by Angela Harrison

If you’re headed off to warmer climates for Spring Break this month, or just need a swimwear refresh for the coming summer season, I’ve got you covered. There’s so much more to swimsuits than what meets the eye. A good suit that will hold up through washing, and last several seasons, won’t come by cheap but is completely worth the investment. These swimwear lines tend to be made with a thicker, more durable padding and fabric (that lasts in the wash), are double-lined for less exposure while wet, and have styles with support technology, which can be crucial for the perfect fit. High quality swim brands to keep an eye out for (and are also great finds at TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack!) are La Blanca, BECCA, Miraclesuit, and Seafolly, and any mid to high-end department store brand such as Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole, or Trina Turk.    

Swimwear styles today offer so many amazing coverage options while being on trend and looking stylish. Your comfort level is key in feeling confident in your beachwear, which is why I always start with the client’s coverage preference. This has nothing to do with body-type or age; it’s about what makes you feel your absolute best and most comfortable. So, take a few seconds and focus on what you like to accentuate about your body. Got it? Now, let’s find out which styles will best suit your swimsuit wishes? 

Light Coverage  

The classic bikini comes in several versatile styles and cuts; there are so many coverage options in this style alone! Triangle top, bandeau, halter, wrap top, one shoulder, high neck, brief bottoms, tie bottoms, shirred bottom, Brazilian cut, French cut — I mean, the list just goes on. Gone are the days of a bikini that constantly needs adjusting; you can actually swim in these styles without feeling like a wardrobe malfunction is on the horizon. Seafolly’s “Modern Love” bandeau bikini top has a wrap feature in the middle with an adjustable tie-halter strap that can be worn around the neck or tied at the chest for a strapless look. And while it’s completely on trend with this season’s florals and color palette, its bandeau shape is naturally holding in that bust-line like a champ. Ted Baker’s one-shoulder ruffle bikini top is another great option for light coverage with maximum support and style. The ruffle trend is still going strong into Spring/Summer ’18, and this top hits the mark; throw on a pair of breezy print wide-leg pants, and you’ve got an instant beachside lunch look. 

Medium Coverage 

The mid-coverage trend has been so flawlessly embraced by all ages and body-types and is quickly becoming an absolute favorite among women. Taking from swimwear silhouettes of the 1950s, medium coverage bikinis feature a high-waisted brief bottom and a bikini top of your choice! It’s a great solution for anyone wanting more coverage through the hips/torso and not compromising your bust or natural waistline. Underwire tops pair beautifully with high-waisted briefs, like this Alpine Butterfly “Dolly” top, by lifting the bustline away from the waist and giving you full support as a bra would. Many high-waisted bottoms feature cutouts on the sides, mesh designs, and lace to add strategic peek-a-boo moments. The Becca “Captured” high waist bottoms give more coverage than a low-rise brief or tie bottom, but also have such a strong style. The lace design offers a concealing benefit while being feminine and delicate. There’s no need to compromise style for coverage that makes you feel comfortable. One-piece suits with cutouts also offer medium coverage with fabulous style, like the BCA “Better Than Ever” cutout suit.  There is so much glamour and simplicity with this style, it’s a complete showstopper. The “Rodeo Keyhole” one-piece by For Love & Lemons also provides torso coverage with a completely open back and alluring keyhole neckline. The ruffle accents make this suit playful and elegant; you could throw a maxi skirt on and go to a wedding in this thing!     

Full Coverage 

This is the rebirth of the one-piece bathing suit. With so many styles ranging from barely-there to full coverage, one-piece suits have completely made a comeback. Full coverage doesn’t have to mean matronly; you can still get coverage along with fabulous style.  The “Pinpoint Tiering Up” tankini top by Miraclesuit (with body-control technology) has great tiered layers that create a camouflage effect on the bust, waist, and hips, making everything fit into place. Just as the ruffles of this top add great torso coverage, so does the “Tapestry Flyaway” tankini top by Profile by Gottex. With a bandeau top securing the bustline, the flyaway hemline allows for movement and comfort. The colors of this print are so fun for summer, and this top can be paired with a high-waisted, full-coverage bottom for maximum coverage and effortless style. For one-piece options, the “A-List Parker” by Magicsuit creates a smooth silhouette with a body-skimming layer that ends at the upper thigh and right below your backside. It almost feels like the evening gown of swimwear — completely gorgeous and elegant while poolside, and looks like a million bucks. Another timeless style is the print off-the-shoulder one-piece by Jessica Simpson. This boho style features a gorgeous orange and black diamond print off-the-shoulder layer with tassels, completely ready for a wrap skirt and drinks at the beach bar. Suitable for any body type, these one-pieces deliver fashion and beach in the perfect package. 

 Swimwear isn’t everyone’s fave when it comes to shopping and packing, but with all of the suits and cover-ups out there, it’s so easy to hate it a little less. Try a style you’ve never worn before, make sure it checks off all of the things you need to feel comfortable in it — why bother if you don’t feel good?  When we look good, we feel good (I say this all the time, but it’s true!). Wear your confidence to the beach this season and enjoy the important stuff in life, like cocktails and quiet time. The rest is covered.  

Angie Harrison received a BS degree in fashion merchandising from Western Michigan University, and after merchandising for a large retailer, went on to start Angela Harrison Style; a personal, print, and film wardrobe styling service. Her experience has led her to build a loyal client list of people from all backgrounds and professions. Angie has also worked in wardrobe on local and national tv commercials and has started a visual merchandising branch of AHStyle, providing styling and merchandising expertise to Michigan retailers.