Pos­i­tively cool

Los Angeles Times - - IMAGE - By Amy Preiser im­age@la­times.com

Is there a fash­ion cat­e­gory that has ex­ploded as quickly as the women’s plus-size swim mar­ket? Once a col­lec­tion of “full cov­er­age” suits in 50 shades of black with cas­cad­ing pe­plums and skirted bot­toms, plus­size swimwear has trans­formed in re­cent sea­sons into a cor­nu­copia of sil­hou­ettes, tex­tures and prints.

Think off-the-shoul­der tops, cutouts and cheeky pat­terns, as well as up­dates on clas­sics such as Brigitte Bar­dot-in­spired ging­ham and the ul­ti­mate sum­mer icon, that itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yel­low polka­dot bikini. It doesn’t just make for a more fash­ion­able scene on the beach, but also a con­fi­dent and in­clu­sive one. With the em­pha­sis off hid­ing one’s body and rather on ex­press­ing per­sonal style, brands are get­ting more cre­ative. They are col­lab­o­rat­ing with blog­gers such as Gabi Gregg of GabiFresh, who teamed with Swim­suits for All, and celebrity stylists in­clud­ing Ti­mothy Snell, who was tapped by Al­ways for Me.

Alex Michael May, a Los An­ge­les-based, body-pos­i­tive style ex­pert, re­cently mod­eled in Eloquii’s swimwear look book.

“When I shop for swim­suits, I’m look­ing for the same things I seek out in clothing,” May says. “In­ter­est­ing details, pieces with move­ment, and fun pat­terns — some­thing that’s go­ing to make me feel con­fi­dent, not cov­ered up.”

While big­ger brands get savvier (check out Lane Bryant’s tex­tured peek­a­boo monokini), niche brands have con­tin­ued to push the en­ve­lope. Brook­lyn-based Nakimuli put out a rain­bow-hued one­piece that can be tied mul­ti­ple ways.

The bot­tom line? Just as there’s no one way to have a beach body, there’s no one way to dress yours.

Stephan Schacher Ti­mothy Snell

mod­cloth.com lane­bryant.com TI­MOTHY SNELL’S Brook­lyn crop top and zip-front brief, $55 and $49, in sizes 16W-26W, al waysforme.com

Tor­rid

TOR­RID’S ging­ham­print ruched top and high-waist bot­tom, $58.90 and $44, in sizes 10-30, tor­rid.com

Na­dia Aboul­hosn

BY NA­DIA Aboul­hosn: the Dai­jha­ley swim top and bot­tom, $40 and $48, in sizes S-3X, by­na­di­aaboul hosn.com

Mod­Cloth

MOD­CLOTH’S Sun­light Show­case top/ bot­tom, $50/$40, XS-4X,

La Blanca

LA BLANCA’S Limon­cello suit, $133, in sizes 16W-26W, lablan­caswim.com

Nakimuli

NAKIMULI’S Bright De­light swim­suit, $130, in sizes S-3X, nakimuli.com

Lane Bryant

LANE BRYANT tex­tured monokini, $110.50, in sizes 14-28,

Eloquii

ELOQUII off-the-shoul­der cross­front top and criss­cross bot­tom, $80 and $60, in sizes 12-28, eloquii.com

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