Time to Dive In! Swimsuit Season

Riviera Frame Of Mind


I noticed this week the beginning of the sales on…are you ready for this?…SPRING merchandise!!!   Whhhaaat?  I just wrapped up my cashmere turtlenecks for next fall!  Indeed, the fashion calendar marches on and with the reduced stock most retailers are carrying these days if you really love something you better get it quickly before it is gone.  This especially applies to one garment most of us aren’t even thinking about yet – the swimsuit!

I know, I know, we have just finished with Easter and I am talking about bathing suits.  But I must.  Because if there is one garment that you want to have maximum selections to choose from when shopping, this is it.  If you wait until June, when you really need your new swimsuit in hand, you will be staring at the picked over, size limited, lurid colored, ill-fitting, appallingly printed, mis-matched pieces headed for a clearance rack.  This will force you to go to the web and order the same basic, boring, and safe black suit in the same cut you bought last year….and the year before that!   

Taking my own advice I started my shopping early this year.  Hoping to find something a bit more stylish for myself, I decided I needed a little motivation.  This year I am channeling a little of the Riviera – think the great cool colors of this seasons’ Emilio Puccci prints – white, aqua, purple, azure and pops of lime and black.  Soooo gorgeous.  And lets not forget the divine stuff from Missoni and Diane Von Furstenberg – OMG!!!  The dresses, caftans, wraps, and even playsuits are all so divine I could spend the whole season in cover ups! 

So, suitably inspired (pun intended) I started my search.  Well…..apparently the glorious choices in kaftans, pareos, and maxi dresses this season are going to have to compensate for what is appearing to be a less than inspiring collection of swimwear.  The key swimwear trends this year are bandeau tops, string bikinis and one piece suits with cutouts.  Yikes!  Don’t get me wrong, there are some super cute suits out there, but the versions that are going to flatter the more average figures among us are few and far between – so get out there now and GRAB THEM!!!! 

I think the cut out trend is going to lure us all in to try, and leave most of us unsatisfied.  While there are a few great suits out there with some strategically place openings – like the awesome black suit above, there are many that have more holes than suit and are more accurately considered monokinis.  These are a challenge.  Even if you make it past the complete lack of hanger appeal that bits of fabric and strings dangling haphazardly have, and you manage to figure out just which bits cover YOUR bits in the dressing room, the missing pieces can still be treacherous on even the fittest bodies.   Sigh.

Moving on to bandeau tops – they are terrific, especially for the less endowed of us, and I found some great options in both one and two pieces.  I love what some of the designers did with fabric manipulation giving great shape and curve. I also saw many nice traditional triangle bikinis – great colors, cute prints, and choices at every price point.  And while not at the forefront of fashion, the tankini is plentiful as well.  I see the general appeal this style has for women, but I have yet to find one that fits me well and then stays where it is suppose to!

 If you have much on top though, tiny fabric triangles and straight across bandeaus are best avoided.  Which is where I end up and fortunately the swimwear designers have not forsaken the curvy girls.  There are many great ruched styles – lovely goddess appeal and magical curve enhancing/tummy camouflaging capabilities.  I also found some really cute retro looks with sweet heart or halter styles that are going to really flatter the more generously blessed among us.    

Some final thoughts:  Don’t even think about simply buying and running without trying things on.  Nothing in the world is less flattering than an ill-fitting swimsuit.  They are simply killers.  Even the most fit and toned of us dread facing the fluorescent lighted and three way mirrored torture chambers, I mean dressing rooms, to try on swimsuits!  But you must.  I find the misery-loves-company approach helps, so going with a friend who is also shopping for a suit is a good bet.  And a nice strong margarita always makes the fitting process less painful.  So check your calendars, schedule some time with your besty, make reservations at your favorite beverage-serving, mall-located restaurant and prepare yourself!   And if worse comes to worse, go back to the tried and true style of years past and instead spend your money on a simply fab new cover-up….that’s what *I* am going to do 😉

PS – For The Boys……

Alright my pets, this couldn’t be simpler.  This is one occasion where I BEG you not to get creative or try something trendy.  Forgo the loud orange and yellow Hawaiian print that bleeds and fades the nanosecond it hits pool water, or the weird pattern that looks like hand prints on your behind.  Pass on using your every day long baggy shorts that aren’t designed for swimming – some really don’t work well with water and a crowded beach or pool party is no place to discover they are completely transparent when wet.  And whatever you do, leave the Speedos alone (even the professional swimmers have given these guys up).  Find a nice basic pair of swim trunks in a board-short style.  Not too long, not too short.  Make sure they are in good repair, have the appropriate underpinnings and a working drawstring and you are done.

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