Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All it wanted to do was go home. It was 63 years old and although it's owner had loved it for a long time, it was tired. Tired of sandy beaches and salt water taffy. Tired of being passed from sister to sister, niece to niece and granddaughter to granddaughter. Tired of being exposed to sun, summer after summer from Maine to Florida to California and all beach points in between.
It was finally donated when it's last owner just felt it had no use left in it and that's when I found it in my travels.

Checking out one of my favorite shops, I saw that this one was different. There was just something that caught my eye. As I picked it up off the rack and rifled to see the label I could tell that it was vintage. Then it happened. A treasure. A bona fide treasure in a place I shop often. I saw this:

I looked again, not believing what I was seeing. On the exterior I was cool as a cucumber and sauntered up to the checkout line. I paid for my purchase and made my way to the car. Once I got my treasure into the car I gave it a good going over. I'd seen a similar label a few years back.
I decided to head back home as nothing else I could find that day would compare in any way to my treasure.

Once home, I showed my treasure to my husband. He said, "You can't sell that on your venue. Why did you buy it?" I looked at him and smiling, said, "Because I'll never find another one like it." I took my treasure into my office and went right to the Vintage Fashion Guild label resource and looked under Jantzen. There were similar labels but none exactly like this one. The ones that were similar were from the 1940s. Surely there was no way I'd found a 1940s Jantzen bathing suit.

I searched on the Internet for the Jantzen website and much to my surprise found that they are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. So I emailed the sales department and asked that my questions about the bathing suit be forwarded to their archivists.

On Monday morning I received an email from Jantzen letting me know that my treasure was produced in 1946 and called "Sun Soaker", made of gorgeous Lastex Velva-Lure. It retailed for $5.95. I showed the bathing suit to my 12-year-old daughter who loves vintage clothing, in particular vintage bathing suits, but alas, the suit would not fit her, so I had a decision to make.
Would I offer my treasure on another venue or keep it.

Later in the day I received another email from Jantzen offering to purchase the bathing suit. I decided it could have no better home than in the Jantzen archives. So today the Sun Soaker is finally going to make its way home where it will receive a well deserved rest. I am positive that this bathing suit was the favorite of many, many women. Here's hoping that Jantzen will come out with a retro line of these suits. I know at least 3 women in my household who would definitely buy the Sun Soaker.


Louise said...

Gorgeous! And what a fabulous story. Gives me a hope that there are still hidden gems out there.

Anonymous said...

What a great story, and an incredible find :-)

Carol@Dandelion Vintage said...

Great story! Just wear a Jantzen and a smile!
That swimsuit would be a favorite of mine too.

Anonymous said...

Wow Marge, what a great find, and what a perfect home for this vintage piece..

Vintage Fabric Addict said...

Absolutely the best outcome! thank goodness for people like the previous owner who knew to keep it and thank goodness for people like you and I! Where would museums be without all us hoarders and collectors.