COURTESY OF LINNY MORRIS
Miss Hawaii USA Chanel Wise wears a Maile fern bikini top ($44) and Maile fern tie side pant ($39). CLICK FOR LARGE
Choosing a figure-flattering swimsuit
If your swimsuit is showing wear from time spent at the beach or poolside, it may be time to check out the new arrivals from Melia Conrad, by Hawaii-based Aussie designer Marylea Conrad.
Her suits are carried at Cosmopolitan Sun Shop (Koko Marina Shopping Center), Rafael (corner of Pauahi and Bethel sts. downtown), Allure in Waikiki and MisFortune at Ward Centre.
Here are Conrad's tips on choosing a swimsuit for your body type:
There's safety in a good maillot: One-piece swimsuits work on all body types, including the "tummy-conscious" and pear-shaped. "If you tend to be on the shorter side, like me," Conrad said, "opt for a maillot that gives your shoulders maximum exposure; detachable straps are great!) This will make your body appear leaner and more proportionate. Also, look for slenderizing surplice cuts and shirring.
"A tankini is also a great cut for any body because it conceals," Conrad said, almost as much as street clothes. More practically, it offers protection from the sun, and is great for active girls who want to avoid tummy rash from paddling out on the waves on a surfboard or to avoid losing their suits in rough water.
Big bust: Just as with streetwear, choose a high U-shaped neckline to minimize the bust. Support cups are a must.
Bottom heavy: Don't be afraid to wear a bikini!: "The biggest mistake I think girls make is feeling they can't wear a bikini or tankini if they're pear-shaped. If selecting a bikini, choose a style that draws attention from your chest up, such as a classic halter style." The deep V cut helps to balance torso and hips. Also, a modest, fuller-cut bikini bottom that shows some cheek will offer a combination of coverage, while elongating your legs.
Shy girls: It may seem contrary, but timid types might consider a striking or attractive print. Bold graphics or patterns tend to draw the eye, diverting others' gaze from any trouble spots, real or imaginary.
Broad-shouldered girls: A classic halter bikini is versatile and draws eyes away from the shoulders to one's decolletege, one of the sexier parts of the body.
Even the toned, slimmed and sporty need help: Surplice and shirred styles give rectangular figures the appearance of curves. Boy-leg bottoms are hot and work wonders for girls who don't want to expose too much.
No matter which style you choose, always be sure to pack a cute coverup. "You never know when your girlfriends or a cute surfer boy may decide to invite you to stop at a hot spot away from the beach!"