Daniel Cremiux top, $58, and retro bottom, $52, at DillardÕs, Mall St. Matthews. Model: Sarah Knabel for Heyman Talent. Hair by Karen Stout for JosephÕs Salon and Spa. At Owl Creek Community pool.(Photo: David Harrison, The Courier-Journal)Buy PhotoCONNECT>TWEET>LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE
I understand the dread with which most women approach swimsuit season. As a 5-foot-1 woman who's had three children and is, um, let's say over 35, I've done some hard summers in those fitting rooms.
I have logged many long, brutal sessions behind the curtains in the glow of that cellulite-enhancing fluorescent lighting. I still remember the summer after my third baby when, after hours of trying on bikinis (what was I thinking?), my very dear friend finally said, "Um. Maybe you're not ready for a two-piece."
And during my 20s, while working as an editorial assistant at Glamour magazine, I had the humbling experience of being a swimsuit tester for the fashion editors. It was a rite of passage/form of hazing for the newbies. We were labeled by body type (yup, I was "larger on the bottom") and tossed a pile of swimsuits to try. It's amazing that I wasn't so traumatized that I gave up swimming altogether. We then took the lessons learned in our try-on sessions and applied them to shoots with "real women."
So I feel that I can comment with some certainty and, yes, authority, about the wearability of any given season of swimsuits. And I'm happy to report that this particular season is not to be feared for the usual reasons.
RELATED: Advice for swimsuit shopping
"To be honest, some people walk in and get overwhelmed," says Mariah Mendendall, swimwear associate at Dillard's in Mall St. Matthews. "There are so many different styles. There are fly-away tanks, retro bikinis, mix and matching, more stylish one-pieces." And you're allowed to break the rules. "People are mixing prints and solids or tops and bottoms from different lines," says Mendendall.FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInGallery | Summer swimsuit fashion> Fullscreen
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"It's about being able to put together a swim look of the day," says Josh Saterman, fashion director for Macy's. "Women typically buy a few staple bottoms in a variety of silhouettes like boyfriend short, high-waist pant, bikini bottom. They can then match them with a multitude of options on top."
If all this sounds a little more complicated than simply grabbing a couple of suits and choosing the one you hate the least, it is. But the ability to individualize and personalize your swim look gives you a better shot of finding something that's truly flattering.
The Courier-Journal's Christine Fellingham and models Sarah Knabel and Lesa Varie discuss the difficulites in picking out the right swimsuit. Scott Utterback, The Courier-Journal
I've scanned the swimsuit departments at Dillard's, Macy's Oxmoor and Von Maur and even tried a few dozen myself. Here's my short list of the best news and freshest looks for you to consider before you hit the dressing room:
THE NEW TWO-PIECE
If you've sworn off two pieces because you think you're too heavy, too old, too shy, too whatever, it's time to reconsider. While there are plenty of stringy things for those who want them, there are also a seemingly endless range of two-piece looks that are so modest and covered up that you could practically wear them out to lunch. On the bottom half, there are boy shorts, athletic shorts, ruched skirts, and super-cute, tummy-hiding, high-waist retro bikini bottoms.
On the top, you have new long-line bikini tops that reveal a sliver of midriff. Elongated tank tops that float away from the body at the hips. Halter tops, cropped tops with short sleeves(!), or shoulder tops.
The two-piece offers the advantage of letting you address the two halves of your body individually, rather than trying to find a one-piece that works for top and bottom. It also lets you mix and match to put the darker colors or smaller prints on the body parts you want to minimize and the brighter colors or bigger patterns on the areas that you'd like to emphasize.
Ruffles not only add an ultra-feminine flourish to one- and two-pieces, but they're also being brilliantly used to minimize and maximize various body parts. Ruffles on bikini tops add a little extra volume on top. Diagonal or vertical ruffles on skirts minimize thighs, and smaller ruffles across the bottom of a retro one-piece can minimize hips or obscure bulges. Ruffles are your friends.
ONE-PIECES FOR EVERY BODY AND PERSONALITY TYPE
Once the safety suit of the serious swimmer or the mom in the baby pool, the one-piece is finally being taken seriously as a style option. Many of the newsiest one-pieces borrow inspiration from the '50s and come in glamorous, universally flattering halter styles that look more like dresses. Others are pool-proof versions of this season's popular rompers — with shorts on the bottom and loose tops with straps. You can also find one-shoulder versions of swim dresses that could almost pass for cocktail party attire if you switched your sandals for heels. On the other end of the spectrum are one-piece suits with cut-outs, and mono-kini styles that are string bikinis attached by more strings.
Layers aren't just for winter anymore. Now suits come in two and three pieces meant to be worn all at once or in varying combinations. For example, bikinis are being shown with long, loose swim tanks designed to be worn over the smaller tops, so you get a peek of a bikini without having to bare your midriff. You'll also see cropped tops, strapless tops and loose halter tops that can slip over a matching or contrasting top. Pair them with swim shorts or skirts and it's just a waterproof version of what you'd wear to the park. I told you: This doesn't have to be scary.
Christine Fellingham is editor of Her Scene magazine and fashion editor for The Courier-Journal. Contact her at www.facebook.com/ herscene, email@example.com or on twitter @herscene.
Source : http://www.courier-journal.com/story/life/shopping/her-scene/2014/05/23/top-swimsuit-trends/9487035/