modelling this later version of stripe craze, which bears the Bukta swimwear label.

Established in 1879 in Manchester, Bukta was the first sportswear brand in Britain. They were the official uniform supplier for the Scouts, also made camping equipment and clothing, as well as hospital and tropical uniforms for the British Army during the First World War, but became mostly known for the football and rugby sportswear they produced - a field which they dominated up until the 1960's. 

The label went on to be worn by famous names like George Best and Diego Maradonna in the 80's, whereas more recently has become the casual staple of non-sports stars such as  Noel and Liam Gallagher. Still going today, the brand even launched a vintage collection in 2009.

 1939 advertisement for Bukta golf jackets, via


 My swimming suit is new old stock, meaning it never made it across the counter, or if it did, was never worn -  still bears the paper size label. The manufacturer's label has the CC41 symbol, which places its making sometimes after 1941.

According to the Vintage Fashion Guild " The Utility Label or CC41, was used in Great Britain as a result of wartime shortages in WWII and the period immediately following. Rationing of clothing went into effect in June, 1941, and strict manufacturing standards were drawn up limiting the amount of fabric, fasteners and trims that could be used in each garment. This ruling was called Civilian Clothing 1941, or CC41.(...) CC41 labeling continued until 1952, when rationing was finally ended".

 Here is the label, followed by another two from the 50's and the 60's.




It's quite amazing that, given how renowned this brand is, I was not able to find more visuals on line in terms of actual swimwear from the 30's and 40's, not even ads. So if you come across any, please be kind and send me a link, I would really like to see more. 

In the meantime I leave you with more fooling around the vegetable garden - quite the place for a beachwear show, don't you think?


  1. Goodness gracious, dear gal, you look show-stoppingly incredible!

    ♥ Jessica

  2. What a lovely swimsuit. And a very well written post.

  3. Fabulous swimming costume. Really nice to read some history about the company too.

  4. Hi there from Canada! I stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago, and quite enjoy reading it. I wanted to ask - is your hair normally straight or curly? I love the way you can style it both straight and curly, and that it's such a 1920s inspired cut - brilliant!


    1. Hi, my hair is straight. I prefer how it looks curled, but at the same time I am lusting after a straight bob. Sadly I don't seem to be able to find a hairdresser to cut it in a way that looks flattering on me.
      Sorry for such a late response!

  5. CUTE!!!! Great historical research, too!

  6. Wow you look amazing and what a fabulous find! I had no idea that Bukta was such an old company, fascinating!

  7. Hey,
    great pics and a sweet look!

  8. I love the swimsuit - and I do (now that you've reminded me) have a vague memory of Bukta. Maybe Guide uniform? I'll look out for their ads.

  9. Not only do you look fantastic, but what historical research! Love it! I'll keep my eyes peeled for any Bukta ads. I just stumbled here & you've made a follower out of me!

  10. Thank you all, this was really fun to wear and pose in, one of those garments that bring you joy and automatically make you grin.