Browse around for retro swimsuits, sexy bikinis and tips to enjoy your next beach holiday.

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011
Swimming costumes for ladies: Gwyneth Paltrow ruffle bikini

When it comes to 2011 spring and summer trends concerning swimming costumes for ladies, it seems like there is something for everyone's taste. Swimsuits of various styles and designs are being showcased everywhere, from beaches to fashion shows to trade exhibitions.

Red haired Rihanna in bikini

Looking at what celebrities are wearing to the beach is not only a fun pastime for many, it can also be a way to get a feel for what's hot in swimsuits. But judging from pictures¹, it seems there isn't any one single style or design that dominates the beach scene. Actresses Megan Fox, Demi Moore and Courteney Cox, for instance, were photographed wearing the classic black bikini; supermodel Gisele Bundchen was seen sporting an animal-print two-piece, and film stars like Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz took to the sand and the sea in single-hued but brightly-colored bikinis. Mix-and-match swimsuits with different designs and colors were also worn by some celebrities. Chloe Sevigny, for example, was spotted wearing a pink printed bra and a bikini bottom in blue stripes.

Kate Beckinsale in a black ruffles bikini
Kate Beckinsale in a ruffled bikini

Bold-printed swimming costumes for ladies were the choice of familiar faces such as musician Rihanna and actress Penelope Cruz. Other stars, such as Kate Beckinsale and Gwyneth Paltrow (top pic) opted for a slightly playful look with their ruffled bikinis.

It isn't all just bikinis, though. Fashion shows were awash with stylish one-piece bathing suits.² Vintage or retro bathing suits featured prominently on the catwalk, featuring collections from various fashion designers. Marc by Marc Jacobs showcased a 1950s-inspired belted bathing suit with a floral pattern while DKNY launched one-shouldered swimwear in bold shades of blue and grey. High-waisted bikinis reminiscent of the 1930s and 1940s, on the other hand, were given a place in the spotlight by designers such as Elie Tahari and Michael Kors.

Swimshow 2011 red bikini from caffe swimsuits

A plethora of bathing suits was exhibited at the Swimshow event of the Swimwear Association of Florida, which has held from July 16-19, 2011.³ The show enjoys a reputation for being the largest of its kind on the planet and it wasn't a surprise to see many familiar swimsuit brands there, including Miraclesuit, Playboy Swim, and Reebok. Designs ranging from the traditional to the avant-garde seem to show no signs of abating when it comes to swimming costumes for ladies.
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011
Daisy Lowe models her retail pin up bathing suits for British retail company Peacocks
Pin up bathing suits have become all the rage during the past few years. Several prominent fashion designers such as Dianne von Furstenberg and Michael Kors have come up with their own collections.¹ This type of swimwear, with its playful and whimsical designs and colors evokes a sense of nostalgia among women of various ages.

It isn't just high-end fashion designers who have launched collections of pin up swimwear. Former fashion model Daisy Lowe is also stepping into the design business with her own line of vintage-inspired bathing suits in a partnership with the British retail company Peacocks.² She said that one of her goals for her collection is to make it accessible and affordable; hence her decision to have her swimwear items priced below £18.

Today's pin up bathing suits are inspired by swimwear from the 1920s and beyond that were worn by so-called pin up girls, the most notable of which included celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, Betty Grable, and Sophia Loren. Posters of pin up girls adorned the barracks of soldiers during World War II, and were believed to improve their morale.

Classic or retro-inspired bathing suits for women expose less skin than the modern string bikinis or monokinis, but this doesn't mean they are any less sexy or appealing. On the contrary, many feel they are more titillating since they tend to encourage the imagination to work overtime.

Designs and cuts come in a variety of styles that are suitable for both skinny and full-figured women. One-piece retro swimwear features details such as sweetheart necklines, wide-strapped halters and short-skirted bottoms. Bikini bottoms tend to be cut lower in the leg while having a high waist that can sometimes cover up the belly button. Fabric patterns are virtually limitless, from polka dots to stripes to floral designs to solid blocks of color.

Retro-inspired bikinis and one-piece suits are readily available in various stores, both online and in the shopping malls. But those with a passion and talent for crafting their own swimwear can add a touch of authenticity to their creations by using pin up bathing suit patterns from the 1930s to the 1970s.³
Posted on Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Slimming swimsuits: black with ruffles or sexy scuba style
Not all women have perfect bodies; quite a few have problem areas such as an overly large bust, a tummy that's probably a bit too flabby or hips that are a tad too wide. These can make them feel too self-conscious to wear their swimsuit come summertime. Fortunately, there are various choices in slimming swimwear that minimize the appearance of problem areas while maximizing the best of one's assets.

It has been long-standing advice from fashion experts that wearing a bathing suit that has one solid block of dark colour can make someone look skinnier. There is certainly no shortage of swimsuits in black (1), dark grey or navy. And just because a swimsuit is all one colour does not mean it has to be boring or unsexy. Shirring in the waist area, belts, and an attractive or unusual cut can make a bathing suit -- and the woman in it -- more eye-catching.

Some full-figured women make the mistake buying a swimsuit that covers up too much, in the belief that it's better to keep everything hidden. But according to Glamour magazine's swimwear consultants (2), doing this could actually emphasize a problem area. Boy shorts, for instance, are not recommended for those with large hips since they tend to make the hips look even bigger. A bikini-style bottom, but not one that's tied with strings, is recommended instead.

A vee or square-cut low neckline is also advised for those who want to de-emphasize a large tummy or wide hips. The neckline draws attention away from those problem areas and showcases a nice pair of shoulders and the bust-line.

Scuba-style bathing suits (3) are also popular slimming swimwear options. They fit snugly to the body and make the wearer seem skinnier because of the vertical lines on the design and the high-cut bottom that enhances the appearance of long legs. So-called skirtinis, or a bathing suit whose bottom is overlaid with a short skirt, can also give a slimming effect.

Swimwear with a high Lycra spandex content is recommended since they provide great support and make flabby areas seem smaller and firmer. Miraclesuit and Spanx by Sara Blakely are two brands whose bathing suits flatter the figures of plus size women.

There are numerous other brands that offer slimming swimsuits. Some that have been recommended by O, The Oprah Magazine (4) are Lands' End, ShapeFx, SlimPerfect Fashions, Slimsuit by Carol Wior, and Inches Off.
Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2011
Curvy woman wearing black miraclesuit swimwear looking 10 pounds lighterTrying to find a swimsuit that looks good can be a source of stress for many women. Sometimes it may seem that the most beautiful swimwear items are made with only perfectly-figured women in mind. Other times it may seem that there aren’t enough attractive selections available to women who are carrying a few extra pounds. Miracle swimwear, with its stylish and eye-pleasing designs, debunks these myths.

To look ten pounds lighter in ten seconds (1) – that’s the promise that the company offers to its customers. It helps women achieve this appearance through strategic placement of shirring and draping, which conceals and draws attention from unattractive bulges. It also uses a kind of fabric called Miratex, which shapes and contours the body to flatten unsightly bulges and to give support where it’s needed most. Miratex contains three times more Lycra spandex than conventional swimsuit fabrics, enabling it to more firmly hold in problem areas such as the stomach and hips.

One possible concern about such a strong and contouring fabric is that it might make the swimsuit uncomfortable to wear. But according to customer reviews on sites like Amazon.com (2) and blogs such as knickersblog.com (3) and lookingfabinyourforties.blogspot.com (4),
it’s actually the opposite: Miraclesuit swimwear is comfortable to wear and does not feel constricting. Plus, it stays securely in place and doesn’t inadvertently expose too much chest or buttocks – a problem commonly experienced with ill-fitting swimsuits.

Another Miraclesuit innovation involves support for the bust area in the form of underwires in the built-in foam bra in the swimsuits. This kind of bra construction promises that the wires will not poke out and that it will retain its shape even after repeated washings.

The sheer variety of swimsuit designs and styles for women of all sizes is another thing that customers like about Miraclesuit. The company’s swimwear has been featured in prominent magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine.

Miracle swimwear pieces are available in the following sizes: misses, D and DD cups, and plus size. In addition to swimsuits, the company also produces cover-ups, jeans, beach shirts, and scarves. They may be purchased through Miraclesuit’s retail partners including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Eddie Bauer.