If you're tired of the same old black swimsuit you've been wearing for years, it's time to color your water world with rainbow stripes and follow the yellow brick road to fun in the sun. Swimwear trends this year are anything but boring. Whether you choose a retro one-piece or a slinky bikini, there's a swimsuit for everyone. Here are the trends making a splash for the season ahead:
— Make the rainbow connection. One of the hottest trends in swimwear is saturated color — in rainbow stripes that are meant to be seen. These multicolored suits are showing up in every shape and size. Look for juicy stripes in every color of the rainbow in primary hues, graphic watercolors and geometric graphics.
— Cut it out. Another cool trend in the swimwear department: designs that feature graphic skin-baring patterns. One-pieces such as keyhole tankinis are the perfect way to show off these unique cut-out suits — which may be more apropos for lounging by the pool than doing laps at the gym.
— Statement shoulders. The off-the-shoulder tops on both one-pieces and two-pieces have taken on more feminine details for this spring and summer. The one-shoulder look makes a big statement, especially in ruffled styles with wide straps. These suits are perfect companions for beach-to-dinner dressing. Team one with a long sheer skirt, shorts or a breezy pair of palazzo pants.
— Belting it out. In many stylish swimwear collections this year, the focus is on the waist. Wide belts and wide bands can add a decorative touch to solid maillots or bottoms. Be sure to try these suits on before you buy, as some of us may not want to bring more attention to our midriff area.
— Get a leg up. Just like jeans, swimwear goes high-rise this season. High-cut legs, high waists and even high necks are often showing up in retro-inspired suits. Remember boy shorts? Hot pants? They're back and turning up at the beach and on the concert stage.
— Tie one on. Swimwear and coverups are dressed up this summer with lots of details such as laces, ties and ruching on the sides. Check out the crocheted suits, too. The ultimate example of "tying one on" is the famous string bikini. Wear at your own risk.
— Surf's up! Swimwear with sleeves is becoming more prevalent, especially as sun protection becomes more important than ever. Ditto for tee rash guards, mini swim skirts, board shorts, tunic dresses and, yes, sun hats — all in fabrics infused with SPF for sun protection in and out of the water.
— Mix and match. Don't forget: One of the best ways to have more fun with your swim wardrobe this season is to mix and match tops and bottoms, beach wardrobes and swim wardrobes. Don't be afraid to mix florals with animal prints, stripes with geometrics, velvets with metallics, pastels with brights. With more and more sizes available in swim collections, there are more and more ways to splash into the season ahead and find your perfect swimsuit at the end of the rainbow.
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.