Since travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba were eased in January, Americans have begun plotting to visit the country before outside influence threatens to dull its history. Though American travelers need a reason other than tourism to make the trip—business or family visits, for example—that doesn’t mean many haven’t already yanked the suitcase from the closet and started digging for the passport.
But what to wear once you arrive on the island’s pristine beaches? These beach fashions from a 1950s LIFE photo shoot in Cuba are a good place to start. Gordon Parks took the photos in 1958, the year before American imports to Cuba ceased and, consequently, the year of a good portion of the Cadillacs and Thunderbirds that still cruise Havana streets. With its vibrant colors and flattering cuts, this beachwear is prime for a comeback—perhaps with the exception of the technicolor Pippi Longstocking wigs.
Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.