There is a going to be a definite vintage influence on bikini swimwear this year. Think of the types of swimsuits worn in the movies by Grace Kelly, Marilee, Monroe or Jayne Mansfield. These are spare yet classy looks reminiscent of the 1950s and early sixties. The contemporary versions shown on the runways for Summer 2013 were not clichés but more like a subtle mix of vintage patterns and prints.
There are several style considerations that make a bikini more mid-century retro then others. One definitive indicator is the bikini bottom with a high waist bottom. This means that the bottoms come all the way up to belly button or even higher and are cut well below the rear cheeks. No need to get a Brazilian wax job if you are wearing one of these bikini bottoms.
Another vintage touch on the bikini bottoms is shirred sides. This is meant to accentuate the waist and the hips. Boy legged bottoms are also going to be a big part of the swimwear fashion scene this summer.
The necklines on the top tend to be sweet heart or halters although some strapless styles are seen paired with boy shorts as a definitive look. Bikini cup with fuller or even stuffed cups are part of this looks as well. One of the definitive retro looks for a bikini is the white halterneck that Grace Kelly wears in the movie High Society that is covered with a demure little ruffled skirt.
The fabric that the bikini set is made out of can also determine how vintage it looks. Floral patterns were very popular in mid-century America; especially big rose or peony patterns. Suits with Hawaiian pattern such as Hibiscus florals also make a bikini seem more retro. Gingham checks also work well to make you look more like a pin-up.
Another retro look for swimsuits is the Nautical look. During the atomic age blue and white bikinis with bows, big buttons and trim were popular. Some of the nicest of these retro style suits have a bikni bottom that looks like a very short mini skirt with nautical stripes.
A way to instantly make it yourself to appear like a pin up is to wear a pair of platform shoes or sandals with your bikini set. Putting your hair up in pin curls or wearing a bathing cap with appliqued rubber flowers can also make you look fashionably retro at the beach.