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Swimsuit Fashion for Women

Bridget Quinn Stickline
General Merchandise Mgr., Water Water Everywhere
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:00 PM

"This is the most naked you will ever be in public -- at least, I hope! -- and you want to feel comfortable," says Bridget Quinn Stickline , general merchandise manager of Water Water Everywhere .

"While you can definitely get a swimsuit on the cheap, for one that is a better fit and will continue to fit well after many wears, expect to pay from $88-200."

Swimsuit Expert (Post, June 19)

Stickline was online Wednesday, June 22, at Noon ET to offer pointers on how to choose the right swimsuit for the summer season.

A transcript follows.

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Bridget Quinn Stickline:

Hello. I am happy to be here today to shed some light on the dreaded swimwear experience. I am eager to answer your questions about fit, fashion and more fire away

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Alexandria, Va.: I always thought women's suits should feature a boxer bottom instead of a bikini bottom.

Bridget Quinn Stickline: There are swimwear styles that offer a boxer type of bottom but they tend to be less than feminine on the body. I would suggest buying a matching cover up skirt made from the same fabric as your swimsuit or trying one of the great new skirted bottoms on the market. I think you will be amazed by the coverage and excited to still look hip. If you'd like someone to help you with finding the right combination feel free to visit our Web site where you can schedule a private fitting with an in store fit expert.

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Washington, D.C.: Please tell me the triangle bikini is on its way out ... it's so unflattering to everyone! No support, shapeless, flattening-yuck! When can we expect to see more feminine silhouettes from designers, and which ones?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: The triangle top has faded in popularity with the reintroduction of the halter, which offers more coverage and support. Many designers are using the flattering halter top to interpret the "Desperate Housewives" retro influence for 2006. Look for romantic draping and great hardware treatments from Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and even the introduction (I am so excited about this!) of Michael Kors swim this cruise season will give you some great 1940's glamour. Keep an eye on our Web site for newness. Thank you for your question.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Please help.

I know that there are a lot more options out there today. But I need a 2-piece for the beach this weekend and I am top heavy so I need lots of support. Where can I go in the local Washington, D.C., area for a support top and bottom that that covers the area below my belly button?

Thanks.

Bridget Quinn Stickline: That is very easy Water Water Everywhere. We have stores in Tysons Corner, Montgomery Mall, Dulles Town Center and more. I would suggest visiting our Web site at www.waterwatereverywhere.com to schedule a private fitting with an in store fit expert. We offer lots of two-piece options in our mix and match separates that include C/D/DD solutions and allow you to buy the bottom in the correct size and style. Have a great time.

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washingtonpost.com: Water Water Everywhere

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Arlington, Va.: Do your NoVa stores carry the same stock or should I go to both to see what is there? Is one of the stores much bigger than the others?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: The stores do vary in size. Montgomery is larger than Tysons, Dulles, and Fair Oaks but they will all have a good solid selection. I always advocate scheduling and appointment for a private fitting with an in store fit expert. This is the best way for me to know that you will find the perfect suit.

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Clarendon, Va.: I am a 23-year-old woman. I'm about to go on a trip to the lake with the boyfriend/family. I want to wear a bikini but have a little extra in the thigh/butt area and tummy area. What cuts would you suggest in a two-piece non tankini?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: I have the perfect solution for you. One of this season's newest silhouettes is a younger, sexier skirted swimwear bottom. Don't cringe..this is not your grandmothers skirted suit. These styles are shorter and sleeker. You will see them from all the best fashion designers like Ralph Lauren, Rampage, Esprit, and more. Couple that back to a chunky halter top and you have the best of both worlds and don't forget if you select from mix and match separates from these designers you can buy the bikini bottom too for when your boyfriends family is not around. Thank you for your question. Enjoy the lake!

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Silver Spring, Md.: Dear Bridget:

I am 38 and 5'4 with a top heavy build and large thighs. I workout to keep my weight down but I still need more work in the tummy area.

Could you recommend a 2-piece from Water Water everywhere that would provide enough support up top and help my legs look more lean?

Thanks.

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Similar to an answer to an earlier post. We offer lots of options for C/D/DD solutions and there are great tricks for hip and thigh trouble areas. I know we have styles that will be great for you but for the best fit I would like you to schedule a private fitting with a fit expert in the closest store.

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Washington, D.C.: (submitting early) I was struck by your comment that women should not buy larger sizes to accommodate their bust. You're right that they don't fit properly, but what on earth are we supposed to do? I am a size 4, but I am also a 32dd. A Roxanne 32dd is actually a size 10 (I have one that is a marginal fit. Most of them look like they are designed for my 90-year-old grandmother anyway). I have two custom-fitted suits that I bought in Myrtle Beach a few years ago, but that isn't a very practical solution for most women, and I dread the day I will have to replace them.

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Good timing..Roxanne has recently released a contemporary collection of mix and match separates called Coco Reef. This grouping offers tankinis and bikini styles that have the same great Roxanne bras but younger fit and styling.

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22101: I'm petite, 5ft, 2in, but can never find a suit that fits: my bust is large (32DDD,) my shoulders very small and my hips, thighs and stomach larger than I'd like. clothing size 2-4 petite, but I've been buying size 12-14 one-piece suits and it still doesn't fit my bust, and is way too big elsewhere, and well, I know it's all wrong. Help!

Bridget Quinn Stickline: DDD is tough. Most designers run their lines to DD. I did recently fit a DDD customer in a Coco Reef DD cup top. Other than that I would say we would have to get you in and try some things on. _______________________

Wake Forest, N.C.: Hi Bridget!

Thanks for taking the time to help us girls out. I'm a skinny 27-year-old with no curves and a long torso. I am slightly pear shaped, but overall just unfortunately lacking in the Rubenesque. What can I do on a student budget to find a flattering swimsuit?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Hello in North Carolina, creating shape is actually very easy with swimwear. You will love all of the new retro looks coming from the design houses for 06. The pleating and gathering will be perfect to help give you that hourglass figure. You can probably wear the retro low leglines as well (very few women can pull this look off) but it looks terrific with long lines and helps create hips.

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Columbia, Md.: I just wanted to say THANK YOU and tell you how much I LOVE your store! I have never had such personal service at a swim suit store in my life!!

Bridget Quinn Stickline: You just made my DAY! This is why we are here...I love that we made this difficult purchase better for you. Thank you for the compliment.

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Bowie, Md.: Are more one-pieces being made this year that feature crossing straps in the back, as opposed to two vertical straps?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: There are some in the market but not many. These body style trends tend to be cyclical. You can also look for suits that tie around the neck for similar support.

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Cockeysville, Md.: I recently lost a lot of weight but am still self-conscious of my figure. What is the best type of suit to purchase in this situation?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Congratulations! The best type of suit is a suit that makes you feel fabulous and confident about your new figure. I know I am a broken record but the best bet is to visit the store and work with a consultant. A few tips..be open minded, most customers that I work with end up buying a suit that they did not pick out. And leave plenty of time to get this right; often customers need 45-60 minutes or more to get the right suit. Good luck and congrats again.

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Baltimore, Md.: Please help! I hate my thighs, but I really don't want to wear a wrap all the time. Any other suggestions?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Depending on where the trouble area is (high on the hip or lower on the leg) a skirted pant may offer you the right coverage that you will not have to take on and off. If the trouble is lower on your leg the wrap can be replaced by cabana pants which can really dress up the look of your suit and give great coverage.

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Brick, N.J.: For "saddle bags", fat on the upper part of the outer thighs, what is the best leg cut -- a high cut, or regular?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Actually your best bet to go as high as you can without feeling uncomfortable. The lower you go on the hip the shorter (and thicker) your legs will appear. You will also benefit from V-necklines or V-hiwaist bottoms that will help to elongate your body and balance your thighs.

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Baltimore, Md.: I have a problem with finding one swimsuit that will fit my chest as it gets larger and smaller throughout the month ... it probably varies between a large B-cup and a large C-cup depending on my "time of the month" ... do you have any suggestions ... other than buying two different suits?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: I would suggest looking for a top that has some shirring or pleatng in the fabric, this extra fabric should give your some wiggle room and adjust to the changes. The other upside is that the pleating will help create the appearance of a fuller bust. Look for halter styles to find the best selection of shirred tops.

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Washington, D.C.: Are one-pieces really making a comeback? I keep seeing more and more in the stores.

Bridget Quinn Stickline: One pieces are back, but with an attitude. The old one piece tank is done. That customer now buys the tankini for comfort and fit. The one piece needed a reason to exist and designers found it. Styles with interest like hardware, plunging necklines, and dramatics prints have retailed extremely well over the past two seasons. In reaction you should look for great new styling in the one pieces in stores now.

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Arlington, Va.: Does a strapless one-piece or a bandeau (sp?) bikini top work for a D cup woman? I think it looks so cute in magazines, but I don't know if it offers enough support for a slightly top-heavy person.

Bridget Quinn Stickline: The bandeau one piece will work better than the two piece. You have to be a very firm D cup to wear that style in a two piece. One piece bandeaus work better because the suits can contain more construction. Summer is a great time to find this style so be sure to get out and try some on, note that torso length will have a major impact on how these styles fit you.

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Washington, D.C.: Help! I had a baby 10 months ago and have lost most of the weight but am still middle heavy. Before baby I was a four and now I am a six. What do you suggest? I do not like one-piece suits and am OK with tankinis but what cut is best?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Congratulations on your new baby! I think you are right on with a tankini style. Look for apron tankini's that offer a loose middle and an open back. These styles tend to be more youthful and do a great job hiding tummy issues. Don't forget if you are shopping mix and match separates you can buy the bikini top too so you have it once you feel better about you stomach.

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Boston, Mass.: Hey, I've been having a LOT of trouble finding a swimsuit that fits. The problem is that I wear a 32D in a bra, so I have a heard time finding a bikini top that fits my waist without the rest of me, um, overflowing. I've tried Victoria's Secret and several department stores to no avail. Any suggestions?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: You need mix and match separates. Most separates designers offer D cup tops and with separates you can buy the bottom in any size or style you need. Visit us in Natick Mall or Derby street Shoppes if you are having trouble finding this option. We offer 15 plus designers in mix and match separates with many D-cup options.

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Union Station, Washington, D.C.: I have a lot of curves that tend to move when I do -- and more so in a bathing suit! What designers are best suited for those worried about too much "bounce"? Thanks!

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Look for suits with 15% of better lycra content...also buy a suit that fits. Most women buy swimwear too big and do not get the advantage of the built in control. I would suggest Miraclsuit, Magic Suit, select Anne Cole styles.

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New York, N.Y.: Why are you providing NO general information on fit, color, etc., but rather promoting your business in each and every response? If you have no general knowledge, a comment to that effect would helped all of us.

Bridget Quinn Stickline: I appreciate this comment...the trick with swimwear is that there is no simple answer. You really have to see a customer to find the perfect solution. I think my best advise is to shop in the right environment where service is offered, mine or other specialty stores. Thanks for the feedback.

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Steubenville, Ohio: I am a size 8, but do not have a tiny waist anymore. What do you suggest to disguise that part? I have decent legs and narrow hips, broad shoulders, no large bust. Thanks!

Bridget Quinn Stickline: I do, if you are interested in a bikini two piece I would suggest looking for bottoms that create a V at the waist (below the belly button), this helps to create the appearance of a more defined waist. If a one piece is more your speed look for suits that offer shirring through the middle. V necklines will help as well to elongate your torso and give you more of an hourglass.

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Crofton, Md.: I am weaning my eighteen month-old this summer. I have four children and have usually made do with regular swimsuits. Are there new suits or styles to consider? I am thinking of trying a tankini. I am petite about a size 12 and changing shape.

Bridget Quinn Stickline: I am a big fan of the tankini style. It has been on the market for about 6 seasons and improves each year in range and fit. Tankinis are now becoming a much larger segment of the mix and match separates collections from major designers as well. Customers love the tankini for comfort and convenience. Look for great fitting tankinis from Ralph Lauren, Anne Cole, Donna Karan, Nautica, and Calvin Klein. Good Luck.

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Tysons Corner, Va.: I'm fairly slim and tall and I usually prefer bikinis, but I'm looking for a sort of glamorous one-piece that's very sexy. Is there such a thing? Maybe a very low cut front or some sexy detail on the back? Thanks!

Bridget Quinn Stickline: You are in luck. There are a number of great sexy one piece styles in the market now. La Blanca has a terrific plunge out for summer that has been a big hit with new colors expected any day, and you can also find some innovative 1 pc styles from Anne Cole in her Studio collection.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi Bridget! I love your stores. I'm 23 and have a few problem areas, but the biggest would be around the waist and lower tummy. I'm also extremely short (5'0) and have pretty thick legs, and a b-cup. Help!

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Thanks for the compliment. I love to hear that. The trick for you in balance. Look for styles that draw the eye up with either print treatments or shirring at the bustline. Avoid going too low on the hip or straight across at the waist, this will make you look shorter. Swimwear is all about playing up the positives and playing down the negatives.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi! I've lost weight but now have loose flab on my abdomen so I need a suit with LOTS of control, and I think that means lots of Lycra-Spandex, so I'm surprised when I shop and find that some of the "slimming" suits don't have much girdle-like quality. What do you suggest?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: The new technology in fabrications allows the designers to build control directly into the fabric without that heavy bulking girdle construction. Look for Miraclesuit, Magicsuit, and other styles with 15% of better lycra content. Also remember that the suit should be snug to offer the correct amount of control.

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Fairfax, Va.: We've had a lot of questions about those who are heavy on top. What about those of us that don't have anything? Is there a suit that can make us look like we do?

Bridget Quinn Stickline: Absolutely, designers still offer push up padded styles. Look for Leilani, or Sunsets if that works for you. In addition most swimwear specialty stores will offer padding (We offer a brand called Bravo pads) that can be added to any style of swimwear. If adding volume is not your style look for minimal styling from designers like Calvin Klein that are built for smaller busts.

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Bridget Quinn Stickline: Thank you all for your questions. I apologize to those of you that I could not get to today. Happy Swimsuit Shopping....

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