Swimsuit season is upon us. Whether reading that sentence conjures images of playfully splashing in a pool or self-consciously tugging stretchy fabric into place, the fact is, it’s time to invest in a new suit—preferably one that you like and feel confident wearing. According to Anne Mayher, owner of the Greenville, South Carolina-based swimsuit boutique Splash on Main, the first step to finding your perfect swimsuit is putting aside your insecurity for a moment and focusing on the positive. “The secret to a great swimsuit is drawing the eye to your favorite parts of your figure,” she says. Here, Mayher shares expert advice on how to choose a swimsuit style that will fit well and highlight your best features.
Create proportional balance. To play up—or down—a particular area, consider buying separates that don’t match perfectly to even out the visual balance. By breaking up patterns and colors, you can create an illusion of a more hourglass shape. If you’re wider in the hips than your upper body, you can make your bust appear wider with a bandeau top—especially one with ruffles or busy details—while not drawing attention to your hips with a darker, solid bottom. If you want to highlight your hips and draw attention away from your bust, consider buying a top in a dark solid and a bottom that is a bright solid or pattern or has a ruffle or skirted detail.
Embrace the power of volume. A little extra material in just the right place can make all the difference. If you’re looking to enhance an area, such as the bust, choose a corresponding piece with ruffles. A tie-front bikini top will draw the eye to the chest as well. To camouflage or downplay an area, such as the waist, use shirred, gathered, or ruched fabric, which can be very forgiving in terms of fit.
Learn how to break up length. If you have a long torso, the trendy, high-waisted look is a great fit for you. A one-piece swimsuit with cut-outs is another great option, as it will break up your midsection. If you are both tall and thin, consider a swimsuit with horizontal stripes to help break up the long vertical line of your figure.
Keep it short and sweet. If you are petite, keep in mind that high-cut bottoms can make legs look longer and vertical stripes can visually lengthen the body, making these good traits to keep an eye out for in a swimsuit. You can also wear a solid bikini bottom with a printed top to draw the eye upward and give you a longer look. Avoid boy shorts and skirted bikinis as they draw the eye downward and can make you look shorter.
Look sleek and chic. While black is very slimming, it is far from your only option if you’re seeking a suit that will make you appear more svelte. A swimsuit with dark, solid panels down each side of the torso and a floral or patterned middle can create a slimming effect, as can color blocking. A combination of abstract prints and subtle ruching is another great way to mask any areas you’d like to camouflage. In terms of cut, when looking for a one-piece swimsuit, try one with a deep plunging neckline.
Think outside of the box. If you have an athletic build and want to create the illusion of curves, try swimsuits with chevron stripes angled downward toward the center front of your suit to create an optical illusion. Picking a swimsuit with ruffles or fringe can also create the appearance of a curvier figure.
Don’t stress about size. Swimsuit sizes vary tremendously depending on the manufacturer. As you’re shopping, be concerned with how the swimsuit fits when you try it on, not the number on the tag.
Kiki’s local holiday gift guide
I began my shopping this year on Black Friday in Indiana. Caroline loves the idea of waking up early and fighting the crowds. With coffee in hand and half asleep, we toured the isles picking up odds and ends to fill the stockings. We had fun and although we didn’t take advantage of any of the doorbusters, our niece did find a great deal on a TV for her first apartment. I always savemy big shopping for Greenville. Supporting the local ‘mom and pop’ shops is important to me. This year I was eighty-five percent done with my holiday shopping before we even had our tree!
Whether you need a gift for a child, a girlfriend, a foodie or that person that has everything, you can find it all and more at these great locally owned places. Don’t forget to pick up a few ‘host’ gifts along the way so you don’t get caught empty handed at those holiday drop-ins. Here are a few of my favorite places to shop:
Paisley & Paper: You can find something for everyone in this cute store off Augusta Road. From stationary, party supplies, jewelry, candles, Clemson and SC memorabilia, and baby gifts, Marty Garrison has a huge selection! Best part….they gift wrap too!
Greenville History Tours: At the Chef ’s Table Culinary Tour is the greatest gift for the foodies on your list and for the family member that has everything they possibly need. The culinary tour brings you to some of the most renowned kitchens to sample dishes and meet the chefs. Beyond the delicious food, patrons will also learn fascinating insights into Greenville’s rich history and background of restaurants as John Nolan guides you on this 2-½ hour tour down Main Street.Visit www.greenvillehistorytours. com
Carolina Girl Cooks: Handmade tea cookies are perfect hostess gifts! I had the privilege to work with Jennifer Glover on a project and she is as delightful as are her lavender cookies. Her flavors also include; Orange Cardamom, Chocolate Chip Rosemary Sea Salt, and Rose. They are light, flaky and packaged beautifully!Order yours at: www.carolinagirlcooks.com
Poppington’s Popcorn: While we’re talking about food, this is another great addition to Main Street in Greenville. Who doesn’t love the smell of popcorn?
This is a great gift for co-workers, and again those foodies on your list. I love buying a “tub” for my kids. It is the perfect snack on Christmas morning while mom’s busy in the kitchen. I’ve recently worked with Rose, the owner, on a few corporate events and she’s great!
Peek-A-Whoo: An on-line store started by a couple of my Greenville girlfriends that specializes in personalized gifts for babies, toddlers and mommies! You can find Christmas pajamas, bloomers, slippers and even placematsfor Santa’s milk and cookies. My favorite, and my ‘go to’ for new moms is their JellyCat Bunnies!! I gifted them to my twin nieces and they love them! www.peekawhoo.com
Maddie Kate & Rosie Embroidery: Two sisters, Kathy Rumchak and Debi Henderson run their business out of their home (conveniently located on my street) and specialize in monogramming and appliqueing. No job too big or too small, they have a quick turn around time too! You can find them on Facebook!
MJudson: This is one of my favorite additions to Main Street in Greenville.
Conveniently located across the street from my office, I occasionally escape and find a corner to hibernate with my computer. It’s the perfect place to find a gift for the bookworm in your life.
They also have cookbooks, kitchen gadgets, glassware and much, much more! With everything on rolling carts, it’s a great place to host an event as well!