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Stylin’ Swimwear 2009

Before you head to the beach or the pool this summer, do us (and yourself!) a favor and pull last year’s swimsuit out from the back of your closet. Now take a good, long look at it. Has it faded in color? Stretched so it’s all out of shape? Pilled so fuzzy little balls cover the entire suit? Does it have any holes in it?

If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” then it’s time to buy some new swim gear. And we’re on top of the trends for you this season to make sure you look super stylin’ when you swim. Whether you’re a two-piece or one-piece kinda girl, whether you like the sweet and frilly look or lean toward something more sporty, there’s a great swimsuit out there for you.

Halter Tops
Halter tops are all the rage. They’re the kind that tie around your neck rather than have straps that you put over your shoulders. Tons of clothing brands, including surfers' fave Roxy, are making girls’ bikinis with this style of top in tons of colors, styles and even this season’s hottest trend – graphic prints. And we found another great line called OmdadeMar that makes sassy haltered one-pieces in bright colors and festive patterns for girls who love sun, fun and fashion.

A cross between a one-piece and a bikini, tankinis are still in style and are a great choice if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a full bikini or want a little bit more coverage when you’re out in the sun. The one shown here is made by Champion, or look for a plaid-patterned tankini when you’re out shopping for suits – it’s a really hot pattern for the summer.

Another new word in ever-changing swimwear lingo! Scrunchbacks are bathing suits that are designed for maximum comfort. The material is specially designed to dry extra-fast, and the scrunchback T-strap back will keep the top of your suit firmly in place even when you’re running and playing on the beach. Land's End makes a ton of cool scrunchback-style suits in an wide variety of colors and patterns, and you can check them out online at www.landsend.com.

Surf Sets
If you can’t get enough play time in the water, whether it’s surfing, skim boarding, wake boarding, water skiing or anything else, check out surf sets, which often include rashguard (the one shown here is made by swim-famous Speedo) short-sleeved tops to protect the sensitive skin on your tummy when it comes in contact with the hard surface of a board. Lots of surf sets also use fabric that’s infused with sunscreen to protect you from burning while you swim.

Throwbacks to a simpler (and often more glamorous) time are all the rage right now. You can feel like an old-fashioned Hollywood star with a one-piece bathing suit with skirted bottom that mimics the styles of decades past. We love this patterned swimsuit made by Juicy Couture.

This trend, which started gaining a lot of steam last summer, is still going strong this season. Tons of stores and brands, including Old Navy and The Gap, are now offering bikini and tankini tops and bottoms for sale separately from each other, so you can get two different sizes, colors and even styles.

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    Favorite Swimsuit Style?

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    • Tankini.
    • Skirtini.
    • One piece.

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