One piece suits were still the most popular choice during the 1950s, but some did venture out and show off more skin. For the braver ladies during this time, bikinis were ideal and the trend really started to pick up. Finally, swimsuits allowed women to feel confidant and attractive, revealing a new standard of sexy.
To celebrate the arrival of beach season in 1950, LIFE’s Nina Leen photographed that season’s trends for women: strapless and halter-top swimsuits, “pirate pants” drawn from fashions of the French Riviera and island-inspired straw hats. Thighs were in and midriffs were out, as simple suits allowed accessories the spotlight.