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Wednesday, April 16, 2014         

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Beachwear

Women hide flaws and declare personal style with mix-and-match pieces

By Samantha Critchell

Associated Press

POSTED:


For some women it's just this way and probably always will be: The size of their swimwear tops and bottoms don't match. So, why not have some fun with it?

There's no better place than the beach or the pool to show off the whimsical and creative sides of a woman's personality, says Josh Saterman, Macy's fashion director. The customer can let down her hair when she's there and break a few rules.

Stripes with polka dots or a hot-pink string top and orange boy shorts: Why not?

"We are definitely seeing our customer steer away from matchy-matchy," says Nancy Taylor, Athleta's director of design.

Swim separates, including bikini and tankini tops, and brief, bikini and short-style bottoms, were introduced into wide distribution several years ago. They were intended to solve a practical problem when consumers needed a bigger top or bigger bottom, but women have since started using them to make a style statement.

Mixing pieces, sometimes in different silhouettes or from different brands, builds a swim wardrobe that suits different occasions — a strapless bandeau for a party and an athletic racer-back for a day with the kids, perhaps? — while a woman can remain comfortable and confident in the bottom she feels best fits her figure. (Loyalty runs deeper for bottoms, experts say.)

Celebrities were photographed in mismatched tops and bottoms, and young women soon followed, says designer Sho­shanna Lon­stein Gruss, who launched her brand with swimwear. It was only a matter of time until more fans of two-piece bathing suits caught on to it, she says. Fans of the one-piece can accomplish a similar look by adding a pair of swim shorts or a skirt.

"Mix-and-match is definitely a trend this season," agrees Jennifer Foyle, design director for Aerie.

That has made designers more conscious of using complementary colors and prints.

Taylor of Athleta plans for all sorts of combinations as she plots the collection. Right now shoppers seem to favor printed tops with solid bottoms, she says. It's a way for customers to dip a toe into separates.

Dark bottoms, especially black and dark blue, do tend to be more flattering, advises Foyle. "It's almost like dressing for ready-to-wear. Women are using her swimsuit top as her summer statement piece. She wants it to be fun, but she wants it to look good."

Taylor doesn't want to put any rules to it — rule-breaking is the best part, she says — but still, she'd encourage color families, pairing cool beach blues and greens. Neons also work together, and so do warm tropical hues.

It's the same idea with prints: Nautical stripes and cheerful polka dots marry well, as do ethnic and animal prints, and ikats, Indonesian-style patterns. But a dot and an ikat would look more like they were just two pieces pulled haphazardly from the drawer.

Small-scale geometric patterns also work with florals or paisleys, but as florals and paisleys are both typically bold, Taylor would keep those separate. Keep in mind the vibe and the overall look even if you're not sweating full-on coordination, she suggests.

This summer, Gruss says she'll be mixing gold pieces with corals and turquoise blue.

A bonus? You get more mileage out of your swim "outfits," Gruss adds. "Three suits become six."






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serious wrote:
How can you hide flaws in a bikini?
on May 30,2013 | 04:36AM
hanoz808 wrote:
this is not a new trend. beach girls have been doing it for years
on May 30,2013 | 07:46AM
tiwtsfm wrote:
This is not news.
on May 30,2013 | 08:09AM
allie wrote:
At 5'9 116 I am admired in my bikini. But who has time to lie around with classes, a job, and a commentary spot.
on May 30,2013 | 08:33AM
silvangold wrote:
GIVE UP YOUR COMMENTARY SPOT. YOU'RE NOT GOOD AT IT. YOU OFFEND LOCAL GALS, GUYS AND HAWAII ISSUES. GO BACK TO ND AND SHOW OFF OVA DERE. MAYBE DA INDIANS WILL PUT UP WITH YOU.....WE HERE ARE SICK OF YOU. AND NOW YOU CLAIM TO BE A LOOKER....HA.
on May 30,2013 | 09:25AM
turbolink wrote:
The scary part is that based on past posts the allie persona is thought by many to really be a middle age disenchanted male.
on May 30,2013 | 12:58PM
laachang wrote:
allie, you are so full of $&*!
on May 30,2013 | 01:04PM
Aquarius1 wrote:
Sweet dreams, Lennay!
on May 30,2013 | 02:43PM
JAFO wrote:
Nothing new here. Mix & Match has been going on since I started noticing women in the sixties! It was cool then just as it is cool today!
on May 30,2013 | 08:47AM
Numilalocal wrote:
Hide flaws? Don't see too many men hiding their flaws. They seem to flaunt them...
on May 30,2013 | 09:17AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I just wear my posing thong. Nothing says beach fashion like a real man in a banana hammock. Allie loves it.
on May 30,2013 | 04:36PM
st1d wrote:
the headline says it all.

women are constantly barraged by negative judgements of their bodies and appearances to the point where they spend billions of dollars attempting to "hide flaws" in an effort to be accepted.

the truth is that most of the ladies would look better without makeup, without superficial jewelry, and without selling out to corporate advertising.

i propose that all women protest by taking it all off, makeup, jewelry and clothes for a day each year until this insipid form of advertising and negative judgements end.


on May 30,2013 | 09:18PM
toobn wrote:
Designer Gruss, the possible combinations from 3 2-piece suits would be 9, not 6.
on May 30,2013 | 09:26PM
st1d wrote:
women.
on May 30,2013 | 11:07PM
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