Calhoun, Benson and the other pioneering women from this era had such style and grace, not to mention chutzpa for riding big surf on heavy logs sans leashes and wetsuits. And they were super stylish in their '50s bathing suits (I'm actually on the hunt for one now, similar to one worn by Calhoun in the Surfing in the 50s film).
Many of the bathing suits during this era were fashioned by none other than the "Million Dollar Mermaid" herself -- Esther Williams. The former competitive swimmer and starlet-turned bathing suit designer set the stage for classic, stylish and quality beach-going and wave riding attire. During my grand quest for such a suit I came across some really great vintage wear sites, including Esther Williams (http://www.esther-williams.com/) and a cool blog called GlamourSplash (http://www.glamoursplash.com/).
I'm inspired and stoked to see this style of suit still being made. It's funny how the pioneers in fashion and surfing back then were making "modern" advances, and how today we want to reverse back to that time. It was a time before polyurethane foam, plastic fins, Roxy, SUPs and everything made in China for cheap. I, for one, vote to go back to that era of classic, quality fashion and surfing, even if it means I can't wear a wetsuit.