Out of the Box - Beach and Swimwear Advertisements

Friday, December 4, 2015
1940s-1990s image subject to copyright
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Out of the Box, Edmiston Gallery, November 2015 to February 2016

What’s in an ad? Beach and swimwear advertisements, 1940s-1990s

Take a nostalgic look at some of the advertisements used to advertise beach and swimwear fashions.  For decades adverts in boating and yachting magazines have encouraged readers to purchase the latest fashions to wear at the beach.

Swimsuits conjure up visions of waves rolling up the beach, the smell of suntan lotion and holidays relaxing in the summer sun.  Swimsuits and sun dresses were advertised as fashionable items that the wearer probably did not get wet.  

Men and women dressed in swimsuits, also used ‘sex appeal’ to advertise products, such as outboard motors, boats, sunglasses and sun tan lotions. In this respect, nothing much has changed today.

Sun tan oils or lotions advised how well skin would bronze by using certain products. This contrasts with the emphasis today on “slip, slop, slap and wrap” and the use of sunscreen lotion to prevent sunburn.

So get your togs on, slap on your sunscreen and take a trip down memory lane.

Adverts have been selected from New Zealand yachting and boating magazines and event programmes.

Marleene Boyd

Librarian