Thursday, October 22, 2009

ALL CAPS: Vintage Bathing Caps and the Ladies Who Love Them

I have Elegance Maison to thank for today's entry: vintage bathing caps and how to find, style, and wear them.

Let's dive straight in to the finding part. Authentic old ones are available on the usual online suspects like eBay and Etsy, but be sure not to miss Glamoursurf, which specializes in this sort of thing. If you want test your luck with Google, keywords to use include Jantzen and Sea Siren.

Beware: the old ones (and even some new ones, like this fetching aviatrix-style waffle cap from Amazon, of all places) may not offer a strictly watertight seal.

Back in the day, the best scientific minds in the bathing-cap industry had a go at the problem, according to this latter-day bulletin from Modern Mechanix, but even a super-suction-seal didn't always do the trick.

For ladies who favour a hair-in-the-air breaststroke at a majestic pace down the slow lane, actual submersion has never been a consideration. For these dipsy divas, the only possible option is the bathing turban. This marvelous site offers vintage-look headgear including bedazzled and leopardskin models, which, if they never actually manage to notch a Channel crossing, will look suitably commanding to the poolboys.

For more ideas on styles and how to wear them, have a good look at the Glamoursplash blog. Whether your style is sea nymph or battleship, there's a vintage or vintage-look bathing cap out there for you.

(British Vogue cover of Jerry Hall by Norman Parkinson, May 1975)


  1. I love the look of bathing caps! But when I was younger, did not like wearing them - they used to pull and tangle my hair. I assume the new ones are much easier to work with!

  2. Thanks Christa - some good ideas here. I needed mine in a hurry the other day, so had to take what I could find locally. I am hankering after a leopard print one now that I am a born again blonde!

  3. If you're planning on attempting a triathlon, go out to the store and pick up a swim cap. For a few bucks, you can't afford not to put a swim cap on your to-buy list.

    Triathlon Swim Caps