15 April 2008

it happens every time.

After a long, unseasonably cold day that took Florida by surprise, I returned home to take a steamy shower and settle in with a Lean Cuisine spinach-and-mushroom pizza to check my emails.
Law school, Law School, WaMu, Law School, Sephora, Shopbop...
And there it was.
This happens every time.
Every single time I make a long-debated, serious clothing/accessory purchase, the item goes on sale or clearance not long after I have already parted ways with the cash. This time, my ill timed purchase consisted of some beautiful hidden-platform subtly-pointed pumps to coordinate with my new for-law-school pencil skirt/peplum jacket suit.
Not twenty-four hours after their arrival, Shopbop sent the email announcing their Tax Breaks sale. If you want the same pumps, you can get them for only $140, saving you the exact amount it costs to get another one of my wishlist items, the L L.A.M.B. fragrance roll-on perfume. It is also a good time to justify that pricey springtime blouse or handbag.

It goes in reverse too- if I wait out an item until it goes on sale, it will inevitably go out of stock. I can't win!

08 April 2008

a few more swimming don'ts

Along with looking like a bikini-clone, there are a few other styles you'd be wise to avoid when hitting the beach/pool/hot tub/lake this year.

Is there any explanation needed? No? Well please, someone make the droves of proud "G.R.I.T.S." t-shirt wearin' girls who wear this bikini as a symbol of pride understand that it just makes them look ignorant. You can be proud of your heritage, of course. Just do it in a classy way that doesn't have such negative connotations. Also in this category? Camo.

Ahh, the apron tankini. I didn't even know the correct term for this item until I was searching for pictures today. This is possibly the worst attempt at flattering modesty I've ever seen. It doesn't look good on children, it doesn't look good on ladies, hell, it doesn't even look good on Gisele. The top is sloppy, adds to a lumpy look rather than sleek lines, and when wet, hangs forward and exposes that which the wearer was trying to conceal in the first place. Sorry, there just isn't an equivalent to the sloppy maternity babydoll shirt that girls like to wear when bloated- every swimsuit shows all. Also in this category? The monokini (shudder). It is a picture frame for your love handles- enough said.

Finally, do not fall into the trap of "oh, a bikini bottom is just a tiny bit of fabric, the degree of tininess doesn't matter, it's all the same." No, string bikinis do not look good on everyone. Actually, they look good on precious few women; namely, anyone who has thighs. Please don't think that less fabric = more sexy. Please find rump/leg coverage that's best for your body. Low-slung, boyshort, and thick-banded suits work best for athletic thighs like mine and flatter anyone with curves. Some styles, along with strings, that don't work on our womanly curves: overt ruffles, a swim skirt, and the Brazilian. These additions make you look like you're trying to dainty-fy your strong legs. It doesn't work, it just looks out-of-proportion.
Ok, now the fun stuff. To get a truly unique, flattering swimsuit, it doesn't take a huge bank account but it might take some looking. Look at off-the-beaten-path stores, look for details like (subtle) ruffling, buttons, ruching, hardware, and bright colors. Swimwear is one part of your wardrobe in which you don't have to inhibit yourself at all. You can go classy or bright; demure or bombshell. Here are some of my favorites.
Insight Enigma bikini, $74, at Revolve Clothing.

Luna polka-dot suit by Maya, $165, at Couture Candy.

Tuxedo bikini, $39, Victoria's Secret.

Cindy Bandeau by Brette Sandler, $154, at Shopbop.

Plaid ruffle bandeau by Billabong, $84, at Urban Outfitters.

La Malmaison Bikini by Tyler Rose, $162, at Shopbop.

Brazil Halter by Lisa Curran, $155, at Shopbop.

Banana-print, $39, Victoria's Secret.

07 April 2008

if you don't want to look like everyone else this summer...

...don't wear these swimsuits.

Day in and day out, I see thousands of tourists/spring breakers wearing carefully-chosen swimsuits. Some are flattering, some are not, and some people should really look in a mirror before they leave the house...but that is for another time.

These are the swimsuits that EVERYONE wears, the swimsuits that I see multiple times a day. You should avoid them in hopes of standing out and looking cute and unique.

Sorry girls, but pretty much every suit from Target has already been scooped up by someone else. I know they are cheap and cute, but so many other girls will have them that you may not be the only girl at the beach party rocking the pink plaid halter.

I guarantee you will see these suits out & about as well.

I know that nautical stripes are in style this summer, but thick, horizontal stripes are everywhere. Especially when one of the colors is white. Same goes for polka dots of any size and color.

Besides Target, mail-order favorite Victoria's Secret has a huge part of the market cornered.
I have seen this pattern in all possible colors and options: bandeau, triangle, spaghetti strap, and halter.no matter how mesmerizing Marisa looks in this style, try to resist!!

Yes, Gisele makes this suit look adorable. But surprise, ladies! The top is see-through. We're talking full nipple disclosure.maybe that's why she is giving us the booty shot

When this Roxy suit first appeared a few years ago, the wannabe surfer girl in me thought it was fun and playful (what?! I have totally surfed, um 3 times. Look for me on Blue Crush II). Now, this suit has permeated the suburbs and chunky tween girls who couldn't tell a longboard from a shortboard are bouncing down waterslides in this bikini:

And finally, the swimsuit that I have seen BY FAR more than any other swimsuit. At least 15 times a day, a girl swims past me wearing this, courtesy again of #1 swimwear stop Target:

To stand out for the crowd, my advice is to stay away from these repeat offenders. If you can't stand to shop anywhere but Target/Victoria's Secret/Pacific Sunwear, know that everyone else is going there too. Look for suits that are a plain solid, or mix up non-matching tops & bottoms. As always, fit is the most important issue and will allow your beautiful beach body to shine on its own.

I will bring you a cute range of swim choices tomorrow, if you can stand to shop outside the mass retailers! But now, I have an ignored dog, some Stella, and some dry skin that need my attention/consumption/moisturizer.