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This summer has given us a multitude of fashion-forward swimwear trends, from sexy one-piece monokinis to geometric patterns that pop. But the ultimate in sexy beach fashion for 2013 has to be swimsuits inspired by classic lingerie styling.

Today’s hottest swimwear designers are taking cues from the lingerie world and creating gorgeous, boudoir-inspired pieces that will have hearts racing and heads turning left and right!

Here are a few ways designers are adapting lingerie to swim fashions:

BEACH BUNNY, Gundpowder & Lace

Lovely Lace
One of the most common ways we’re seeing the lingerie-inspired swimwear trend playing out is with the addition of lace. While some designers are creating lace-inspired prints and fabrics, others are taking it a step further and actually adding real lace to their swimwear designs.

Think sexy lace-waist bikini bottoms, lace-trimmed triangle tops and lace-paneled cover-ups. Not only does it create texture that dares to be touched, but it also has a seductively sexy semi-sheer look.

SEAFOLLY, Rococo Rose

Corsets & Bustiers
In addition to lovely lace styles, you’ll also notice a ton of bustiers, bra tops and swimsuits with corset detailing. The vast majority of this season’s bustiers and bra tops feature a sweetheart neckline as well as molded cups and/or underwire. Like a traditional bra, these design features will help support your bust while simultaneously creating a look that’s very va-va-voom.

Similarly, swimsuits with corset backs will help suck you in and accentuate both your waist and bustline. Whether you’re into bikinis or one-pieces, there are a wide variety of styles to choose from.


Getting Cheeky
For the 2013 season, a number of designers are getting cheeky with their designs and creating flattering hipster and boyshort bottoms with super cheeky back cuts. Like their lingerie counterparts, these hipster and boyshort swimsuit bottoms come in a number of different styles and will accentuate your backside.

You can find them in prints, solids or with flirty details and embellishments. But for the truly bold beachgoer who wants to show off those hard-earned buns of steel, you can even find a huge selection of thong swimsuit bottoms with seamless construction.

If you’re into sexy and sultry swimwear styles, the lingerie-inspired swimwear trend is a must-try this season. Find your perfect style and get your flirt on!

(Main Photo Above: BEACH BUNNY, Somebody’s Heartbreak

Susan is a blogger for Beauty and the Beach, a swimwear blog by InStyleSwimwear.com, an online retailer of fashion-forward designer swimwear, beachwear, sandals and accessories.

Posted in Swimwear
Surviving Swimwear Season
Posted by Melmira Boutique | June 28, 2013

The time is upon us … the anticipated … the dreaded … SWIMWEAR season!

It’s a time when you are in your most vulnerable state, but also time spent in a swimsuit is when we actualize our ultimate goals in life: happiness in rest and relaxation.

So why is it the most dreaded shopping experience, and how can we change that?

Swimwear is expensive, there is no denying it. Whether you shop at your trusted department store, a local beach resort, or are fitted professionally, it is almost a guarantee that you will be surprised at how pricey your bathing suit will be!

But, why?

Because swimwear is a science. While there are clothing designers who dabble in swimwear, the serious exclusively-swimwear designers take fabric, construction and style very seriously. Designers like Chantelle Levesque (Shan) or Jessika Allen (Jets) have been perfecting the art of swimwear for decades, and are still challenged to improve each and every season. If you imagine quality clothing conforming to a woman’s natural curves, swimwear literally does that too.

So with all these details considered, how will you get yourself into that fitting room? Gone are the days of being overwhelmed with color, style and selection, not to mention poor lighting and uncomfortable fitting rooms.

Instead of window shopping for your favorite color or the latest trend, imagine investing that same time on your body and your confidence. Being fit by an expert, who knows the products by heart, offers a new insight and a different perspective. You are shown options that you may not have even known were possible, and your limits will be tested in a very healthy and constructive way.

Even if swimwear is “not for you”, allow yourself the opportunity to be proven wrong! Giving yourself the time to be properly educated about your body and your options affects your health, confidence and wellness. A good fitting can change the way you carry yourself; it is as if an invisible string is pulling you up as you walk away with a renewed sense of confidence.

If you are considering spending money on a fashionable new beach look, why not invest the time and do it right? Give it a try and seek out a fitting session with a swimwear specialist. You will do more than survive swimwear season — you will celebrate it!

Now, to get you in the mood, here are a few current offerings from some of our favorite fashion-forward swim brands.


Melmira Bra & Swim Boutique is a Toronto lingerie and swimwear salon. Melmira’s staff offers expert bra shopping and fitting advice to Lingerie Talk readers each month.

Posted in Swimwear

Yes ladies, the bittersweet reality of swimwear season is upon us!

With hot weather and outdoor lifestyles around the corner after a long winter of hibernating, it can be a shock getting used to the idea of “exposing all” in a few short weeks.

Now … how to lessen that anxiety and make the most of your fun in the sun? In a word: get some expert help.

Don’t be afraid to embrace your curves by taking the time to be fit for a swimsuit that suits your body, your comfort level, and your lifestyle.

While bra fittings have become common practice, swimwear shopping at the best of times can be daunting. Often, the closer a woman is to a “perfect 10″, the more critical she can be when seeking the perfect suit. Alternatively, a woman who has struggled with her weight for years may choose to focus on fewer criteria when shopping, as she feels she has to settle only for a bathing suit that “fits”.

Just as being fit by an expert bra fitter offers solutions that you never thought imaginable, the same magic can apply to swimwear.

So, to answer the question of whether you have the luxury of being selective when it comes to your swimwear purchase, the answer is a resounding YES! In fact, the most difficult part of your fitting should be making the final decision!

If your curiosity is piqued, and a swimsuit fitting is on your “to-do list”, keep an open mind but also keep in mind what the trends are telling us this season. Here’s a roundup of this season’s leading style trends:

Like in outerwear, colors trend in and out of swimwear fashion. Keeping this is mind, it is always important to work with not only your preference, but your color palette. Bold solid colors are being showcased this season, with corals (autumn color) and cobalts (winter color) standing out as favorites. If understated elegance is your taste, gravitate toward the taupes and soft floral prints that we saw on the runways this spring.

When it comes to bikinis, women are not only mixing different styles on the top and bottom in order to best complement their figure, but different color palettes as well. Let’s face it, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and color blocking or ombre prints, used to distract the eye to certain areas or details, offers a very contemporary yet flattering effect.

While it is now common practice to mix and match tops and bottoms when exploring bikinis or tankinis, don’t worry if it’s just not working out. The full one-piece has had a complete revival, and can not only be a very flattering and slimming look, but also very sexy! In addition, retro-inspired swimwear, with high-waisted bikinis, stripes and polka dots, offer some coverage and exude confidence by still showing off a little tummy. You can find great deals on cheap bikinis here.

Once the swimwear has been selected, the fun begins! Cover-ups and cruisewear — what we wear over our suit from poolside to bar side, and even out to dinner in many cases — complete the look and make travelling seamless. Less is more when it comes to packing, and versatile maxi dresses and kaftans are definitely all the rage right now.

Speaking of vacationing, it is crucial to have a checklist! You’ve packed your shades, beach bag, sandals, and jewellery. Now, what swimwear to bring?? Whether work, play, girls getaway, family holiday, or sheer romance, your swimwear wardrobe may not break your trip, but it can certainly make it! A few ideas to keep in mind…

  • While the halter may be the most flattering or the most supportive bra style, do you need a bandeau for tanning?
  • While you’ve invested in a gorgeous quality toe dipper, if the kids are on board, make sure you also have room for a bit of “functionality”! A beautifully supportive tankini comes in handy for quick washroom breaks, playing in the pool, and kids climbing all over you!
  • While the full one-piece is most comfortable, should you be brave and bring that sexy black bikini you’ve always been not quite ready to wear?
  • While black is your staple here at home, a sexy red or white, fun floral print, or soft feminine pastel may be just what the doctor ordered to put both you and your company in the mood!

Don’t fall into the habit of waiting until the very last moment (if at all) to begin the thankless search for the perfect swimsuit. Instead, indulge in the experience and take time for yourself. With the proper fit and the right style to suit your figure and lifestyle, you may surprise yourself and find that you look better than you thought possible!

Truth be told, all women share the same desire to feel beautiful. Why not make that a priority and a reality this season as you embrace your curves in the sun!

Styles Shown (from top):

  • Karla Colletto, ‘Outlines’ collection
  • Shan, ‘Anemone’ collection
  • Vix, ‘Betsey’ collection
  • Vix, ‘Betsey’ collection
  • Seafolly, ‘Sophia’ collection
  • Vix, ‘Uluwatu’ maxi-dress
  • Jets, ‘Lighthouse’ collection

Melmira Bra & Swim Boutique is a Toronto lingerie salon. Melmira’s staff offers expert bra shopping and fitting advice to Lingerie Talk readers each month.

Posted in Swimwear

With autumn’s chill settling in, it’s hard to ignore what’s ahead. Shan knows how you feel. For 25 years, the Laval, Que.-based company (which counts Céline Dion, Katy Perry and the newly married Kate Moss as fans) has been helping to outfit pasty-but-stylish northerners for that essential rite-of-winter: the frantic migration to warmer climates.

Perhaps surprisingly for a company that specializes in couture swimwear, this is Shan’s busiest season, when customers in Canada and Russia — their second biggest market — are packing their bags and getting ready to escape the imminent cold.

And this year, travelers sporting the Shan label while lounging by the pool will have an extra reason to feel proud of their fashion choice: the Canadian brand was named Designer of the Year at last summer’s Mode City expo in Paris, beating out more than 600 premium labels at the world’s most prestigious showcase for couture lingerie and swimwear.

For Shan, the recognition came after more than two decades of carefully developing its own niche within the crowded luxury swimwear market, and focusing on product quality, technical execution … and stylish looks that make any woman stand out on a crowded Caribbean beach.

Shan is credited with coining the term “resort wear” — that mid-season range of elegant caftans, beach cover-ups and casual daywear pieces that have become an essential component of a winter holiday wardrobe. Expanding fashion options for the glamorous traveler seemed like a natural evolution for Shan a decade ago, and the trend quickly caught on in Europe as well.

Chantal Levesque, the label’s founder and designer, says Shan’s exceptional story — a trendsetting couture swim label from Canada — helped it earn the prestigious Mode City award. The label’s relentless focus on “raising the bar on quality” didn’t hurt, either.

“I think the fact that Shan designed and executed 100% of its product in Quebec in 2011 and saw it distributed in more than 25 countries makes it a completely unique scenario within our industry,” Chantal (below) told Lingerie Talk.

Shan (the name is a modified version of Chantal’s name, spelled with an “S” to favor international pronunciation) has always focused on the needs of a nomad clientele that doesn’t want to compromise on image. Shan’s collections are “versatile, comfortable, easy to travel with, and stylish,” says Chantal, who spends half the year criss-crossing the globe to meet buyers and see other cultures. “It’s important to maintain a nice look — even if you’re living out of a suitcase.”

Their top seller (also their most expensive) is their bra-turned-swimsuit, the balconnet top (below) with removable strap and padded underwire. “Technically, it’s a bra … in a swimsuit,” says Chantal. “It’s a very good reflection of Shan’s values as a brand.”

Being named Designer of the Year won’t change the company’s DNA, she adds, but it will open more doors as Shan looks to grow its international presence in new markets such as the Far East.

At the same time, Shan plans to expand its product line with new offerings in lingerie, homewear and accessories such as sunglasses. But “the heart of the brand will stay in swimwear,” she adds.

“Lingerie is an intimacy product, but swimwear is very technical because everyone sees your body. People want to be comfortable in what they’re wearing. People will always come to the stores for the right swimsuit.”

With so much on Shan’s horizon, it might just be a winter to look forward to after all!

Have a look below at some popular pieces from Shan’s 2011 collection. You can find Shan in numerous luxury boutiques and resort retail locations around the world.

Posted in Shan, Swimwear

With the prevalence of just about anything boho and 70s lately, it’s no surprise that the caftan is the beach cover-up of the moment. And while the caftans of 2011 come in a variety of different colors, patterns and lengths, what they all have in common is being easy to wear and breezily cool.

Chic or casual, sultry or sweet, these cover-ups can not only hide a multitude of sins (think sunburned shoulders and unsightly tan lines), but also suit a wide variety of styles and swimwear. Short, mid-thigh or maxi, it’s really up to you.


We love the floor-scraping versions in printed chiffon by designers like Tory Burch (try the Belted Isabeli Caftan Dress (above) and Diane von Furstenberg, which can easily double as dresses with the right underthings, and the gorgeous options from brands like Antik Batik and Tibi, below, too.

TIBI, Solar Eclipse

That’s the great thing about caftans in 2011: when paired with bottoms (whether shorts or skirts) many can easily make the transition from coverup to actual clothing item, making them quite useful long after your last bikini is packed away.

NIGHTCAP, Jungle Lace

Nightcap Clothing‘s Jungle Lace Caftan Cover Up is a flowing combination of lace and silk-chiffon. Featuring an asymmetrical hem that mirrors the V-neckline and elbow-length sleeves, this cover up is deathly chic. (Available at Shopbop.com, $322; horse extra.)

VICTORIA’S SECRET, Embroidered Tie-Dye

For something that captures boho chic style at a lower price point, try the breezy Victoria’s Secret Embroidered Tie-Dye Caftan for $59, one of several versions of this trend offered up by the lingerie giant. Perfect over a sizzling bikini or a more sensible one-piece, this caftan covers up without sacrificing style.

BEACH BUNNY, Moroccan Coin

If you want sultry try a caftan like Beach Bunny Swimwear‘s Moroccan Coin Caftan. The Moorish-inspired style comes in three colors and features a neckline trimmed in shimmering gold coins. If wearing this cover up with a bathing suit that’s also bedazzled with coins is a bit to much for you, opt for a plainer option instead.


Boho luxe and Missoni go hand in hand, which is why the Italian fashion house is probably ideal for churning out caftans in supple fabrics and riotous colors. Whether you’re looking for short — like this Durban Crochet-Knit Patchwork Caftan, available at Net-a-Porter — or maxi, Missoni Mare has an option for you. A fedora, aviators and bejeweled flat sandals definitely help to complete this bohemian beach look.

Colombians definitely know a thing or two about sizzling swimwear, and lingerie/swim brand Touché (above) is no different. For summer 2011, the brand, which is available at Nancy Meyer, offers quite a few attractive caftan cover-up options that work perfectly over their sexy bikinis and one-piece suits.

EBERJEY, Paradise Found
EBERJEY, Crochet Chic

Perennial U.S. favorite Eberjey borrows a lot of delicate styling cues from its lingerie collections for its beach coverups. The gauze cotton Paradise Found caftan ($92) looks like it could double as a nightie on steamy summer nights, while Eberjey’s Hannah poncho ($123) makes great use of this season’s emerging trend in crochet beachwear.

Finally, the last word on the subject of caftans must go to Josie Natori, who has elevated this garment into an art form in North America. That’s the hippie-friendly Evolve caftan dress (above) from Josie’s current collection and, at $795, only the richest hippies need apply. Thankfully, the Natori brand has branched out with a capsule collection for Target, and a youth-oriented diffusion line, Josie by Natori, that features numerous summer wraps, shimmies and tunics in Natori’s signature bright prints but at much more affordable prices.

Note: Photo at the top of this post features the Sebastian Hooded Caftan from the chic California label Mikoh.

Posted in Swimwear
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