Features

Suit Yourself Another Season To Get Into The Swim Of Things

Spring is here and that can only mean one thing: It’s time for the comic strip character “Cathy” to begin her annual quest for the perfect swimsuit. Each spring women readers suffer with Cathy as she tries on dozens of suits only to be continually disappointed by the results in the mirror.

The real problem might be with those fitting room mirrors, but that will have to be the subject of a future article. For now, we need to concentrate on finding the best swimsuit for you this summer.

And there is much to choose from at area stores this season. 1997 swimwear trends break into six categories, providing a look and fit for almost every shape and size. Geometric and op-art prints are crisp, sharp images in bright citrus colors and bold black and white.

Geometric cubes, concentric circles, three dimensional shapes and computer-generated graphics create an optical illusion and a cutting-edge look sure to get noticed at the beach.

At Marie O’Brien’s Boutique in the Coeur d’Alene Resort, the newest swimsuits in the shop are fluorescent oranges and ice greens.

“Everything is bright,” said Christa Elli, the boutique’s manager. She noted that the most popular style purchased at the resort is the one-piece “Slimsuit,” which is fully lined with Lycra and claims to make the wearer appear 10 pounds thinner.

Cindy Green, manager of Audrey’s Boutique in Spokane, said her customers are snatching up suits that combine a flattering fit and the season’s exotic fruit hues. Black suits with brightly colored insets are the best selling color combinations.

Athletic-styled suits reflect the ‘70s retro trend seen in street clothing. Many suits feature “boy legs,” a style preferred by some women because they offer more coverage. Because this style can widen the hips, manufacturers are modifying the boy-cut leg to resemble a slightly skirted tunic, which lengthens and slims the hips.

Two women looking for swimwear at Shopko said they were happy to see swimsuits they can actually swim in.

“We are water aerobics students, so we look for swimsuits that are reasonably priced and give plenty of support,” one of them said.

Engineered prints are strategically designed to draw the eye to figure assets. Heavy in the thighs? These suits are darker at the bottom and gradually get lighter and bolder through the midriff and bust, drawing attention away from the hips and legs.

Metallic suits with heavy zippers and metal trim may not be for everybody but we’ll be seeing lots of juniors choosing this style for those long summer days by the pool.

Winter Alto, a Lewis and Clark High School students, said she’s looking for a two-piece suit to show off her navel ring. She’s particularly interested in a gray metallic Calvin Klein suit she spotted at NorthTown Mall.

The 51-year-old bikini style is still going strong with a few minor adjustments. The “power pad” triangle top, which creates a full, smooth bust line accompanied by the “extra Brazilian” bottom, cut slightly wider than a thong, are designed for the truly selfconfident.

At Swim In, located at NorthTown Mall, manager Jolene Hrobak says most of her customers, who range in age from 15 to 40, are looking for two-pieces.

“There’s already a lot of interest in the two-piece hot pants style,” she said. “It has tight-fitting shorts that give great coverage on the bottom.”

She also noted that the “board short,” an accessory usually worn over two-piece suits, is very popular this season.

“It has a unique, loose fit that rides low on the hips,” she said. “If you’re a size 5, you’ll probably want a size 9 because of the way it’s supposed to be worn.”

Texture is the final element to look for this season.

Pique, ribbed knits, textured ottoman and seersucker all add weight to the fabric, increasing holding power and reducing the jiggle factor.

Kim Ross, swimwear merchandiser for Land’s End, said, “A lot of what is happening is creative reinvention - taking time-tested, popular silhouettes and applying figure-enhancing principles for a better fit, performance and updated style.”

MEMO: These sidebars appeared with the story: MATCH YOUR SWIMWEAR TO BODY TYPE As revealing as swimwear is, it can still be flattering if you know a few basic fitting tips. Being aware of your figure strengths and flaws is the first step in finding the most flattering suit. Short-waisted women should choose one-piece suits with vertical or diagonal lines running the length of the suit. This makes you appear taller and thinner. If you are long-waisted, select two-piece suits or one-piece suits with a contrasting belt around the middle to cut down on your length. To enhance a small bust, look for suits with ruffles across the front. The new push-up tops also help make the most of what you have. Top-heavy? Swimwear with bra cups is a must. Wide straps and criss-cross fronts also give extra support and comfort. Women who are heavy in the hips or thighs can cover up the problem with skirted suits or draw attention away from the lower half by wearing suits with interesting necklines. If a thick waist is your problem, you should choose suits with loose-fitting, blouson tops. There are also lots of suits available with control panels that are great in helping minimize your size. So whatever your needs, for the first time in many years there will probably be a swimsuit readily available to fit your lifestyle and figure. Understanding your assets and liabilities is the key to finding the right suit for you. And remember, objects may not be as large as they appear in the mirror.

SWIMSUIT FIT EASY AS 1, 2, 3 A new coding system called “Suitable Solutions” being utilized by many swimsuit manufacturers will help make finding the right suit much easier, according to The Swimwear Manufacturers Association. The green and blue hangtag uses a numeric coding system to identify swimsuits that flatter varying body shapes and sizes, allowing women to find the perfect suit for their needs. “1” means that the swimsuit maximizes the bust. “2” indicates that the suit is a bust minimizer. “3” signifies full-cup support. “4” means a swimsuit that tones the tummy and midriff. “5” denotes a suit that minimizes the hip and thigh. “6” identifies a swimsuit that flatters a long torso. Swimsuits may be tagged with any combination of these numbers to indicate multiple fit benefits.

These sidebars appeared with the story: MATCH YOUR SWIMWEAR TO BODY TYPE As revealing as swimwear is, it can still be flattering if you know a few basic fitting tips. Being aware of your figure strengths and flaws is the first step in finding the most flattering suit. Short-waisted women should choose one-piece suits with vertical or diagonal lines running the length of the suit. This makes you appear taller and thinner. If you are long-waisted, select two-piece suits or one-piece suits with a contrasting belt around the middle to cut down on your length. To enhance a small bust, look for suits with ruffles across the front. The new push-up tops also help make the most of what you have. Top-heavy? Swimwear with bra cups is a must. Wide straps and criss-cross fronts also give extra support and comfort. Women who are heavy in the hips or thighs can cover up the problem with skirted suits or draw attention away from the lower half by wearing suits with interesting necklines. If a thick waist is your problem, you should choose suits with loose-fitting, blouson tops. There are also lots of suits available with control panels that are great in helping minimize your size. So whatever your needs, for the first time in many years there will probably be a swimsuit readily available to fit your lifestyle and figure. Understanding your assets and liabilities is the key to finding the right suit for you. And remember, objects may not be as large as they appear in the mirror.

SWIMSUIT FIT EASY AS 1, 2, 3 A new coding system called “Suitable Solutions” being utilized by many swimsuit manufacturers will help make finding the right suit much easier, according to The Swimwear Manufacturers Association. The green and blue hangtag uses a numeric coding system to identify swimsuits that flatter varying body shapes and sizes, allowing women to find the perfect suit for their needs. “1” means that the swimsuit maximizes the bust. “2” indicates that the suit is a bust minimizer. “3” signifies full-cup support. “4” means a swimsuit that tones the tummy and midriff. “5” denotes a suit that minimizes the hip and thigh. “6” identifies a swimsuit that flatters a long torso. Swimsuits may be tagged with any combination of these numbers to indicate multiple fit benefits.



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