The Sun is shining, temperatures are rising and clothes are being peeled off . . . it's SUMMER!
Finally, it's time for poolside lounging, skiing at the lake and vacationing at an inviting sandy beach. For months we have been awaiting summer's arrival and now that it is just about here, the realization sinks in, It's not just summer it's bathing suit season.
Eek! That means shopping for a suit that hides every imperfection with less material than underwear. The mere thought of staring in the mirror at stark white, almost naked skin in department store lighting that accentuates every flaw puts a cloud over the excitement of summer time fun.
In a society that measures beauty against a size-zero, 6'2" frame it's no wonder every woman feels a bit of anxiety when faced with the task of swimsuit shopping. The reality is that, unless you live smack in the middle of L.A., those perfect bodies are extremely scarce. Everyone has something she is trying to deal with.
Ok, we can get through this without panicking! Throw your apprehension to the wind and follow a few swimsuit shopping tips that will help you look and feel your best this summer.
Swimwear today is all about the total look from suits to cover-ups, sandals, hats, sunglasses, totes, and even towels. Dara Dupler at Azur Couture led me around her boutique, at the Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks, schooling me on this year's hottest suits and accessories.
Dupler said, "The key is not to look like you're trying too hard but still pull off a look that easily transitions from beach to brunch."
To accomplish an entire stylized look based on your personality, figure out your summer mode persona.
This is the gal who is simply on the beach to look gorgeous. She tans, wades in the water, and reads her favorite fashion magazine in oversized, white-framed sunglasses. To achieve this glamorous look, go for bright aqua or citron suits with subtle metallic embellishments. When you're not making a splash in the water, you can wrap a sexy sarong around your waist and instantly you go from sun-bathing beach diva to casual outdoor lunch goddess.
Sophisticated Boardwalk Chic
If you are the modest, mature, family-oriented woman, you can capture your style persona by simply painting a picture of days that recall walking on the boardwalk with an ice-cold bottle of Coke. To achieve this look, avoid the dull and add sophistication with nostalgic, age-appropriate swimsuit cuts, endearing cover-ups, and large canvas totes. In 2007 the modest 1950s and '60s beach apparel is brought up-to-date with bold primary colors, flattering cuts and Hawaiian floral prints.
A Bohemian Betty's look is surfer oriented, a bit rough around the edges, with an essence of bohemian beauty. Her look is more of a free-spirited, charismatic hippy. She knows the rules of beach attire but is rebellious enough to break them with some zest. To achieve this look choose a one or two-piece suit (depending on your body type) in a bold color. Throw on a drawstring mini, flip flops, sporty sunglasses and a lightweight hoodie.
Now that you have your ideal look in mind it's time to find the suit that suits your body. You will need to know how to minimize, enhance, or conceal, as well as shop for fashion trends that are as hot as noon in mid-August.
This year, swimsuits are anything but boring! 1950s style one-piece suits are smokin' hot on the runway. String bikinis and tankinis are totally in for 2007. These classics will never go out of style.
Patterns and styles spotted this year are polka dots, strips, swirls, retro '80s prints, animal prints, embellishing, mix-match suits, bling, rhinestones, sparkles, and flowers. But before your eyes are completely blinded by all the bedazzle, your top priority is to distinguish the right size, silhouette, and cut that addresses your particular shape and anxiety zones.
Big Busted Beauty
Halter-top bikinis will be one of your best choices to keep the girls where you want them. They offer support, while still providing sexy cleavage. Try a style banded at the midriff that can be tied around the back and neck. To minimize a large chest and balance the lower body, add volume to the lower half by wearing suits with a key-hole back, high back, or a boy cut bottoms. You can also try a one-piece tank with an under wire and thick comfortable straps. Also try high-neck suits with slimming details, like ruching, at the waist. Strapless tops are not your friend and triangle tops and bandeaus are out of the question.
Small Chested Princess
Adding volume to a small chest will draw attention to the bust while also drawing attention away from your bottom. Go for a push-up top, a demi-cup style with padding, or a tankini.
Choose tops with tons of details such as ruching, ruffles, bows, horizontal strips, and bright, fun colors. Pairing one of these tops with plain, dark-colored bottom will give you the ideal suit for you body type while ultimately balancing your frame.
Wide Shouldered Sugar
If you have wide shoulders, your main goal is balance. Accomplish this by wearing bottoms that have lots of colors and prints. Go for bottoms that have sporty accents at the hips such as ties, belts, and sashes.
Wide shoulder straps and square necklines will also look fabulous on you. You will, however, want to stay away from tiny bikinis and plunging necklines, which will create a "V" silhouette -- not the balance you are looking for at all.
If you want to create longer, sexy legs, go for a swimsuit that is cut higher on the thigh. Also, a one-piece suit with a plunging neckline will create a longer torso and drop-dead gorgeous style! You will want to avoid boy shorts and skirted styles. These trends will draw the eye downward, making you look shorter.
Long Body Lovely
The long body shape has the ability to go wild when it comes to choosing the perfect suit. You have the freedom to try embellishments such as jewels, ties and bows at the hips or the bust line.
The long body type will look smashing in all the vibrant colors that are so hot this season. Boy shorts, cute ruffled skirts, and cover-ups are also just the bottoms to fit your body type. Do avoid up and down stripes, high necklines and dark, solid colors when choosing a suit.
Boyish Bodied Babe
If you have a boyish frame, your goal is to define a waistline and create the illusion of curves while still balancing the hips and shoulders. Design details, ruching, draping princess seams, and shirring at the waist of a skirt can all help accomplish this.
You will want to stay away from anything that cuts straight across, such as boy shorts; they will make you look like a boy. Instead, go for a string bikini bottom and pretty it up with ruffles and frills. Bright colors and cheery patterns will give you the illusion of curves. Steer clear of solid-colored swimwear and horizontal-striped one-pieces.
Too Much Tummy, Honey
Check out tankini swimsuits. They cover just enough, while still allowing the freedom and hip aspects of the bikini. A one-piece with some draping around the waist or hips can help to conceal tummy troubles. Also try a one-piece with a lycra content -- this will give you ultimate tummy control.
When you are bigger on the bottom you want to draw eyes up to your pretty face, wear an eye-catching, detailed bikini top and make sure you pair it with darker bottoms that sit well on the hips. You can also try a one-piece suit with a plunging neckline to bring the eye from floor to face. Do keep the bottom of your suit the simplest piece. Make sure to avoid detailed bottoms and boy shorts.
Full Bottomed Mama
The super cute mini-skirt bikinis are made just for you! Be sure to pick a smooth, slimming skirt that is short and sweet, yet still covers what it needs to cover. Another option is the moderate bikini bottom with a three-inch side. You will want to stay away from boy shorts, skimpy bottoms, and lots of details at the hips.
As we all know the hourglass figure has very balanced shoulders and hips with the waist being the smallest. If this is your body type, lucky you! Any classic style of bathing suit will work for your figure. Since a tiny designer bikini looks good on so few people, I would suggest you consider it your solemn duty to show off your curves and make a few heads turn!
No Hair Suit
Well it's coming down to the wire with summer a countdown away. My final suggestion before sending all sunbathers sailing off in the sunset is to make a stop By Carmen Skin Care and Specialty Waxing Studios, 2442 E. 15th St.
She specializes in all types of waxing that will get you summer set.
So now you're prepped with a tote bag full of swimsuit style knowledge to fit your figure and designs, cuts, and colors that rip like waves through this year's hottest season! So go ahead and have a blast making a splash in the summer of 2007!
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