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Suit Up (with a Southern Accent)

(from left) "Black and White Maillot" by Cavortress; "Emily" by Coral Custom Swimwear; "Acapulco" by Marysia Swim. Photographs courtesy of the designer

April 16, 2012

Suit Up (with a Southern Accent)

Beach honeymoons are just around the corner

WRITTEN BY Jacqueline McCormick Stillman

If you’re planning to escape to the islands with your new hubby and wondering what to pack, worry no more. The newly opened King Street shop Calypso St. Barth (843/937-6445) offers resort wear, beach coverups, and suits, among other apparel. Calypso retail operations manager Sheena Hannan says the hottest trends now include bold colors and patterns with modern embellishments, and soft, “bohemian chic” silhouettes.

In addition to Calypso’s offerings, we’re fired up about swimsuits with Lowcountry ties. Here’s a sneak peek of new spring and summer 2012 offerings from three designers either based here or with Charleston roots.

Coral Custom Swimwear
The Lowcountry line Coral Custom Swimwear, which had a spot in this year’s Charleston Fashion Week Pop Up Shop, boasts bold colors, funky patterns, and fabrics that have been tested out to make sure the suits don’t ride or slide during surf lessons or on the beach volleyball court. You can even customize your own bikini to order.

Our Favorites:
1) “Emily” and its key-hole top
($75) will be certain to turn heads, with its emerald color and eye-catching peacock-feather pattern.
2) For a flattering fit on the bottom, look no further than the gloriously comfortable “customized fold over brief bottoms” ($75).
3) To carry this spring’s color blocking trend over to your summer swimsuit collection, try the customized “Retro
scrunch front top ($85). Its trio of bright hues is spot on with the season’s trend.

Julie Wheat, a professor with the Art Institute of Charleston (and former Charleston Fashion Week Emerging Designer), shows off her flair for pinup fashion with her Cavortress (843/557-4082) swimsuits. Add the va-voom factor to your honeymoon with some of her haute looks.

Our Favorites:
1) The “Black and White Maillot” ($216) is a perfectly classic piece thanks to its asymmetrical stripes that will flatter year in and out.
2) You’ll be quite the cat’s meow, while still staying comfortable and covered, in the “leopard boy short bikini” (bottoms, $72; top styles vary from $80-$84).
3) After you’ve soaked up all the sun you can stand, you’ll still want to look luxurious as you sip a piña colada on the patio. Throw on the “Cobalt Silk Crepe de Chine Caftan” ($198) to stay stylish until the sun sets.

Marysia Swim
FIDM-trained designer Maria Dobrzanska Reeves got her start at Charleston Fashion Week a few years ago, and, after being picked up in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, is now a darling of the fashion press come beach season. Though she’s now based in the Big Apple, she still visits Charleston for trunk shows at Pearl and more, showing her Marysia Swim (843/329-3757) line, resplendent with luxurious flair.

Our Favorites:
1) The “Acapulco” (top and bottom, $135 each) is the essence of flirty and feminine, with delicate ruffle details and detachable ties.
2) Marysia’s most popular suit, the “St. Tropez” top ($134.50) includes removable cups for the perfect amount of support.
3) Every woman needs to have a killer one-piece in her swimsuit collection. Indulge in this oh-so-sexy “Sardinia Maillot” ($308), which comes in reversible color block, and highlights your assets at the perfect points. Demure never looked so hot!

Mon, 04/16/2012