BettyLicious Retro Vintage Swimwear Blog - step out in style

Read our fabulous 1950's blog. 1950s swimsuit style, swimwear inspired by Esther Williams

  • More Exciting News!

    Well, the week just keeps getting better! I didn't mention before, but the Lucille photo shoot was with Vogue magazine! Gosh, how could I have left that out? But that's not even the big news—the photographer and designers liked my swimsuits for Lucille's cover shoot so much that they invited me to have them featured in an upcoming Los Angeles fashion show! Eek!

    First, I wanted to include this nautical treasure. What's a fashion show without featuring this fun, vintage anchor print swimsuit?


    If you like it, here are more details!

    And you can never go wrong with an "LBS" (Little Black Swimsuit). The ruching on the sides will accentuate the model's curves perfectly!


    Like what you see? Here's the link for my retro halterneck one-piece swimsuit:

    Of course, I have to turn it up a notch with even better fabric designs and styles. Now I must say, I was nervous at first because I told them I'm just a little boutique. But they told me not to worry because they'll give me an assistant. An assistant! Can you believe it? Well, I'll have to cut our conversation short, I have to meet my new assistant at a fabric store on Melrose in an hour.

    Stay tuned because I can't wait to tell you about this amazing journey. I know this project will make for great cocktail conversations soon!

  • My Hollywood Party Celeb Sighting

    My, my, my, I have been so busy lately! You and I have so much to catch up on. A few weeks ago I went to a mixer at a Hollywood Hills mansion that my good friend invited me to. I wore my all-time-favorite 1950s-style leopard print swimsuit and was the life of the party!

    Leopart Print 50s Style Retro Vintage Halterneck Swimsuit

    You would never guess who I ran into, though, none other than Lucille Ball! She complimented me on my swimsuit and asked me where it was from. I was so star struck, I almost couldn’t answer. I told her it was from my own boutique, BettyLicious.  And I’ll have you know that she stopped by my boutique yesterday searching for a '50s-style vintage swimsuit for her upcoming photo shoot. A photo shoot!

    I feel like I’m floating as I write this out. It’s just so surreal. She even invited me to sit in on the shoot this weekend. Golly! I wish time would just fly by.

    I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

    With Love,

  • The Month of Love

    February means only one thing: the month of L-O-V-E. Cupids, hearts and roses aplenty; this month is all about St Valentine. So whether you’re loved up or singing Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ hit like nobody’s business, it’s time to treat yourself to a little love… in the form of swimwear of course! Whether you’re jumping into a hot tub, enjoying a candlelit bath, heading to a spa or just fancy wearing round the house, here are our top picks for February…

    The lady in red

    As Chris De Burgh once sang, everyone will soon want you dancing with them in this gorgeous vintage number. In a bright shade of red, this swimsuit makes sure to hug you in all the right places and show off those curves to the max. Top off your look with a glass of bubbles and glossy manicured nails for a sure-fire way to keep Cupid on his toes.


    red 1950 swimsuit esther williams Lady in red

    LBD? No thanks, we want the LBS

    You got it; the ‘little back swimsuit’ is a girl’s newest best friend. Just like something you’d find in a glossy Chanel catalogue or on the sunny shores of St Tropez in 1955, the little black swimsuit is a classic staple in anyone’s swimwear collection. With super-flattering ruching detail and a halter neck tie, knock ‘em dead with this two-piece.


    1950s style black swimsuit LBS

    Midnight blue

    “The hue of blue looks gorgeous on you” – oh yes it does! This elegant royal blue two-piece with twist detail and halter neck tie will suit any figure, skin tone or occasion; whether it’s for walking along a sunny Hawaiian beach or to wear at the local swimming pool. Matched with our retro high waisted bikini bottoms, this bikini hugs in all the right places. Be your own Mr Darcy by treating yourself to this two piece set…

  • Here's to 2015

    Happy New Year! Another Christmas gone by (*cue us sobbing into our cold mulled wines and never-ending bubble and squeak*) and another final chime from Big Ben brings in a new year. The best part? There's never been a better time to look ahead at the next 365 days to see how our dreams can be turned into exciting plans.

    With 2015 resolutions being the point of focus for many, what will you do with the new year? Are you wishing of travelling to distant white shores, treating yourself to something truly special or making sure to become less stressed and 10x happier this 2015?

    If you’re like us, it will be a mix of all the above, matched with an awesome piece of swimwear. What will take your fancy in 2015?

    Venturing far, far away

    Is this the year for embarking on a long haul flight to faraway shores? Go on, you deserve it. Crystal clear seas, blazing sunshine, miles of pure white sand and a vintage swimsuit or two-piece really is the ideal getaway. Grab an old pot as a standby savings jar, pop in a few pounds a day and by this time next year you could have experienced the trip of a lifetime.

    Imagine standing next to a palm tree in the beautiful tropical flower print vintage swimsuit (£69.99)


    The luxury spa trip

    For a slice of the high life without stepping on a plane, you’re in need of spa trip. Whether you opt for a 5* spa day with treatments galore, or to a rural spa break all snuggled up in dressing gowns – who can say no to a quick dip in the pool before a spot of delicious afternoon tea?

    Poolside luxury comes naturally with our super-flattering navy blue 50s style halter tie swimsuit (£69.99)


     A new exercise regime

    Still hearing the phrase ‘new year, new you’ everywhere you turn? You’re not alone. But when it comes to working off those mince pies and sherries, you can’t beat an all-over body workout at the local swimming pool. A gentle swim of just 20 mins every other day is proven to lower stress levels and help tone up from tips to toes, while being pretty enjoyable too. Race you to the deep end…

    Pack your gym bag with our checked Patsy 1950s style swimsuit with contrasting red halter strap (£69.99) - you'll be turning heads in all the right directions.


    With love, Betty x

  • Halloween costumes....

    As we hurtle towards October 31st and that most glamorous and gory of pagan celebrations, it's most definitely not too late to start planning your vintage Halloween costume. This year, it falls on a Friday, meaning there's at least two (if not more) potential opportunities to get dressed up, since many will throw their costume bashes on the Saturday night... which is also the Mexican festival of Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead – another unmissable chance to go all out on the costume front.

    There are quite a few items from the BettyLicious resort collection that would work brilliantly as a base for a vintage style Halloween costume, with the added bonus being that if you are lucky enough to be jetting off anywhere on a winter sun holiday this season, you can double up on function!

    esther williams swimsuits


    A plain black 1950s swimsuit can form the basis of a few different pin-up Halloween costumes. There's the classic witch outfit – this fabulous vintage photo shows what you could do if you tucked in the halterneck and added a bit of sheer black netting or voila around the waist. Top it off (quite literally) with a witch's hat and broom and voila!

    You could also do absolutely nothing to it but add a hat and heels and still be completely authentic.

    black esther williams swimsuit

    Or, you could fashion a pair of furry gloves and some cat ears, fishnet tights and a tail and be a pin-up kitty. Stuffed black scaredy cat (which appears to be the same in both pictures?) optional.

    black 50s swimsuit halloween idea

    The original Bride of Frankenstein was known for her long, flowing white gown, but should you want to opt for something a little sexier, you could emulate this outfit with our all-white swimsuit. Just add porcelain-pale skin with sewn seams and some silver heels, but don't forget the all-important wig!

    white 50s style swimsuit


    We love this modern pin-up version too – you'd just need some sky high platforms and a few rolls of bandages over a base of our white costume!

    white 50s swimsuit

    One of THE most classic pin-up costumes has to be the immortal Bettie Page, who was captured in this very famous photoset by the equally famous Bunny Yeager. You don't need much to recreate the look (since it's illegal and a tiny bit dangerous to keep a real leopard) apart from the iconic leopard-print suit... and the trademark fringe. Luckily Bettie-style wigs aren't hard to find if you don't fancy a dye and a chop!

    classic leopard print swimsuit

    Sheer outfits abound at Halloween too, but you have to be a little brave. The gorgeous Vicky Butterfly, one of the foremost burlesque artistes in the UK, has some stunning acts that evoke the 1920s. She's often mistaken for Louise Brooks in this promotional photo, but we think this could be the perfect Halloween costume – recreate it with a sheer spiderweb netting fabric (super easy to find on eBay) over a nude bikini or swimsuit to protect your modesty... the latter you can get from us, of course.

    halloween costume idea

    Whatever you decide to go out as this Halloween, have fun and stay safe... don't do anything we wouldn't do! Which is to say, as long as you look glamorous, anything goes!

  • Start of the Cruise Season

    As the summer days get shorter and darker, and the mercury begins to plummet, everyone's thoughts turn to golden leaves and fires, scarves and all that jazz, right? No, not everyone, because the autumn and winter months are a very popular time to book a fabulous winter sun getaway. With that in mind, BettyLicious is launching its first ever resort collection, with an array of handpicked swimwear brands, just begging to be whisked away on a cruise in the tropics.

    Here are our suggestions a bit of off-season sun worshipping... and what you should pack to feel fabulous while you're there.

    The Caribbean cruise

    A figure-flattering one-piece will cover all your bases for a cruise holiday. Choose one with clever internal structure that will keep your figure looking trim and firm despite an inevitable overabundance of eating. A snow-white suit will help you channel a little Ursula Andress!

    white 50s style swimsuit


    A Week in the Maldives

    How can one compete with such natural beauty as found on these Indian ocean islands? Choose a suit the colour of the tropical season the pure white sands of the beaches you'll be relaxing upon and draw upon a little of Mother Nature's most stunning scenery!

    tropical 50s style swimsuit annie


    Surfing on Bondai 

    A little action and adventure in the Southern Hemisphere? Why not, indeed. Pack a sporty navy one-piece with lots of built-in support that will keep you decent as you brave the waves but has none of the dull functionality of a modern number. Vintage glamour can be practical!

    navy blue 50s swimsuit esther williams


    Self-catering on the Canary Islands

    Just because the budget doesn't stretch to the tropics, doesn't mean you can't be fabulous on your winter sun break. Opt for a highwaisted bikini in a fun cherry print or cute polka dots and you'll be bringing a touch of class to any of the Islands!

    50s style esther williams cherry high waist bikini


    Safari and Beach in South Africa

    There's only one possible option here, obviously. Leopard print!

    leopard print 50s swimsuit

    Are you chasing the sun across the globe this fall or winter? Let us know where you've booked your winter resort breaks!

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