Ready for summertime adventure and excitement? Whether hitting the beach or relaxing at poolside, choice of swimwear will either enhance style cred or concoct a less than fabulous, same-old swimsuit impression.
The top-tier trends for 2013 are the ubiquitous digital prints. 2013 swimsuits take their cue from street wear apparel — abstract designs, cityscapes, animal prints to soft florals.
“Beautiful prints, neons and a new color: mint,” said Diane Romines, 18-year swimsuit specialist at Mall of Louisiana’s Dillard’s. Digital printed swimwear can be functional as well as fashionable, doubling as outerwear.
And then there’s the retro-hot vintage-inspired look. Playful, ultra-feminine, dripping with Hollywood sex appeal, this style is back again. The preponderance of high-waisted bikini bottoms are this season’s means of injecting a vintage feel into contemporary swimwear design. But for the woman ready to get in touch with her inner Grace Kelly there are numerous 1950s-inspired choices for all-out glam: think curvaceous, shaping and support.
Mismatched bikini tops and bottoms can make a bold statement. A contrast of color or design between upper and lower creates an intriguing, eclectic look if done tastefully. And eschewing uniformity is a great way to get multiple and varied uses from two or more separate bikinis.
When shopping, make the best choices from the five major swimsuit styles:
1. One piece
Swimsuit designers are acutely aware that one style does not fit all and have created numerous one-piece options. “Accentuate hourglass shapes with the latest one-piece silhouettes, some with hidden tummy-slimmers on the inside,” said Sofia Wacksman from Kohl’s. Suits for pear-shaped figures use ruffles or patterns to draw attention to the bust, and suits with molded or padded cups enhance up top, if that’s what’s needed. “Fringe and crochet are big trends,” said Romines. For the woman who is tall and slim, a well-chosen one-piece can add a bit of curviness.
A casual glance around any beach or pool soon reveals the eternal truth: only a very few have the body for a triangle-top, skimpy bottom bikini. But just as with one-pieces, designers have jumped to the rescue. Bikinis can actually look better than a one-piece for those with a large bust and smaller hips, as well as vice versa, since shoppers can purchase different sizes in each. Long-waisted figures fit instantly. Have short legs? Select a block-colored bottom to shift attention upward. And if the midriff isn’t yet bikini-worthy, seek a high-waist bottom that comes up over the stomach, ideally with minimizer support.
“They’re ideal for those not wanting to show so much skin,” said Romines. Tankinis have a bikini bottom with a top that covers the stomach. A variation is the skirtini, which has a micro-skirt attached to the bikini bottom. “Tankinis and skirtinis work well for curvy physiques,” said Wacksman. These styles can give the illusion of a longer torso when the bottom is bigger than the top. Muffin tops will want to consider the apron tankini, which falls from the shoulders to hips in a straight line.
With thin straps that either crisscross or fit high around the neck, this one-piece variation stays put no matter how active the wearer may be. Form-fitting to reduce any drag for serious swimmers, they aren’t the least bit forgiving of figure flaws — especially excess flab. Athletic styles have traditionally been among the most yawn-inducing, drab suits on the rack, but that is changing. “Neons are hot and tie dye are good choices,” said Romines.
5. Swim dress
Not sure about the suit styles above? Swimwear designers have thoughtfully provided one more choice: the swim dress. Banish that vision of Grandma beached next to the wading pool in her ancient skirted swimsuit. This season’s offerings trade frump for fashion with a splash of colors and contemporary styles. Some have gathered material in the torso to hide stomach issues while others feature flattering V-necks to emphasize a plus of being a plus size.