In the ’80s, one of my first assignments as a vogue editor at Vogue was to cowl the swimwear market. As a Jersey woman, born and raised simply miles from the beach (we by no means called it “the shore,” that was for day trippers!), this was like getting paid to eat ice cream! It was my responsibility to visit the showrooms of swimwear designers — Norma Kamali, Liza Bruce, Gottex, Cole of California, Physique Glove, amongst others — to establish the newest developments and select probably the most exciting kinds for the magazine’s stories.
At that young age, I was a triangle-bikini devotee personally, however I developed a watch for brand new shapes and an appreciation of swimwear development and fabric developments. It grew to become a sort of obsession. When Summer got here round, I couldn’t assist subconsciously identifying the manufacturers of all the suits worn by women I saw on the weekends, strolling on the sand, sunbathing by the pool.
Later, after i grew to become Trend Director at Glamour, we might hold large swimsuit attempt-ons in the fashion closet with the promise of discovering each girls her “good suit.” It’s superb what a distinction a few particulars, corresponding to adjustable straps or a seamless leg, could make in such a small piece of fabric on the physique. I typically found myself surreptitiously eyeing girls at our pool membership and second-guessing whether or not their bathing suits had been the only option for his or her varied determine types. Their cover-ups additionally captured my consideration.
While I continued to wear bikinis (though not triangles) effectively into my 40s, I knew these days have been, for me, numbered. That’s not to suggest that girls cannot put on two-pieces after a sure point (do not forget that well-known image of Helen Mirren a few years back rocking a red bikini in her mid-60s? Wowza!).
But I discovered that, in comparison with bikinis, one-items will be simply as sexy, flattering and sometimes much more chic.
So listed below are a few of my favourite one-items and cover-ups as well as a couple of tips I’ve picked up alongside the way in which:
Development counts: In case you have a large chest, for example, search for built-in bras, wider straps and halter necklines, which are more supportive. If you have a tummy, many fits have management panels or a higher proportion of Lycra. Seamless arm- and leg-holes present a clean silhouette that doesn’t squeeze you within the incorrect places. Read the tremendous print before you purchase.You may be taught too much.
Figure-flattery purple flags: By now, you probably know that dark colors minimize and gentle or vivid ones entice the attention. This is true. However some fits scream, “I’m trying to attract attention away from my hips” too obviously. A bit of element on the upper body — a strappy again, piping on the neck, for example — can do the trick but attempt to keep away from types which have obvious padding or crazy geometric color-blocking pointing to your chest. An all-over print, akin to a floral or polka-dots, can keep the eye shifting and balance proportions with more subtlety. And, counter-intuitively, you do not essentially need to place probably the most protection in your greatest physique part. Carrying a skirted suit over wide hips only makes them look larger; a much bigger prime and smaller backside on this figure-kind can really look better, as long as you’re comfortable with the amount of protection.
Geometry lessons: Vertical stripes and particulars can lengthen your silhouette, however that is not always a superb factor. It is advisable know your body’s proportions. You probably have an extended torso, for example, horizontal patterns can be your pal. Ditto if your thighs are giant in relation to your waist; horizontals make your hips and torso appear wider and assist steadiness. If in case you have a brief waist, by all means, go for up-and-down designs, excessive necklines or one-shoulder shapes. Illusion particulars (reminiscent of sheer mesh inserts) will also be used to direct the attention — and add the suggestion of skin without baring it all.
Cover-up coaching: What you put on if you emerge from the surf or the pool counts. Consider it as an outfit vs. just wrapping a giant seashore towel round you. Nonetheless, you might not need to get too matchy-matchy, as in wearing a print maillot with a coordinating item. To me, that looks like you are trying too laborious in a scenario that is purported to be relaxed. I desire pairing a tunic, beach pant and sarong in a similar color palette, complementary print or mood (akin to an embroidered caftan over a feminine maillot, or a sporty board brief with an athletic tank suit) as an alternative. Be cognizant of what you wish to cover up!
One in every of my all-time favorite and inexpensive cover-ups? A man’s oversize cotton shirt. So easy, so chic. Add a Panama hat …