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Trying on this year’s hot styles

With Spring Break upon us and warm weather rapidly approaching (we can dream can’t we?), most of us are ready to get our sun-deprived bodies into a brand-new bathing suit. If you’ve already got this year’s beachin’ new suit, lucky you! Still waiting for the ice to melt before you brave the overcrowded malls? Here is a list of guidelines to let you know what’s hot and what’s not in swimwear styles.

Dianne Taylor, instructor of Apparel Merchandising, says that swimwear trends for 2003 include lots of details with fun print combinations, embroideries, hand beading, crochet inserts, drawstrings and ties with a Brazilian Carnival theme.

“Styles for bikini bottoms are very low on the hips, mirroring the jeans styling; skimpy and low waisted Brazilian cuts with beaded side ties, clinched side detailing and scarf ties,” she said.

Taylor said that for this season’s bikini tops, halters are a popular style. In addition, we will find molded padded triangles, string triangle tops, tube tops and bandeaus. Tie or lace-up fronts and drawstring necks are also going to be popular this season.

For those who don’t like to reveal too much skin on the beach or at the pool, one-pieces and tankinis will be popular this season. One-pieces can be found this season with one-shoulder, halter neck, keyhole tie front, drawstring sides, plunging backs and crochet inserts. Tankinis will have laced backs and geometric cutouts.

Something that we haven’t seen much of in the past that we will be seeing more of this season are reversible suits. For those on a budget, this is a great way to change your look without spending money on another suit.

Christina Bish, area assistant manager of Elder-Beerman at the Woodland Mall in Bowling Green said that they have been selling a lot of denim-look suits, which is popular in the boy-shorts style.

“Popular styles this season are Hawaiian flowers, retro-embroidery and ’70s-looking stripes,” she said.

In addition, Bish said airbrushed two-pieces as well as two-pieces with halter and triangle tops are top sellers.

Although Bish said that Elder-Beerman is not carrying any solid one-piece suits right now, she hopes to get some in soon. While style of the suit is important, it is also key to select the right color.

“I’ve seen a lot of warm colors this season; not many blues,” Bish said.

Taylor said that there are three main color styles to look for this season: earthy neutrals in browns, olive, mustard, tan, terra cotta, rust, sand and camel. Citrus Greens such as lime, clover, khaki, grass, kiwi, lettuce green and pistachio are trendy. Fresh brights in pink, blush, crimson, fuchsia, aqua, blueberry, turquoise, poppy, ocean blue, Tahiti blue, lipstick red and berry.

Taylor said that four main prints are stylish this season.

“Look for Bohemian prints such as paisley, delicate florals, patchwork, tie-dye, glitter or metallics. Fresh prints will be available in candy stripes and polka dots. Popular tropical prints are palm trees, large leaves, pineapples and geometric florals. The Retro look, which is very stylish this year, can be found in vintage Hawaiian, postcards and pop art designs. Lastly, the Ethnic style features wood block prints, batik and native ethnic designs,” she said.

Had one too many dinners at the Greenery and four too many candy and ice cream stops at the GT? Relax. While you work to get that body slimmed and trimmed, offers a few ideas that help accentuate your best features while concealing your flaws.

Tig ‘Ol Bitties

So you were blessed with some larger-than-life knockers? I pity you, really, I do. But if you’d rather flatten your chest than shake what yo mamma gave ya, a band top is great for hiding the twins. Your cleavage still shows (which is always a good thing), but the simple cut will minimize the size.

I Must, Increase My Bust

Believe it or not, a triangle top can do wonders for those of us who are less-endowed. Don’t be bitter about your tiny ta-ta’s — triangle tops concentrate on however little you may have and can show and hide everything that you want them to.

Kate Moss? Is that you?

Looking for a way to accentuate those curves that you don’t have? Try a bikini bottom that cuts straight across the hips. This shows off that your hips are wider than your waist, even if that’s not really true.

Are You Ready for this Jelly? Thunder thighs really aren’t the worst things in the world, so don’t worry. High-cut bottoms will lengthen your legs, making it seems as if your thighs aren’t your only body part.

Baby Got Back

Hey- his anaconda don’t want none unless you have buns hun! I say, J. Lo eat your heart out for those of you fortunate to pack a little in the back. But, if you are unhappy with your round rump, boy shorts are here to save your day. These cute and trendy bikini bottoms are fun and will fully cover your chubby cheeks.

Baby Bud Light

Want to stay in the bikini range but don’t have the stomach for it? Tankinis are great for covering those less-than-firm tummies. Wear your tankini with a great bottom, so more attention will be drawn away from your belly. No matter what body type you have, you can always find a bikini cut that will help you out in certain trouble zones.

Color Me Bad

You may not think the color of a swimsuit matters, but the truth is, far too many people have big bikini bummers solely because of the color of their suit. The whiter you are, the darker your bathing suit can be. Bright colors on white skin will just make you look milkier, and that is a definite no-no. Skin with a more golden-tan look should use their darker skin tone to their advantage. Bright colors look great on dark skin.

Styled and Wild

Unfortunately, it’s true: Horizontal stripes do make you look wider, no matter how much of a waif you are. Animal prints (i.e. zebra stripes, leopard print) go in and out of style every few years. Wearing that spotted suit may come back to haunt you if you’re sporting it in the wrong year. Floral prints are always the safest bet, but be sure to differ your suits once in a while. Solids can be wimpy and wonderful. Strongly consider solids only if you want to accentuate the bathing suit’s sophisticated cut. Keep it fun and colorful! Bathing suits were made for warm, summery weather and don’t you forget it!

Size Matters

Sizing up your suit is essential. A bikini that is too small or too large for you will have the same effect that sunless tanner has on white skin (it’ll make you look baaaaad!). Many girls believe that choosing a bikini top that is too small for their bust size will make their chest appear larger: WRONG!


Guys, listen up. This season it’s not just the girls that will have the most stylish suits. Men’s styles offer a variety of options. Here are a few guidelines for you fashion-emergency cases. According to, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your suits.

The Speedo

The Speedo type bathing suit should be banned from your closet because it lacks style and is designed for professional swimmers that need aerodynamics. Anything that looks like a thong for men is simply unattractive, tacky and should be eliminated from your wardrobe.


In the last few years, tight briefs have become increasingly popular, although the reasons are still completely unknown. They are basically extensions of Speedo bathing suits with just a little more spandex. They still mold onto your body tightly and lack aesthetic appeal. Unless you have a perfect, tight body and you are sun tanning alone in your backyard, tight briefs should also be left out of your options when shopping for the right bathing suit.

Classic Shorts

Shorts are generally less revealing and expose just the right amount of skin. They are also extremely comfortable, especially with today’s high tech fabrics, which dry almost instantly.

Lifeguard Shorts

Lifeguard shorts, the ones that finish a few inches above the knee and fall between a tight fit and a baggy fit, have been around forever and portray an image of youth as well as a healthy lifestyle. For those who have less attractive bodies, Bermuda shorts also help cover up most imperfections.

Good Drawcord

Both regular shorts and lifeguard shorts usually have comfortable mesh lining with nylon shells. Make sure that they fit properly around the waist and feature resistant drawcords. The drawcord is usually one of the first things to go bad on a new pair of shorts. Alternatives are: Velcro straps or, if the shorts fit perfectly, stylish button flies.

Skater Look

This year, the big thing in bathing suits is the surfer/skateboard look. Look for shorts that fall at longer than standard length, or ornamented shorts with Tribal or Asian styled prints. Go for colors like gray, light blue and cream. The prints are usually white or a lighter tone of the same color. Try to limit the number of pockets because the whole “cargo look” is long gone.

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