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?

Thursday 1 August 2013

30's swimming in colour (with a little bit of late 20's thrown in for good measure)

1930's bathing suit at the Metropolitan Museum New York

via Velvet & Linen blog

1928 bathing suit via -
- on this website you will also find a great article on vintage swimwear

1929 bathing suit via - I love this one!!!

1932 wool swimsuit with adjustable ties via

1936 swimsuit made of a lastex/wool mix for a better fit via

Jantzen suit

1936 bathing suits at the Metropolitan Museum NY

red wool bathing suit by B. Altman & Co., 1932. via yeoldefashion tumblr

1933 bathing suit, via retroknittingcompany

via Sonne nach Wunsch flickr

And below, a pattern you can actually knit via A Stitch in Time vol 1.
This one comes with the perfect body too :)