Suit up

When is the only time women can essentially prance around in their underwear in broad daylight and in public? I'm referring to swimsuit season. And though it might sound exhilarating and liberating, for most of us girls, it is the pinnacle of stress. Between waxing, self-tanning and toning our tushes, there are countless hours spent locked in a dressing room agonizing in front of a deceitful mirror.

To further add insult to injury, designers have added a whole new type of bathing suit to the mix — the un-swimsuit. Maillots had plunging necklines at D&G, cutout sides at Miss Sixty and criss-cross detail at Dior. Bikinis were embellished with beads and sequins at Vix and featured authentic croc belts at Prada. Somehow this look doesn't seem appropriate for lounging poolside at Cotton Mill Lofts with a cooler and a koozie. Instead, it's for lying beachside in Moritz with a cabana boy at your beckon call. And yet these bathing costumes — key word, "costumes" because they are not meant for the water — in eye-popping colors and prints are being copied by designers everywhere.

For those who can't afford a summer servant, will not be visiting St. Barts and don't want to have to do a wardrobe change just to get in the water, there are plenty of other styles to consider. Suits in bright floral prints, sporty stripes, solid citrus colors and animal prints are all making waves this summer. And don't worry: Hip slung boy shorts, low back tanks, bandeau styles and string bikinis are still summer staples.

So when you find yourself knee-deep in the dressing room, on the verge of an anxiety attack, take a deep breath and thank your lucky stars that G-strings aren't in this season.

If you have a tip or have noticed a trend you think our resident fashionista should know about, e-mail your comments to product@creativeloafing.com.