Trying on swimsuits is rarely anyone’s favorite shopping expedition. Whether you believe you are too thin, too fat, too busty, too flat, odds are you will find a style that does not work for you. Okay, knowing that going in, buying a swimsuit in 2014 may also be the year where you know there is surely a style for everyone.
Swimsuit trends usually follow a basic theme. It is either the year of the tankini, or the retro one-piece or the classic string bikini. This year, there are several competing trends that, for once, each work on different body types or parts. Here are the top looks and some inexpensive options to buy:
Cutouts aka the Monokini
This bathing suit trend borrows liberally from the recent dress trend with fabric cut deep or high, and either bare skin or mesh inserts. Yes, like the dresses, there will be some extreme versions where it is really a case of how little fabric can be used to cover certain parts, but for others with more class the style can be really flattering. Think of the fabric as hiding not only private parts but also less perfect parts!. Yep, strategically placed fabric can hide the tummy bulge and the less than perfect bust (whether small, large, or fighting gravity). The strategically placed cutouts conversely can show off a thin waist, décolletage or whatever. Of course, one down side is weird tan lines, but soaking up the sun isn’t ideal anyway. Depending on the suit, this style can work for young or middle age. It can be found in a variety of price ranges too.
Backless Cutout Swimsuit $29.95
Geo-Cutout Monokini $19.80
High-waisted jeans, skirts, and shorts have returned to wardrobes, so now the trend has moved into swimwear too. While they kind of resemble the granny panties Bridget Jones decried, the great thing about the high-waisted suit is that it works for many body types. If you have a small waist, it puts emphasis there. If you are skinny, a colored bottom with a tight waist gives an allusion of curves. If you have a tummy, there are versions with control panels that minimize. And, there are a lot of versions in dark solids that flatter most. Like the cutouts, you can go cheap or outrageous in buying bottoms. Also, the trend for non-matching suits allows you to just buy a new bottom to go with a top you already have and like.
Lole “Matira” High Waist Bikini Bottoms (UPF 50+) $40
Out From Under Mix + Match Ruched High-Waist Bikini Bottom $42.00
Bustiers (and underwires) add structure and sexiness to a bathing suit top. But, choose styles or colors that don’t look like you a wearing a bra or other lingerie on the beach. Stick with bright colors, patterns or something with design flair. Those with smaller chests can get away with most colors and patterns, whereas those with more up top should stick with solids or darker patterns. If you are wearing a high-waisted bottom, stick with a shorter top. If you are wearing a traditional bikini bottom, pick a longer bustier top that goes down to the waist. Again, like newer bottoms, you can get a top and mix it with older suit bottoms to freshen up your look.
Strappy Longline Bikini Top $16.80
River Island Black geometric print bustier bikini top $27
While not a suit style, in terms of cut, prints are in for fabric choices. There are retro looks with flowers and polka dots. There are the photo realism images of tropical island holidays or vacations you wish you were on that are printed on suits. Then there are graphic prints that reflect your personality and taste, whether in neon or classic black and white.
ASOS Safari Elephant Print Bandeau Swimsuit $66.69
Apt. 9® Swim Separates $24, Orig. $40
Designers are now incorporating rash guards into their swim collections, much like the tunic or pareo. The tops now come in a variety of styles, sleeve lengths and patterns. They look sporty, stylish and like you care about protecting your skin.
Merona® Women’s Longsleeve Front Zip Rash Guard -Assorted Colors $24.99
Dakine Women’s Classic S/S Rashguard $46.95
Note: Prices as of May 18, 2014