Sarah L.
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Ears to the Street: Summer 2011 Swimwear Goes Bright and Back in Time

Prints are in this summer! Outer images: Anthropologie's new swimwear line; center: Zimmermann's new summer swimwear

There’s no doubt that summer conjures up waves of nostalgia for us all – memories of the last day of school, lazy days spent at the beach (before your parents forced you to grow up and get a summer job), endless contests to see whose cannonball produced the biggest splash. Personally, memories of my hazy summer days as a 10-year-old are automatically associated with Speedo’s one-piece bathing suits – my friends and I had the same bathing suit, each in 10 different colors. I particularly remember one pink neon one-piece I had that I wore so much that the neon green “Speedo” sign had flaked off by the end of the summer.

So it’s comforting to see that summer’s water wear isn’t all about the string bikini. They’ll always be ‘in’, but it’s refreshing to see some new swimwear cuts and bold patterns taking precedence. Take note: patterns are in! And if you’re in a bathing suit, you’re not wearing it so you can hide from the surrounding public, so don’t be afraid to go bold and opt for something you wouldn’t normally wear in the office or to brunch. Don’t be afraid to mix-and-match either – it’s one of those situations where you know you didn’t try to match, and it works! (Just check out a shot from Aussie brand Zimmermann’s 2011 Cruise collection, above!) We’re loving surf label Tavik’s Heather – a strapless cutout one-piece that looks like it was designed especially for Lisa Turtle.

We heart onesies! (Images on left: We Are Summer's latest looks; right: Tavik's one-piece)

While we’re on the subject of one-pieces and Aussie brands, let’s discuss the insane cap-sleeved one-piece from Australian swimwear brand We Are Handsome – another ’90s-inspired print and a silhouette that’s yet to gain popularity. Are sleeved one-pieces the new string bikini? (Probably not, but we like to dream.)

Another trend that’s worth noting: the overall subtlety of summer’s swimwear. As mentioned earlier, bikinis are here to stay, but there’s something to be said about a swimsuit that leaves something to the imagination. This spring, ’70s fashion is making a full-on comeback outside the water – so it’s almost no surprise that retro-inspired cuts are surfacing in the latest swimwear. Another fave from We Are Handsome: the brand’s front-tie one-piece – white is so perfect for showing off that sun-kissed glow! Anthropologie recently dropped a swimwear line of its own (peep the line at Mama’s a Rolling Stone), complete with high-waisted bottoms and rouched polka-dot one-pieces – perfect for channeling your inner Bettie Paige!

So if you’ve shied away from patterns in the past, here’s your chance to embrace the bright, bold colors that go so well with summer sun and a tan!

Images via Foam Magazine, Tavik Swimwear, Fashion Copious, Mama’s a Rolling Stone

Graphic layout: Feesh

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