On my recent tour of midcentury modern Salt Lake City with Mony Ty, we stopped a lovely downtown vintage clothing store, Misc. Boutique. That’s pronounced “Missy”, like owner Missy Baber, shown above. I did not have a lot of time to shop… I was on a fast-paced photo tour… but my ears perked right up when Missy mentioned her hoard of New Old Stock (NOS) vintage bikinis acquired last summer. Now, my tour was in the dead of winter, January 17, so I was disappointed, but not surprised, when Missy told me, “They are in storage.” But Retro Decorating God good news: Storage meant “downstairs in the basement,” and off she went to get a box of some examples to show us.
Yes! These are just the sort of bikinis the women wore back in the 1960s. Fitted tops and elastic around the legs and waists. The designs and colors are amazing: Blocky geometrics, tiki reminscent and pucci-esqe. And these are very high quality bikinis — Missy said they were made in France.
Missy said that starting out, she had over 100. To sell them, she said, hosted “fitting sessions” all summer long with her Salt Lake City customers. It takes about an hour for a fitting — you need to try on a lot of suits to get the right and flattering fit. On that point, Missy said: These bikinis are very very flattering, even on non-waifs. The mono-kini at the top, too, looks eye popping gorgeous on the right person she said.. I believe it. Julia Roberts… Gwyneth Paltrow… Taylor Swift… Michelle Williams… Scarlett Johansson… Julianne Moore… Zooey Deschanel… all you chic Hollywood fashionistas who appreciate vintage style: Are you reading this? Get your fashion-backward booties to Salt Lake City and get yourself a real-deal 1960s bikini from Missy. There are still a few dozen left, and Missy has them carefully catalogued just waiting. Oh, and if you are reading this, starlets, please email me, and I can help decorate one of your homes with authentic vintage flair.
Here’s a fun interview with Missy from SLC’s City Weekly. And of course, she points out:
I prefer items that have a history and a quality behind them that most current production does not.