Vintage Suits

A couple of recent charity shops finds to share with you today. I picked these up a month or so ago, but have totally failed to photograph them.

I love the colour of this suit, and the shape of the jacket, which is the main reason I bought it. It is a lightweight woollen suit, made by Pendleton Woollen Mills in Portland Oregon.

Not a brand I'd come across before, but a little digging on the Internet and I'd found out that the mill were first founded in 1863 and was originally known for making native American style blankets. From 1912 they moved into making woollen fabrics for suiting and other clothing for men, and after the Second World War they moved into ladies clothing. A bit of research into the label suggests that my suit dates from the late 1960s or 1970s. Pendleton labels for ladies clothes are always white (men's are blue), and the wool mark symbol was added in the mid-1960s, so mine must come from after then. This site has a range of examples of labels, and mine is very like their one from the 1970s.

My second vintage suit is a very different one, a vintage swimming suit and a fabulous one at that!

This is possibly the most amazing swimming suit I have ever seen. The fabric, the shape, everything. Given the fabric, I'm going to suggest this one is also a 1960/70s number, and the label makes it clear where it was made, the Republic of Ireland.

I couldn't find out so much about sunbeam as a company, but I did find a website celebrating vintage Irish pop culture and lifestyle, which has a sunbeam beachwear advert from a 1966 magazine.

I think my swimwear falls in to the 'bright extrovert colours that zing, zing, zing!', although I can't find any indication if I have insisted on 'bri-nylon'.  If this advert has whetted you appetite then you can seen an entire brochure for Sunbeam swimwear from 1971 here, with photos taken around Derrynane House in co Kerry. There are several delights to choose from, but my personal favourite is this one, a girl has to look 'stunning while sunning'.


  1. Two new fabulous finds. I wish I had your knack/eye of finding things in vintage/charity shops. Love them both and would like to see skirt of suit. The swimsuit looks unworn? Shame we didn't see any models for Sunbeam swimwear on the beach when you went swimming near Derrynane house in the mid 90s!

  2. Both items are utterly fab! The swimsuit will look great when worn. I'm fascinated by the body shape of the model in the charcoal and white patterned swimsuit. If it is true today that women are supposed to look like unrealistically airbrushed and elongated specimens of humanity I do remember that peculiar waist to hip ratio which is equally unattainable and was deeply frustrating to me at the time!!


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