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Jun 12, 2014
10:51 AM
Window Shopping

The 4 Swim Trends You Need to Know About This Summer

PHOTO COURTESY OF LANDS' END

For some women finding that perfect swimsuit is like searching for a needle in a haystack—it can feel impossible. Luckily the Lands’ End Getaway Tour made its last stop in Madison this past Saturday to perform complimentary fittings and give women advice on suit styles that are tailor-made for their body type.

The Getaway Tour made six stops throughout the U.S. including New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto and Madison. The tour featured a two-story beach house that was pulled by semi that served as a pop-up shop for the whole event to take place. And if you missed the event, Kendall Farr, Glambassador for Glamour magazine, and Michele Casper, PR director for Lands’ End, shared with me invaluable swimwear fitting advice; after all, swimwear has morphed from strictly functional to a garment that’s multi-purpose: “women are looking for ways to move their swimwear off the beach or into a restaurant or walk with confidence on the beach or resort area,” notes Farr. Read on for their tips and tricks.

Why did Lands’ End decide to launch this tour?
Casper:
At Lands’ End we’ve always felt we’re a swimwear resource for women because we focus on designing and developing suits that will fit and flatter women of all shapes and sizes. Our CEO Edgar said, “What can you do to take us to the next level?” That’s how we brainstormed this. How can we take that [swimwear fitting] experience and make it more personal? That’s why we’re doing the complimentary professional fitting, because we believe women need to find the right fit first. And that equals confidence in the end.

Why can shopping for a swimsuit be challenging?
Casper:
I think the general consensus is that it’s very challenging because it’s a personal experience. We do a lot of listening at Lands’ End and we try to understand those fit challenges that are troublesome. We start with the four measurements so you get a sense of what size you are and then you can get what sense of style you are. We offer hundreds and hundreds of options in sizes from two to twenty-six, from petite to long torso.

There are two common [fitting] mistakes women are making. Women don’t know what size they are, and they’ll size up. They think, “I want to go bigger and it’ll fit.” What ends up happening is the suit doesn’t fit and it’s baggy and not flattering.

And then they don’t think about bra support. It’s important to have the right support in your swimsuit whether it’s a shelf bra or soft cup bra. If you’re supported and you have the right lift and comfort you need, you’ll be confident. We offer up to a DDD cup size and even a line of mastectomy swimwear for women. We try to offer the full gamut so we can fit women of every shape and size.

So fit is key. How do you do a swimwear fitting?
Casper: We do four key measurements: the bust at the fullest part; the waist at the narrowest point; hips at the fullest part and a torso measurement. Most women have no idea how to do a torso measurement. We take a tape measure and loop it from shoulder to leg to over the other shoulder. And that helps us determine if a one-piece swimsuit is right and what size you would be. You could be petite but have a long torso or a really tall woman with a petite torso. So once we take those four measurements we’re able to determine what size you are. And then we know you’re that size in a one- piece, tankini or bikini—and it’s consistent across all silhouettes.

What other fit tips can you share to equal a great-fitting suit?
Farr: If you create a strong shape for your upper body it draws the attention upward—after all, seventy percent of us are bigger on the bottom than on the top. So look at strap placement on the suit—a halter top for example gives the illusion of broader shoulders.

Also thinking about tops, whatever kind of bra you normally wear is a very good visual for how you look at a bathing suit top. If you’ve been measured for a bra and it works for you, the same principle applies for a swimsuit top.

Most of the suits in this collection have shaping like princess seams and ruching to create the impression of a curvier silhouette. All of these are intelligent design solutions and offer built-in to support to give a better silhouette.

What are the key trends in swimwear this season?
Farr: Architectural is the first one. That speaks to the minimalist trend on the runway where you have shapes that are strong and graphic. [Lands’ End has] a black suit that has a one shoulder style. It also has shaping and a targeted control panel that no one has to know about, but it’s like your LBS—your little black suit—and it gives you a wonderful canvas to accessorize. Because women use their suits to go from the beach to a restaurant.

Boho is a classic in this summer trend category. Lands’ End has done a phenomenal paisley print with pops of color.

Old Hollywood [is another trend]. It’s lots of '50s and '60s inspired florals. There’s a real beauty in this collection. And there are clever uses of high waisted briefs, balconet tops and ruching and shaping that work with the body.

The sport trend just gets stronger by the minute. There’s a great piece in this collection that’s a swim shirt that you can wear with a bikini bottom. It’s an athletic inspired look but it’s modern.

Casper: As part of the athletic look we have these great swim tees that are a universal favorite for women. We have fifteen different colors and patterns and they start at $35. We actually partnered with the Skin Cancer Foundation and had [the tee] tested and it has the highest UV protection you can get. You can wear it in and out of the water and you get all of the benefits of UV protection in the fabric.

Watch Lands' End's video on how to measure yourself for swimwear below!

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About This Blog

As Madison Magazine's style editor, Shayna Mace writes the monthly "Window Shopping" column about Madison's coolest store owners, products and shops. She also reports on Madison's most stylish people, chic items she loves, store events and sales, and additional dish in her weekly blog. Her favorite places to check out around town are local boutiques, consignment and vintage shops for one-of-a-kind treasures, new restaurants and bars, and anywhere that affords her the opportunity to meet and talk to Madison's most inspirational (and many times, fashionable!) people.

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