Beach Wear Trends

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This summer places emphasis on femininity and modesty of retro style as well as romanticism and sweetness of girly looks. Hot swimwear trends include the bandeau top, graphic cuts with banding and striping, intricately-designed "monokinis" with cut-out sides, and high-waisted bikinis. Swimsuit bottoms get more coverage, replacing skimpy thongs and G-strings.

"There's a whole nod to retro, old Hollywood and Hitchcock heroines going on in fashion and it's trickled to swimwear. It's innocent but beautiful. ... It's not just a triangle string bikini that's sexy anymore." says Joe Zee, editor in chief of fashion magazine Vitals.

Spaghetti strings give way to sash ties. Floral elements, ruffles, beads, big buckles, and chunky shells are still hot this season, except there are more swimsuits that have a jewel, buckle or some other embellishment on only one hip.

"As usual, swimwear follows the fashion trends coming down the runway," Kathleen Beckett, longtime fashion journalist and staffer at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue who now runs a customized designer shopping service in New York City called Beckett's Black Book, told Forbes.com. "This season, there are a lot of prints on the runway, and we're seeing a huge influence from the boho-chic look. We're seeing beading and embellishments on swimwear that isn't meant to be doing laps in a pool. And there is a lot of chocolate brown out there, too, which is unusual for swimwear."

"inWe're carrying crochet bikis embellished with shells and beading; lots of strings and beads and low-slung boy shorts. It doesn't look like these are things you're going in the water with," concurs Stefani Greenfield, co-owner of a New York City-based chain of Scoop boutiques.

Coconut designs, retro European patterns, green, pink, coral and chocolate hues are especially popular this summer, although designers offer a great variety of color palette and patterns, including even polka-dot, wave and animal prints.

Almost every summer collection, ranging from designer runways to discount retailers, now features swimwear that takes a look of streetwear, as well as various cover-ups and accessories, including little โ€œskirtiniโ€ that covers the buttocks, โ€œBlousetteโ€ bikini which provides coverage of the upper the back, sarongs, tote bags and bejewelled flip-flops.

"It's not just about swimwear, but swimwear dressing. We have ethnic-inspired tunics, sandals with shells, straw bags, printed skirts, Missoni prints. People want that head-to-toe look for the beach as much as they want that head-to-toe look for the street," says Greenfield.

"If you really look at the way fashion designers have approached swimwear, it's as clothing," says Joe Zee of beach "ensembles".

Accessories designer Kate Spade, who teamed up with edgy apparel team As Four to create beachwear, suggests using a **chiffon piece as a wrap skirt, a bandeau or a capelet.

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"I love dressing for the beach and I always do. It's just as easy to throw a bright beachy shift dress on as it is an old T-shirt, especially if you are not feeling so great in a bathing suit," Spade told AP.

For head-to-toe beach look view great collection of spring-timebikinis, bathing suits, beach footwear and accessories on these sites:

IslandSuf.com!
SwimsuitsForAll.com
Lifestyles Direct Swimwear

For new collection of plus size bathing suits go to:

Plus Size Swimwear

By the way, here are some interesting statics: according to The NPD Group, an international consumer analysis firm, American women spent almost $1.4 billion on two-piece bathing suits and swim separates in the year ending April 2005. It also estimated that the U.S. women's swimwear industry is worth around $2.2 billion, including one-pieces and accessories! :)

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