Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lazy Saturday + Catalina Swimwear = Love

Yesterday, Freddy and I spent the day strolling down Haight Street ... very slowly, might I add, being as how my knee is slightly out of commission. And as usual, we wandered into La Rosa Vintage Boutique, one of my favorite vintage stores of all time. I was hell-bent on not trying on any clothes, for fear of twisting the knee ... but that thought went out the window when I came across a perfect little pile of vintage swimsuits!

Yes ... it's rather cold in San Francisco.
And yes ... I'm probably the palest person on this side of the Mississippi. But I couldn't resist. And as you can see, this adorable little "Granny Apple Green" number made it home with me, and is resting sweetly on one of my Nana's dainty satin hangers.

So as usual, I sat down and did a bit of research on the brand. It's a Catalina swimsuit...
And as you can see from this vintage ad, they were all the rage in the 30's, 40's and 50's.

Their slogan was, "Styled for the Stars of Hollywood." 

They were modeled by Bettie Davis, Joan Blondell, Olivia de Havilland, and no other than Norma Jean herself. 

The coolest ads that I've found are the ones with matching "couple" suits. Can you imagine matching your honey, playing beach volleyball, sipping Coca-Cola ... and frolicking in the waves on a sunny CA day in the 50's? In doing my research I found these pictures on a really cool site called, "Glamour Surf." Check it out if you are interested in starting your own Catalina swimwear collection. They've also got some amazing vintage advertisements for swimwear and the like. Also, the blog "Glamour Splash" if you are interested in daily vintage photos of starlets in fabulous swimwear from days gone by.

Oh, and I can't end this blog without telling you about my coolest discovery...

The notorious Bettie Page herself is sporting a Catalina swimsuit in the picture below. Love, love - LOVE! :)


  1. How funny! I tried on that suit!! She is a beauty! xx.L

  2. Awesome!! They have several others that were just amazing at La Rosa. I can't wait for summer now!! When does that actually happen in SF ?? ;)

  3. On a super rare sunday in July or October we will get a crazy 80 degree weather on the beach day. The trick is hoping all your friends have the same day off! La Rosa is just the best, the manager is one of my best buds & when he got in that suit he called me immediately! HA. Too bad I already have her twin!

    But it will look fabulous poolside at vegas too. Are you going? xx.L