Category Archives: Swimsuits

How to shop for swimsuits

They are GIVING things away

I’m not big on sales posts, but I feel it is my duty to spread the word about the incredible discounts I’ve been seeing on my shopping excursions around New York and New Jersey. Sure, it’s all summer stuff, but it IS still summer. And the prices are really good.

Most of the sales are in actual stores, but there are decent e-deals to be had if you don’t feel like leaving your air-conditioned home. Some of the prices are the same online, while others are cheaper in-store because of random discounts.

Here are five you should check out:

Old Navy – Their skirts are 75% off, which means I paid six bucks for a slouchy, wear-with-anything black one.  Also great deals on swimwear.

LOFT – Dresses are 40% off, including some easygoing cotton ones.

Filene’s Basement– Lately, Filene’s has been offering very chic designer labels for very cheap. The one in NYC has a bunch of D&G, Missoni, and Piazza Sempione for 75% off. I found $400 white Dolce & Gabbana jeans marked down to $99. (They don’t currently have an online store.)

J. Crew – If you’re a shorts kind of gal, then go to J. Crew now. I don’t usually shop there because I think they’re a tad overpriced, but I found the above pair for 32 bucks.

Lord & Taylor – Good ol’ L&T always has some sale going on, and right now, it’s on shoes. I stocked up on three different sandals–one evening, one dressy day, one casual day–all for under $100. You often need a coupon there to tap into the sale, but you can print it directly from their site.

Know of any other fantastic summer sales? Share the love in the comments section or on our Facebook page!

The swimsuit I should have bought but didn’t

I try not to dwell on regrets, but this one has been killing me. It involves a swimsuit that I didn’t buy in Macy’s a few months ago. I needed a suit for my mini Florida vacay, and went over to Macy’s where I found this beautiful aqua-hued retro one-piece from Carmen Marc Valvo. I tried it on and just about fell in love. Until I saw the $167 pricetag, that is. At the time, I couldn’t bring myself to pay that much money for a swimsuit. Especially since I spend more time in coverups than I do in the suit alone. So I settled on an ill-fitting one-piece from the sale rack, and have regretted it ever since! And now, with another vacation coming up, I am feeling less than thrilled about pulling on my bargain suit.

Thankfully, I found the CMV one still online (at Victoria’s Secret), and am going to take the plunge! It doesn’t hurt that it’s on sale for $125.

So, why is this suit so amazing? It’s all in the ruching. Most of Carmen Marc Valvo’s suits offer ruching in both the front AND back, which is key to hiding all the stuff you don’t want out on display. Plus, this one comes down lower on the upper thighs. It feels great and makes you look even better. For those of you afraid of the chest situation (don’t worry, I was too, I have a D cup), you can both tighten the back tie and add on an included halter strap for extra support.

Moral of the story: Don’t pass up a good swimsuit! Even if you never take off your coverup, a well-fitting suit will just make you feel better. It’s an important piece to invest in, and will stand the test of time.

Okay, I’m going to go buy this before it disappears forever.

Please, not without my coverup

I’ve just been featured in North Carolina’s News & Observer’s style section talking about one of my favorite topics: beach coverups!

Really, how could you not love something whose sole purpose in this world is to make you feel less naked in a swimsuit.

These little miracle-workers are among my favorite summer items. I have several that I keep in rotation every season. Not only do they hide my business while I’m at the beach, but most are chic enough to wear to dinner with a pants or a skirt.

And like I told N&O, I don’t bother gathering all the latest swimsuit styles, as I am rarely seen in just that. I will invest money in a single well-fitting suit, and then have fun with a variety of coverups to go over it.

I have a few styles I’m planning to bust out this summer: retro tunic, oversized men’s button-down, long caftan, and possibly the loose knit meshy type that’s popping up everywhere.

Just remember to show skin somewhere–neck, shoulders, or legs–and you’ll look sexy without feeling all naked, squirmy, and vulnerable.

Malia Mills

I was talking swimsuits today with a few friends, and one mentioned her absolute adoration of Malia Mills.

A quote I found on the designer’s site pretty much sums up why:

“it’s vital to liberate women from feelings of inadequacy that accompany the struggle to find a suit that fits. it’s imperative to show women that if a suit doesn’t fit, it is the suit that is flawed, not the body. a swimsuit should represent sun and fun not fear and loathing!”

Check out the site! It has all sorts of body types modeling the retro-esque suits, as well as a comprehensive, easy-to-read sizing guide.

Prices are on the whoa side, but, in this case, you get what you pay for. A suit that fits, flatters, and makes you want to get in the pool again.

Thanks Malia!

How to shop for: swimsuits

Shopping for a swimsuit sucks. It really does. I hate it, my friends hate it, and so forth.

But it’s something you kind of have to suck up and do once in a while.

Thankfully, the one-piece is back with a vengeance, especially ‘maillot’ styles from back in the day. This is great news, as they cover parts you want covered and still look really good.

Lots of companies are also making suits that have built-in body shapers.  They don’t look dowdy, they’re not super-expensive, and they keep everything in place.

There are websites that offer great options (FigLeaves – Miraclesuit, SeaSpray, Bare Necessities – Spanx Swim, Tommy Bahama,  ShapeFX – its own brand) for brave online shoppers, but to be frank, I believe you should go to the store and try on the suit before committing. Take a sedative beforehand if necessary.

[above: some Macy’s picks – click on the image for details]

Macy’s carries good brands for shape control: Jantzen, La Blanca, Fantasizer, Miraclesuit. And there’s an option on the website to find the suit you like in the store.

Look for ruching in the middle – it will camouflage tummy, supportive straps to keep your boobs up, and a bottom somewhere between boy short and high-cut. Either extreme will be unflattering to the leg. (You may have heard that higher-cuts elongate the leg, but if you go too high, you lose coverage in the butt.)