With summer approaching, the idea of shedding that bulky, cold-weather wardrobe is becoming more appealing.
As we are starting to dream about pool parties and treks to sandy beaches in your cutest pair of sandals, it’s time to consider which bathing suits are best suited for your body type before heading to the mall’s dressing room or ordering an item from your favorite store.
To gain some bathing suit insight, we caught up with Carla Nelson, a personal stylist, wardrobe consultant, personal shopper and fashion expert who is creative director of A Creative Cliché, to hear about what will be on trend this summer.
“I think one of the strongest things is playing with color this year,” Nelson said. “You are going to see a lot of pastels with a pop, kind of like sorbet colors. They’re really great because they work well with any skin color, like this design from designer Andrea Iyamah:
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Nelson said in addition to sorbet colors – think pinks, peaches and orange hues – mint green continues to be popular. Another popular trend: draping or ruching styles that cover the tummy.
“For anyone who is working on their summer body, ruching hides what you want to hide but gives a feminine touch.”
Since some style trends never change, Nelson said there’s a bathing suit type that continues to be a mainstay, summer after summer: one-pieces.
“They’re still going to be here, but they will be more risqué than a standard one-piece,” Nelson said. “Some will mimic lingerie, and there will be more cutouts.”
Check out the cut-out halter style of this Nakimuli suit below:
Shop by body type
In addition to paying attention to style trends, figuring out your bathing suit type is key when choosing the right one. And one thing most women hate, Nelson noted, is shopping for bathing suits.
“We go in saying, ‘This is cute,’” Nelson said. “You have to learn your body type and play to that rather than buying one that’s your favorite color.”
Depending on your body type, there are a few things to keep in mind while shopping that will ensure the desire to strut, self-assured, across the sand this summer.
“If you’re top-heavy, stay away from thin or spaghetti straps,” she said. “You won’t feel balanced, and then you won’t feel confident.”
In addition, Nelson said, top-heavy women should lean toward straps that are adjustable.
“You’re in control of the support you have,” she said. “Even padding works for top-heavy women. It gives more support.”
Other styles that are popular include bandeau and tube tops, like the one shown from Andrea Iyamah below, for women who are straight up and down, or for women who have an hourglass shape.
“When you have an even body type in terms of ratio, it’s a great go-to,” Nelson said.
For women who are bigger on bottom, Nelson said, one of the best things you can do is keep the bottom half of your suit neutral in terms of color and style.
“Pick out a swimsuit that will have more going on at the top,” Nelson said. Draw the eye to the top part of your body to create a soft symmetry.” She suggested something with a ruffle or sparkly, shiny fabric on top.
The sleeves and fabric detailing of this Rue107 suit create a symmetrical effect:
Don’t forget about accessories
If you’re interested in searching for accessories after finding the perfect bathing suit, Nelson said one item isn’t going anywhere any time soon: hats. Not only do they block sunlight, but they’re fashionable and full of options.
Nelson predicted “exaggerated, huge, floppy hats that are almost couture-esque,” will be spotted this summer.
“They’re really fun,” she said. “Especially if you have a simpler swimsuit.”
Nelson said it’s more important to find what works for your body type than to be concerned about purchasing a bathing suit a celebrity was spotted in.
“You might love the piece and not love yourself in it,” Nelson said.