Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Paisley Bikini

A good swimsuit can be hard to find. There are lots of reasons for this. A big one is that swimsuits don't give designers all that much room to manoeuvre. After all, the number of shapes and the type of fabric are fairly limited. With the exception of color and pattern, most swimsuits look pretty similar.

Then there's the issue of figure flattery. Of course you want something that's going to do what it can to distract from the parts of your body that aren't quite how you'd like them. My personal belief is that a bathing suit's ability to do this is entirely minimal. Sure, a large bust needs support and the rule that dark colors are minimizing still applies, but you're basically wearing 2 ounces of fabric. Ninety-five percent of your body is completely exposed and the rest is encased in the thinnest layer of spandex. You can run but you can't hide (besides, running and cellulite jiggle do not a happy combination make).

For these reasons, I absolutely cannot fathom spending a lot of money on a swimsuit. I usually buy them off-season and stash them until I'm next on a sunny beach. I look for styles that are going to be supportive and not dig in at any awkward places, but beyond that, I don't fret much about the cut of the suit. The biggest factor I look for is an interesting pattern or color. For a few years now, I've been buying bikini tops and bottoms at different times and from different places, and have had fun mixing and matching them. I gravitate towards the same colors and patterns as I would in other clothing - nothing garish and nothing completely plain (the all-black swimsuit is dull, dull, dull).

I really like this bikini from the November Harper's Bazaar:

The paisley is playful yet classic. The colors warm but subdued. And I like the subtle cross-over detailing on the top, too. The price is reasonable enough to consider buying even before it goes on sale.

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