March 6, 2008

Bias Cut (3-6-08)

Print More

Wow, its March and I’m pretty sure everyone is ready for Spring Break, especially after Monday’s teasing 60 degree weather. These winter mornings of waking up early and treading through tons of snow to class aren’t fun and thankfully, will soon be over. Hopefully for most of you, the only place you’ll be walking to from March 14th through 23rd is the bar or beach (that is after flying there). My goal this week: to help you drink and sun-bathe in style and to separate you from the pack of girls gone wild on some beach in Mexico (and the girls who went wild on College Avenue this fall).

Since spring break is the time for beaching it up, it is essential that I stress the importance of swimwear, Swimwear, SWIMWEAR! Now not all of us can have great bodies like the girls in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition or like the pack of friends in the 90210 zip-code but all of us can find the perfect bathing suit.

Let us first remember that in tropical areas, it isn’t just appropriate to have the perfect bathing suit but the perfect skin tone as well. Don’t do fake tan glow-y and don’t burn to a crisp — neither photographs well. If to avoid burning you must sit in shady area, do so! It will keep your drink cold and your skin from aging (plus you won’t have to deal with the discomfort and pain).

Let’s start with the men out there. You’re job isn’t so bad. You have the options of boardshorts (Birdwell and Billabong recommended) or swim trunks. And no, a speedo isn’t a bathing suit unless you’re an athlete whose sport requires it, European and over forty, or you’re name is Arnold and you’re a politician in California. Guidelines for board shorts — length is key, boardshorts allow you to cover up a great deal, but don’t make it look like you just cut off the bottoms of your pants, your board shorts should stop an inch above your knees. Also, some guys wear boxer shorts underneath their boardshorts, and that’s okay, but don’t make it obvious by having them clearly visible, it’s basically the skateboarder look at the beach and isn’t noteworthy. Swim trunks: there is a fine line between acceptable swim trunks and those for your sixty something year old dad who passes out by the pool with the New York Times in hand. Key to wearing swimtrunks with elastic waistbands: toned bodies, confidence and height. Now if you have the confidence and enthusiasm you don’t have to go for a solid or striped one, try a Vilebrequin print one (although avoid the hot air balloon print), you’ll make me proud to call you a friend.

Women: I believe the idea that you must wear a two-piece around the pool is totally false. Maybe the guys won’t drool all over you, but is that even what you want? Stick thin or built like a normal girl (with a few flaws), one-pieces can be spectacular. Marilyn Monroe found a one piece worthy enough to wear and she wasn’t even close to a size 6 and Dolce & Gabanna found it sexy enough to make a few stunning ones for the girls of size zero and double zero. So as long as it isn’t the TY or speedo you use to exercise in at Island Health and Fitness, go for it. Now whether a one-piece, two-piece, tankini etc, lets remember the concept of “shirring,” which is gathered fabric that can slenderize the body, or color blocking that draws the eye to one area. These are useful techniques, as well as the traditional go dark or go home. Booty short bathing suits — an absolute not, no matter how toned or thin you look. It just isn’t flattering and it makes you look like you have big manly thighs.

Designer suggestions for girls: J. Crew always has a variety of women’s bathing suits that are simple and flattering. Although I chose not to try them on, from my experience of having been asked by plenty of girls how they look, I would say J. Crew definitely has a good classic bathing suit at affordable prices. They even monogram, for those of you who want to be more waspy Palm Beach and less like Tara Reid gone crazy in South Beach. Ralph Lauren is also good for those of you proud of your body and wanting to show it off — his designs are classic. For those of you who want the two-piece but don’t want to reveal everything try CeaSwim, worn by many celebrities. It is a two-piece that is flattering and utilizes a little more fabric.

So if you’ll be leaving early and won’t be able to read me ranting next Thursday, enjoy your fun in the sun!