Striped swimsuit tricks the eye

April 04, 1996|By Elsa Klensch | Elsa Klensch,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

I've had a crush on one of my associates at work for years. He's a hunk. We're going to a conference in Puerto Rico this spring, and it could be the big moment for us. Now for the reality:

He loves the beach. I'm thick-waisted and big-busted, and I need some help in the bathing suit department.

What type of swimsuit should I look for?

"A one-piece with tummy control." That's the first advice I got from Miriam Ruzow of Gottex of Israel.

She adds:

"Try on suits with stripes. Stripes can work wonders in hiding figure faults. For instance, stripes that crisscross the bust in a bandeau effect can make a thick waist look almost slender.

"You will get the same effect in printed or solid styles that have diagonal draping. Although draping may add a little fullness, it does wonders by tricking the eye."

To make a big bust look its best, Ms. Ruzow says you need support and control.

"Look for underwire and a soft-cup construction, and make sure you get a perfect fit. You may find a suit with shoulder straps more comfortable than a bandeau or strapless style. But whatever your choice, make sure it has a high back for maximum support."

And one final tip: When you shop for a matching coverup, choose one that's comfortable as well as pretty. You need to be relaxed as well as attractive to catch your man.

I am putting together a new look in my accessories. I know brown is now a top fashion color, and I'd like to go for it. But there are so many shades that I am confused.

Should I be consistent with tones and textures or is it all right to match?

Brown has two different families -- one bitter, the other reddish.

Since they rarely mix well, settle on one and stay with shades of that family.

Fiamma Ferragamo of the Italian house of Salvatore Ferragamo says shades of brown also vary with the materials used, noting that "a brown calf is obviously different from a metallized leather.

"We see the shades of brown running from beige to the very dark brown we call 'coffee.' Generally, we like to use the lighter shades for spring and summer and the deeper ones for fall.

"You'll find many shades of brown do mix well together -- and using different textures together can be extremely chic."

As I point out in my book "Style" (Berkley/Perigee, $14), you might look for accessories in deep neutral colors like chestnut, burgundy and peanut. They can work with, and give life to, the other neutrals in your wardrobe and also look rich. The contrast of color and texture can be endlessly intriguing.

Pub Date: 4/04/96

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