Memorial Day Weekend is coming up, which means summer is about to officially commence. Finding the perfect bathing suit for your body type and styling it for the various warm weather festivities that will ensue is always a challenge. Pulse spoke with fashion stylist Shandi Alexander, who styled our June swimwear fashion story “Sea Swept”, and got the low-down on how to kick off summer with killer swimwear.
We broke down body types into three categories: slim, curvy and pear-shape. If you’re not sure of your body type, go to a swimwear specialty shop like Blum’s in Patchogue. They’ll be able to help you determine your shape and what swimwear will work best.
Opt for a very minimal swimsuit, like a triangle top and a bottom with string ties on the side. Another option is a one piece with cutouts, a high-cut leg and a v-cut front. Both swim types help “to accentuate the female curves you may not have,” Alexander explained.
The stylist advises women to wear “something that’s retro, almost like pin-up with some ruching in it.” If you want to hide trouble spots in the tummy or waist areas, the ruching helps to camouflage it. Curvy women have the opportunity to play with a one piece or retro-style bikini. “A retro bikini could be beautiful, a high waist and a bikini top with extra support.” Underwire is essential for lady lump comfortability.
“For pear shape, I think as far as a bikini, the same would work for curvy on the bottom, the high waisted 50s retro-type.” Inside of an underwire support top, pair the bottom with a bandeau. “It’s still balanced, but the bandeau top with a twist or a bow would be a great look.”
Style It For…
Think sunbathing in the Moroccan sun with Yves Saint Laurent in the 70s. “If you have a super chic and sheer caftan and a wide rim raffia sloppy hat, you’re going for more of a dressed up look.” The Hamptons look also calls for an oversized tote for summer essentials, and could work in a raffia material or canvas; monogrammed initials optional.
To avoid burning feet on the walkway down to the beach or to the neighbor’s house, grab “a thong sandal with a back strap, maybe something made of leather or [something that] has a little decoration. Maybe some rhinestones.”
Whether you’re in the Hamptons, Miami Beach, Costa Rica or Jones Beach, there are timeless and general beach wardrobe style tips that work across the board. Everyone should own “a full [length] button up, a little feminine, sexy and summery.” Alexander’s suggested color choices are white and pale blue, they’re neutral and go with everything, and the light colors help you need cool (and look cool). The versatility allows it to be “dressed up or dressed down and its super sexy, because you can either keep it unbuttoned or button it up.”
“For this I would do a really sexy little spaghetti strap sundress, and it’s up to the person whether they want it to be long or short. My preference is something right below or above the knee.” They’re easy to take on and off if you want to take a dip in the pool.
If dresses aren’t for you, an ethnic tunic with a pair of denim or linen shorts are casual and comfy.
Must-Have Summer Accessory: a statement pair of sunglasses