Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013


- For Weekly Surge
Swimwear by Evita



Since spring sprung slowly thanks to what felt like a winter that wouldn’t end, thinking ahead and planning for summer is a great way to escape the maddening chilly temperatures that have overstayed their welcome.

What better way to daydream for warmer temperatures and endless sunshine than shopping for this season’s swimsuit? For those of us who live in the Myrtle Beach area, we are afforded ample time to enjoy the salt sea air and sand between our toes, while visitors only get to experience a sliver of the sun-drenched days we encounter.

But no matter the amount of time spent at the beach, strutting out in a chic and stylish swimsuit is an invigorating way for men and women to not only show off their stylish prowess amidst wandering eyes, but to confidently welcome the sand and sea that awaits.

Depending on your athletic ability, skin tone, or general hang-ups about your body, there is a swimsuit out there that suits your needs. The retail market is drenched with a multitude of options that can cleverly cover troublesome areas and create curves for women, while men can find suits to hang ten and sport around in with easy, comfortable style.

Here on the Grand Strand, a bevy of swimwear stores, surf shops and department stores are stocking their shelves full of functional, colorful, and chic designer swimwear, perfect for those wishing to flatter their figure or just simply flaunt it while poolside or at the beach. While a myriad of trends for both men and women emerged during spring 2013 fashion week, a few have taken top spot as the hottest looks for summer. So we’ve done the legwork for you, sifting through all of the options and creating this Gotta Have It Swimwear Guide for Summer 2013.

But this isn’t some fancy New York fashion mag, or plastic fantastic Hollywood rag; and you won’t have to make a trip to Charleston, Columbia or Charlotte, N.C. - the following are swimsuit styles and choices you can grab right here in our sunny seaside hamlet.


Bright Lights, Bold Colors

Color is queen this year in women’s swimwear. Specialty swimwear stores as well as department stores on the Grand Strand are offering a multitude of swimwear options featuring vibrant hues, patterns, prints and color combinations in an array of swimsuit styles.

"You will be thrilled by the frills, the fresh colors and the pronounced patterns,” said Arlene Goldstein, Belk’s Vice President of Fashion and Trend Merchandising, describing the department store’s summer swimwear collection for women. “Swimsuits are offering an exuberant mix of show-stopping details this season."

Kathy Glynn, owner of Evita Swimwear Boutique in Myrtle Beach, a specialty swimwear destination on the Grand Strand since 2002, has also noticed the trend blossoming in this season’s lines of designer brands she carries.

“The market is definitely going toward the brighter colors,” she says.

For summer, prevalent colors popping up in swimwear include bright shades of orange, pink and coral, as well as shades of bright blue and turquoise, either mixed together in a vibrant print or pattern, or as a solid.

If you prefer to be beach-bound in a bikini, choose a suit that showcases a bright color but is accented with feminine details.

For a solid color selection, opt for the La Blanca Samba Solids Halter Top in Papaya ($57, Belk) and La Blanca Samba Hipster Bottom in Papaya ($55, Belk). This two-piece swimsuit pops thanks to its bright shade of orange and shirring detail (small rows of gathered fabric) that gives it a chic look. To travel to the beach in style, pair it with glitzy flip- flops such as the Mocha Gold Rhinestone Starfish Sandals in Black ($22, Evita Swimwear Boutique) and a vibrant cover up. The Nautica Deck Hand Crochet Coverup in Orange ($89, Belk) is a perfect addition, thanks to its 3/4-length sleeves and mid-thigh length that provides ample coverage.

Or, for a sexier style, try on the Lucky Brand Mumbai Magic Bra Top in Berry ($78, Belk) and Lucky Brand Mumbai Magic Side Tie Bottom in Berry ($52, Belk). The bright pink triangle cut top has a built in push-up bra and is accented with a multicolored strap and fringe detail. The low-cut bottoms also feature the multicolored band and fringe accent, delicately tied at the side. Pair it with the Antonio Melani Eyelet Tunic Cover Up in White ($89, Dillard’s) for a casual look.

If you prefer prints and are looking for a suit that will disguise figure flaws but still oozes sex appeal, opt for the 2 Bamboo The Palm Before the Storm Bandokini in Warm ($80, Belk) and 2 Bamboo The Palm Before the Storm Wide Band Hipster Bottom in Warm ($49, Belk). The halter-styled tankini top and hipster bottoms provide coverage, while the fabric shirring and pink, orange, green, yellow and blue palm print will help camouflage troublesome areas.

For a cool color option, the Lauren Ralph Lauren Tie Dye Stripe Bandokini in Blue ($81, Belk) and Lauren Ralph Lauren Solid Hipster Swim Bottom ($39, Belk) offers an on-trend look. The vibrant blue, turquoise and white tie dye pattern of the halter tankini-styled top is complimented by the solid blue bottoms. For added sex appeal, pull on the Calvin Klein Snake Print Kaftan Cover Up in Bluebird ($98, Belk). The deep V-neck, loose fit and belted waist provide a pulled together look perfect for arriving at a pool party in style.

Ruffled Yet Retro

If you’re looking for a glamorous beach look this season, a retro or vintage-inspired swimsuit is the style for you. Details including ruffles, polka dots, lace detailing, high-waisted bottoms and corset-shaped tops all add to the nostalgic allure of this trend. It’s also a helpful trend for hiding figure flaws thanks to ruching details, strategically placed ruffles, and bottoms that hit above the waist.

During the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami, a myriad of designers such as Luli Fama and Lisa Blue showcased a distinct selection of swimsuits with vintage flair, and this look has made its way to stores here at the beach.

“Ruffles, in general, are very hot,” says Evita Swimwear’s Glynn, regarding one of the retro-inspired details popular at her store.

To rock the ruffled look, opt for a suit with subtle ruffle flair, like the Kenneth Cole Reaction Halter Ruffle Bikini Top in Pink ($52, Evita Swimwear Boutique) and Kenneth Cole Reaction Ruffle Skirted Swim Bottom in Pink ($54, Evita Swimwear Boutique). This sweet two-piece features ruffles along the bust line of the halter top and along the skirt of the bottom, highlighted by the warm tone of pink.

Or, try on the 24th & Ocean Fab Floral Twist Front Triple Tier Tankini Top in Floral ($62, Evita Swimwear Boutique) and 24th & Ocean Adjustable Hi-Waist Bottom in Black ($42, Evita Swimwear Boutique) if you prefer more coverage. The tiered ruffle detail of the tankini top is accented by the vibrant turquoise, black and maroon floral pattern and solid color of the bottoms.

If you favor a more vintage-inspired style, then channel old Hollywood glamour and lounge poolside in the Maidenform Beach Custom Lift Halter Swim Bra in Coral/Turquoise Floral ($60, Evita Swimwear Boutique) and Maidenform Beach High Waisted Swim Bottom in Turquoise ($56, Evita Swimwear Boutique). The turquoise and coral floral patterned halter top is complimented by the solid color of the high waisted bottom that also features ruching detail in the front, perfect for camouflaging a tummy.

Or, if you prefer a one-piece suit, then the Maxine of Hollywood Center Shirred Spa Suit in Almalfi Pink ($58, Evita Swimwear Boutique) is a terrific suit for any figure. This full coverage tank suit is flattering and pretty thanks to its maroon floral pattern and ruching detail through the bodice of the suit that adds a slimming effect. Add a neutral sundress and a straw tote, like the Lauren Ralph Lauren Gardiner Tote in Chestnut/Orange ($128, Belk) to take your look from the beach to the Tiki bar.

From the Bed to the Beach

If you have that hot beach bod and like to flaunt it, then the boudoir-inspired style is for you. During the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami, this emerging trend had designers blurring the lines between the bedroom and beach.

Structured underwire lined tops, deep V-necks, sheer fabrics, and scanty bikinis that leave little to the imagination are just a few of the ways to rock this look.

Flaunt your figure with a little fringe and wear the Luli Fama Gold Fringe Bikini Top ($75, Evita Swimwear Boutique) and Luli Fama Bikini Gold Bottom ($76, Evita Swimwear Boutique). This metallic string bikini is lined with a layer of gold fringe around the bust line, and is accented with a low-cut matching bottom.

Or, for a softer look, the Laundry by Shelli Segal Triangle Top in Sardinia ($58, Dillard’s) and Laundry by Shelli Segal Tie-Side Bottom in Sardinia ($58, Dillard’s) still offers a subtle but sexy style with its sea green capri eyelet fabric and revealing string bikini silhouette.

Another way to beckon the boudoir is with the Betsey Johnson Forget Me Not Underwire Top in Shocking Pink ($98, Dillard’s) and Betsey Johnson Forget Me Not Cheeky Skirted Bottom in Shocking Pink ($72, Dillard’s). The bright pink molded cups of the bra-styled top are accented with black lace and a bow, while the bottoms feature a low-rise skirt style with a textured design. Complete this look with the Gianni Bini Swim Lace Coverup Dress in Black ($89, Dillard’s), a see-through lace dress with 3/4-length sleeves.


Color Blocked, Printed & Patterned

As with women’s swimwear, a trend making waves in men’s swimwear this season is the use of vibrant colors. Hues of lime green, orange and neon shades of yellow, blue, and green are not only showing up on the runways of designers including Parke and Ronen, Dolce & Gabbana, and Tom Ford, but on the racks here at the beach.

Mark Allison, owner of Surf City Surf Shop in Myrtle Beach, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary outfitting the Grand Strand, says guys shopping at his store have been seeking out vibrant hues in solids, prints and patterns this season.

“The stripes, geometrics and colors are all about having fun,” he says regarding the season’s colorful collection of swimwear designs he carries at his store.

Whether it’s a geometric pattern, floral print, or stripes that vary in sizes and color combinations, board shorts that scream for attention are the coolest way to hit the beach.

To try the trend, go bold or go home. Step into the Nautica Coral Swim Trunks in Cutty Orange ($49.50, Belk). With a relaxed cut and drawstring waistband, this coral, orange, yellow and navy blue tropical styled print stands out in a crowd. Throw on a coordinating colored tank top or button down to head out in style.

Or for a darker pattern, opt for the Volcom Annihilator Paintwash Boardshorts in Curry ($65, Surf City Surf Shop). A mix of forest green, orange, yellow and black swirls comprise this pattern that stands out thanks to the six-way stretch fabric and welded stretch hem. Pull on a simple black T-shirt and sunglasses for easy style for a day on the beach or boating.

If you can’t decide between a solid and a pattern, then opt for the both with the Volcom Annihilator What Boardshorts in Blue Drift ($59.50, Surf City Surf Shop). One leg of the board shorts features a stretch fabric with color blocking in vibrant azure and light blue, while the other leg is a yellow and orange geometric print trimmed in blue.

Another pattern that has translated from the runway to the Grand Strand is stripes.

“Stripes are the thing this year,” says Allison. While bright patterns and prints have been a hot seller at Surf City Surf Shop, stripes, whether in a variety of sizes or contrasting colors, have been a close second for men’s swimwear. Shades of blue including turquoise, cyan and seafoam mixed with earthy colors or contrasted with neon colors have been dominant.

For an easy option, pull on the Rip Curl Mirage Amplify Boardshorts in Peacock ($49.50, Surf City Surf Shop). With a 21-inch inseam and two-way stretch fabric, the varying widths and sizes of the peacock blue, yellow, white and black stripes accents the longer length of the board shorts. If you’re headed out for a day in the sun, pull the look together with the Columbia Utilizer Shirt in Neon Light ($60, Belk). This neon yellow polo shirt easily accents the yellow stripes of the shorts and will look posh when you’re out and about.

Or, opt for a contrasting color combination of coral and turquoise and white, with the multi-width stripes of the Billabong Striker Stripe Boardshorts in Glass ($55, Surf City Surf Shop). The four-way stretchy material and just-below-the-knee length provide a sporty option for hitting the waves or spending the day poolside.

If you’re looking for a more understated approach, shopping for swim trunks in a solid yet vibrant color is another chic option for looking on-point this season.

Be a man and pull on the Red Camel Board Short in Flute Pink ($40, Belk). This solid color pair of board shorts sports a bright pink color, lace-up waist band, and falls just below the knee. For easy poolside style, throw on the Red Camel Multi-Stripe Tank in Paris Turquoise ($18, Belk), a loose fitting tank top with a vibrant collection of turquoise and pink stripes, and a pair of flip-flops.

If pink is not your color, then the Hurley Phantom 30 Solid Boardshort in Neon Orange ($49.50, Surf City Surf Shop) is a stylish option. The bright color is amplified by the trim cut of these board shorts and metallic silver embroidery. Add a crisp white T and you’re set.

For a more casual approach to the trend, pull on the Billabong Iconic Boardshorts in Yellow/Pink/Orange ($59.50, Surf City Surf Shop). The three neon shades blend into each other, offering a relaxed look. Throw on the Volcom Anti-Bad Vibe Shield Solid T-shirt ($27, Surf City Surf Shop), a light blue shirt emblazoned with a comical slogan on its pocket, to join friends for happy hour at the pool bar.

Short and Trim

Hemlines are also on the rise this season. Shorter inseams are gaining popularity and designers, including Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, and Nautica, showed swim trunks in mid-to-upper-thigh lengths during their spring 2013 fashion shows. These shorter styles were offset by trim cuts and the aforementioned vibrant prints, adding to the overall sex appeal of these shorter styles.

Here at the beach, a shorter hemline is also on the rise. Allison has noticed the trend gaining popularity and says, “Lengths are coming up.”

Allison says in the past, board shorts with a 22-inch inseam - hitting below the knee- were the standard at his store; however, recently, his customers have been investing in board shorts with 18-inch and 19-inch inseams, which hit just above the knee.

To try the trend, step in to the Volcom New Jetty Boardshorts in Electric Green ($52, Surf City Surf Shop). These shorts feature an 18-inch inseam and are eye-catching thanks to the neon green color accented with turquoise trim.

Or, pull on the Hurley Phantom 30 Quad Boardshorts in Yellow/Turquoise ($59.50, Surf City Surf Shop). With a 19-inch inseam, the neon yellow and turquoise striped pattern looks fresh, especially when paired with a simple white T-shirt.

Really want to flaunt the trend? Then opt for the Hugo Boss Quick Dry in Lobster ($59, Dillard’s), a sporty drawstring swim trunk that hits at mid-thigh. Or go shorter, and shop for the Hugo Boss Lanternfish Swim Trunk in Black/Yellow ($64, Dillard’s). This sporty-styled trunk has a trim fit, and features yellow stripes on the side of a black background. Pair them with a casual sandal and sunglasses and you’re ready for a day at the beach.

These swimsuits and cover ups can be found locally at the following retailers: Belk, 1400 Coastal Grand Circle, Myrtle Beach. For more information, call 448-1516, or visit Dillard’s, 100 Coastal Grand Circle, Myrtle Beach. For more information, call 839-2917, or visit Evita Swimwear Boutique, 2104 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach. For more information, call 444-0500, or visit Surf City Surf Shop, 6303 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach. For more information, call 449-4433, or visit


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