This week, with the first day of summer, the ocean's slowly warming swells break over the sandy beaches of the northern outcroppings of the continent, and the line-up of beachgoers bracketing the U.S. is manned to the final outpost.
In Portland, Maine and in Portland, Ore. the parade of bathers, boaters and spectators is on.
How to distinguish this summer's vacationer from last summer's is chiefly the matter of a few fashion pointers. Two months ago, SI photographed prophetic play clothes on the warm sands of Acapulco to serve as a summer guide to the beachgoer in the cape and bay country in the north. The four pages that follow illustrate the following fine points:
The swaddled sea-bather will be readily recognized by the fact that she appears on the beach in a hooded beach jacket which reveals only chin and nose above, but every inch of leg below. Once settled under the sun, however, she probably will wear a Bikini-brief two-piece knitted bathing suit which easily gives her double value for her sun time.
The middy set is fashionable because of the overblouse which yields to no shape but its own until it stops at the hip line. When worn over a bathing suit it is usually long enough to conceal the fact.
The classic spectator will more than ever this year stick to classic white for the dress to be worn at the country club. A further point of definition is the "Empire" bustline, usually marked with a belt.
The advance guard point of definition in new dresses and playsuits is the bare midriff. In this, its first year, it is usually a modest one-inch space of skin, but bears watching for further development in summer, 1957.
Beach nightie is the name of awning-striped coat Carmen Linares wears beside an Acapulco pool (John Weitz, $9).
TWO-PIECE SUITS ARE THIS SUMMER'S HOTTEST REVIVAL. JOANNE SOTROS WEARS SUIT WITH MATCHING JACKET (BRIGANCE, UNDER $34)
Beach hood (Greta Plattry, $14.95) in this summer's favorite color—yellow—shades the head of Anna Hoeflich of Mexico City.
Gondolier shirt, shorts (B. H. Wragge, under $33) typify play clothes which obscure waistlines, are worn by Juneau Alsin.
Empire waistlines give a new shape to spectator dresses. Classic whites worn at Acapulco's yacht club by Odile Grant and JoJo Beyer are an Empire-belted white piqué (McMullen, under $30) and an embroidered eyelet sheath with yellow obi sash (Greta Plattry, under $30).
Gainsborough approach extends to bathing suits. Robin Barker wears straw beach hat with jersey suit (Claire McCardell, under $40).
Peek-a-boo midriffs are successors to hip-length overblouses. Juneau Alsin wears linen top and shorts (Dorothy Cox, under $23).
Spinnaker stripes are the widest of this broadly striped season, as in drawstring blouse and bloomers (Lorraine Budny, under $27).
Signal flag shirt (Lorraine Budny, $11) is notched front and back, adds nautical air to land or seascape. It is worn by JoJo Beyer.
Japanese kite print bathing suit has an Oriental-jog skirt front (Tina Leser, under $23). Juneau Alsin water-skis at Club de Ski.
Jockey's silks inspired shirt and shorts (Kenn Barr, under $16). Odile Grant shows correct length for this summer's shorts—short.