|Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week |
Mara Hoffman Collection
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty
|Mara Hoffman Swim|
So here it is, my swim suit edit, and I allude to getting "caught in the waves" because we have all been there, with our straps flying off, bottoms down, and just a myriad of problems with a poorly made suit. With that, I've edited some of my favorite suits for 2013. This batch of suits have beautiful colors and styles, but they are also constructed well. If you are clear on your sizing, you can purchase them from the sites I've noted. I was also inspired by some of the swimwear that graced the catwalks such as Mara Hoffman who makes exquisite suits with beautiful prints and cuts (above).
I am going to start my edit with my favorite J. Crew ("crew"zy right?!) where they take the catalog and use it very editorially which is more like looking at the suits in a magazine rather than a traditional catalog. My only wish is that they begin carrying plus sizing for the curvier women. J. Crew has an actual swim/"Vacation shop" or section online so there is terrific variety and they offer free shipping and returns which is a plus particularly if you didn't quite get the fitting or style you were hoping for.
J. Crew's swim options are endless from prints to beautiful solid colors and materials as well. A woman feeling a bit sporty may opt for separates with dozens of shapes to accentuate tops and bottoms. I like that they have added a rash guard shirting which is a great option for ultimate coverage. The styles range from the ultimate bikini to board shorts. Tank and tee guards. There is retro and ruched, bandeau and twisted...and if I've confused you already, take advantage of one of their stylists. There is also a pull-down on the site which features all of the silhouettes available. It is really a nice service so you can get the down lo on measurements and fabrics for your best fit. My top five favorites are the following:
|Skirted Twist Bandeau|
|Punk Floral Bandeau|
3. The Punk Floral Bandeau Twist Tank is feminine yet fun in this to die for emerald pool print which I adore. I have this print in a scarf and I would buy it in other pieces as well. It is just one of those loud, but I love Summer prints. I love the open chest on this one piece. It is sensual and lovely. The padding is removable and it is made of a quick drying fabric. There is nothing worse than sitting in a wet suit. Kind of odd saying that, but you sun Goddesses will understand!
my favorite. It comes in one piece and separates as well, but it is the tulle that makes this so beautiful. I bought this one a couple years ago and it makes you feel a little glamorous. If you could get dressed up for the pool, this would be the one. And the tulle is gathered so beautifully that you could wear it with a skirt, pant, or shorts with it and it would look so summery and classic. Add some thong sandals and off you go! The separates in burnished shell could also pass for vintage lingerie, very pretty.
|Ratti Electric Kiwi|
5. And the last of my top 5 with J. Crew is the Ratti Electric Kiwi String Top bikini. This was inspired through the bold colors of the "traditional African textiles" as J. Crew describes. The artists actually used sponge brushes to get the painterly effect. The blown-up
kiwi design comes from "Italy's Ratti print house." I love these collaborations because there is a real effort from J. Crew to use something that perhaps a partner can do better. This obviously strengthens the brand and provides more interesting pieces for the consumer. I love it! Ladies, obviously this suit has very little fabric, not saying it is not constructed well, but you have to have a rockin' body for this suit, a true teeny weeny bikini!
Nordstroms has a nice collection of swim wear, coverups, etc. I also like that they size from juniors all the way to plus so there are options for just about everyone. With that, I wanted to preview a lovely plus one-piece by La Blanca called 'Sweetheart'. It comes in black and sapphire and you just cannot go wrong with this one. It has lovely ruching and the cut is very flattering with full back coverage. This is a classic suit that can go summer to summer and still be on trend.
The other plus-size suit that I love from Nordstroms is Becca Etc 'Mamba' Skirted One Piece. The coverage is great without screaming 'plus-size' detailing, but it is the peacock print that I adore. It is really pretty feminine and not a print that I've seen. There is full back coverage with a halter tie at the neck. The small pleating/ruffle at the bottom gives just enough coverage and adds another feminine detail.
One last fav from Nordstroms is Trina Turk's Rashguard & Bikini Bottoms. This fitted tee can be layered over your suit and the print is amazing! The only bummer is that it appears everyone else loves this suit as much as I do. It appears to only be in stock with a S & XS right now online so check before ordering. This suit screams "surf's up" as it is named and is so playful. Customers have rated this suit high online so obviously this is a popular pair. Love.
Next, I always preview Saks Fifth Avenue for their collections of designer suits which have the most amazing prints such as Carmen Marc Valvo (above). Pricey, but worth it because I can assure you that few will have one of these beauties at the kid's swim club or the shore. There is an arty sophistication to these pieces so if you are looking for something very unique for pool and surf, this is the place to go. Saks also carries many suits with interesting cuts and plunging suits galore. If you love Gottex and Gaultier, this is the place to shop. Here are a few of my favorites:
|Oscar de la Renta at Saks|
|Badgley Mischka at Saks|
|Zimmerman's Oasis at Saks|
|Jean Paul Gaultier at Saks|
I wanted to mention a couple of my thumb's down so you don't waste your time including Talbot's and Ann Taylor. I was underwhelmed with Talbots and while they have a Swim link to the Woman's section, there are only two summer bags listed and no swimsuits or coverups. Ann Taylor also had limited options. I almost feel that if you are not going to fully stock and represent a good, solid collection of swim suits, then don't do it at all! Both of these retailers are a big disappointment. Perhaps they will fatten up their stock ;) as the season heads on...
|Zimmerman at net-a-porter|
I love to travel through Net-a-Porter's site. It feels editorial and fun so you can really envision whether or not the styles will fit for what you are looking for. Plus, accessories are right at your fingertips! Also, check out their Swimwear Exclusives featuring Melissa OdaBash
|Melissa OdaBash at Net-a-Porter|
Lastly, I wanted to share a piece from Oprah's site called "The Best Bathing Suit for Every Body (Yes We Mean Yours)! This list was compiled from 2009, but I still think it gives you a solid understanding of which styles would work best for your body type and of course there are countless other guides that provide this. As I researched her site to more current topics there were different links such as How not to look "old" in a suit and "7 Supportive Swimsuits for Big Chested Women" which were written in 2013. O's fashion team has a knack for really finding quality products to fit every woman's fit and style. Here are the links I mentioned: If You're Size 12 and Up
I'd love to hear your feedback on favorite swim suits and do you have a favorite spot to buy them from? Do you have a hit or miss with a suit?
I hope that you enjoyed this post and that I was able to provide you options for swimwear whether you are just getting ready to go on a Spring break or thinking toward Summer fun.