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We asked David Zyla, an Emmy Award-winning stylist and the author of The Colour of Style (Dutton, 2010), for his tips on what to wear poolside this summer. "For swimwear, as well as fashion, it's one of the most exciting times in recent history because there is such a variety," he says.
"This season offers tremendous choice in all types of apparel, plus a varied colour palette. It's a really wonderful thing to see." With this in mind he shares six swimsuit trends worth noting.
1. Vintage-inspired swimwear
Think pin-up girls and the sexy bathing suits you might have seen Marilyn Monroe sporting. "This trend is really honouring curves and looks beautiful on women with curves. It's a fun look and a nod to a very playful era," says Zyla.
Look for styles that have high-waisted bottoms, padding in the bust, ruffles, halter straps and sweetheart necklines. In terms of colour and print: "We are seeing lots of floral, '50s Hawaiian prints, micro-stripes and solids that have contrast piping," the stylist says.
While you might see ruffle details on many styles of swimsuits, ruffles are a category unto themselves this season, says Zyla. "Ruffles add a very feminine touch and we're seeing this feature on all types of bathing suits."
If you're wary of whether ruffles can be fashionable, don't be. Where past seasons have seen ruffles done too heavy-handedly (i.e. one oversize ruffle on the shoulder) this summer is all about refinement, Zyla explains. "Ruffles this time are more delicate and simply follow the feminine curves of the body," he says. You'll see the feature in a wide variety of swimsuit styles, so it can work on most body types.
3. 1970s throwbacks
Get ready for another nod to decades past. This summer sees the 1970s make a comeback in two very different ways. The first throwback is crochet, which we're seeing mostly in bikinis, says Zyla. "The look is delicate, yet there is a crispness to it," he says. Look for suits in white or off-white and in crochet or eyelet fabric.
Fabrics with sheen are another throwback to the '70s that is popping up on swimwear this season. Think about the satin baseball jackets and shiny makeup that hark back to that particular decade, says Zyla. "These are satin suits with quite a bit of sheen in neon hues like parrot green, lemon yellow, bright tangerine, hyper-popsicle colours and colours that say summer and fun," he explains.
Page 1 of 2 -- From digital prints to one-shoulder suits, find out which other swimsuits are in style this summer on page 2.
4. One-shoulder suits
Another trend to note while shopping for swimwear is the one-shoulder style, which is inspired by evening wear this season, explains Zyla. "We're seeing one-shoulder suits in a different way this summer -- they're not heavy handed and they have delicate straps," he explains.
This season, rather than choosing something solid, look for contrast-hued suits where the bust is one colour and the torso another. "These are quite striking and a bit more formal in their feel," Zyla says.
5. Multi-strap suits
Standard straps are being replaced with more eye-catching details this summer. "Strapping is being done in a very new way," says Zyla. "Think bikini bottoms that have four to five straps of fabric on the sides rather than a full band of fabric."
You might also notice one-piece suits with small cuts all the way down the side, which is a nod to the 1980s, the stylist explains. "These suits have bold cuts into the fabric in unexpected areas of the body, and instead of single straps there will be six or even nine of them," he says. Look for multi-strap suits in animal prints, basic black and neutrals such as nude, taupe or grey.
6. Digital prints
Bathing suits are going high-tech. Rather than florals, stripes or polka-dots, the prints on these new suits are very modern. "Digital-inspired prints are pixelated and not always symmetrical -- maybe a painting screened across the front of a bathing suit," says Zyla. "They are kind of like wearable art."
A digital print suit might not be the one you wear every weekend at the cottage. Think of it as more of a statement piece, he advises. "They are very new and very interesting, and this look is getting a lot of attention. Printed suits have always been popular, but now they're being reinvented in a modern way," says Zyla.
When it comes to which trend to choose, consider your personality. "Your swimsuit should look like it came from your closet, not like a costume you wear on the beach," says Zyla. "It should be flattering and the style should accentuate who you are."
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