Instant Classic: Pinup Suits

Retro-shaped swimwear shows its sea legs once again.

marilyn monroe
Retro-shaped swimwear shows its sea legs once again.
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20th Century Fox/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection
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From Here to Eternity: Retro-shaped swimwear shows its legs once again

Move over, itsy-bitsy bikini — a more modest maillot is back. Inspired by pinups like Liz Taylor and Marilyn, full-coverage, curve-flaunting, bombshell beachwear has been spotted everywhere, from Katy Perry's album covers to the spring runways. (See Prada's embroidered bodysuits and Dolce & Gabbana's eggplant bustiers.)

Marilyn Monroe, 1953

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MGM/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection
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Whether high-waisted or soft-hued, for poolside lounging or urban layering, these ladylike sets leave a little to the imagination. And in an age of zealous sun protection, covering up has never looked so good.

Elizabeth Taylor, 1950

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Stuart Tyson/Studio D
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Bikini, $330, Lover; loverthelabel.com.
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Stuart Tyson/Studio D
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Bodysuit, $1,245, Dolce & Gabbana; (877) 70-DGUSA.
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Stuart Tyson/Studio D
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Top, $300, bottoms, $150, Jill Stuart; (212) 343-2300.
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Stuart Tyson/Studio D
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Bodysuit, price upon request, Prada; prada.com for stores.
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Stuart Tyson/Studio D
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Bustier, $995, Vera Wang; net-a-porter.com.
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Stuart Tyson/Studio D
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Bodysuit, price upon request, Rochas; barneys.com.
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