I know you’re already seeing fall fashions in the stores, but c’mon – it’s only the beginning of August! Honestly, now is the time to buy a swimsuit. This year there’s a lot of variety and something for everyone. Choosing the right one just depends on your body shape and how much of yourself you are willing to show. That requires that you pay attention to how high-cut is the leg opening, how high or low is the back, whether the two-piece bottom has a high or low rise, and how much support you need in the bust.
A simple maillot style, which is essentially like a leotard, is almost universally flattering. And like an LBD, a basic black maillot works for a lot of seasonal color types, unless you fall into the category that we call Subtle Blended or “summer” coloring. In that case, a dark navy swimsuit would probably be better with your skin tone.
Madewell’s variation has a lower-cut back and leg openings that are a tad high but also offers some decent support for the bust area because of the crisscross straps in the back.
If you are a little more modest but still want some style, Hermoza, one of Oprah’s favorite sites, has very well-made one-piece and two-piece (tankinis that look like one-piece) swimsuits with a bit more coverage. They also have tutorials on how to shop for a suit based on your body shape, how it should fit, and which kinds offer the best support. This square-neck is one of their more tame styles.
For a well-fitting dependable suit there’s always good old Speedo. They have multiple sizes and a few variations on the basic maillot. This one has a little more style in the straps on the back but is still considered one of their more “conservative” styles.
For a little more elegance LaBlanca is a company that makes high quality and pretty stylish suits. In this one at the right, the addition of some shirring at the waist crates a slimmer line through the torso.
Take Me Back
Speaking of shirring, you’re going to see a lot of it because Retro is back! When I say retro, think: 1940’s and 1950’s 1-piece and 2-piece swimsuits. These 2-piece suits are not like what we think of when we hear “bikinis.” They have bra tops that are pretty tame, and the bottoms are mostly high-waisted. So, if you’re over 50 or plus size, yes, you can definitely consider one of these. What style archetypes types can wear them? Well, you need the personality to go with them, which means they would work best for High Spirited, Youthful, or Romantic style types.
Suki Sydney (they also sell in the US) has several variations on the theme. This one on the left is actually a one-piece that looks like the popular throwback style. And this one on the right could have been worn by a screen star of the 40’s.
Modcloth, the inclusive-size vintage-style site, features a lot of the one-piece styles inspired by Esther William. In fact, they are manufactured by her fan site. These also come in red or green with white polka dots and black with a silver and gold paillette pattern for sizes 4-22W.
Finally, there are two sites I like these days because they carry a variety of styles, multiple sizes and very reasonably priced swimsuits. The first one is called Andieswim. Their suits only come in solid colors: black, white, navy, cobalt, poppy, turmeric and aqua. Their “bikini” styles have a fairly modest bra top and either a “bikini” bottom or a “high waist” bottom. This one combines the “Maui” top with their “bikini” bottom. If you choose their “high waist” bottom you get the more retro look that holds the tummy in. Their one-piece suits are mostly variations on the maillot; some fairly modest, others with higher cut leg openings and lower cut tops.
Summersalt’s slogan is “designer swimwear without the designer price tag.” All their styles are under $95. They carry almost 300 different styles and colors in sizes 2-24 including maillots, 2-piece suits, high-waist to low-waist “bikinis,” some almost retro styles, athletic swimwear, and even some long-sleeve “racer” suits for those who really want to avoid the sun. They also have a “style finder” quiz to help you figure out which one will look best on you.
Finally I want to thank Feedspot for listing Shopping for the Real You as one of their top 20 Fashion websites! (They feature several great sites that offer information and deals about saving money when you shop online.) They selected these sites based on reputation, quality and consistency of posts, popularity on Facebook and review by their editorial team and experts. I’m honored to be included.
Have some fun in the sun, and for those of you in the southern hemisphere, summer will be just around the corner!
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Andrea’s books and new video series: