(Edited from AP) Who needs a calendar to mark the official start of summer when a new swimsuit would say the same thing?

For some, the new bathing suit is a rite of the new season. “It’s always fun to buy a new bikini,” says Colleen Sherin, fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue. “It’s small, doesn’t take up a lot of closet space. And it’s always tempting because you’re usually buying one because something fun is happening, whether it’s relaxing or a vacation or just the start of summer. It’s an easy pick-me-up.”

(Edited from AP) Who needs a calendar to mark the official start of summer when a new swimsuit would say the same thing?

For some, the new bathing suit is a rite of the new season. “It’s always fun to buy a new bikini,” says Colleen Sherin, fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue. “It’s small, doesn’t take up a lot of closet space. And it’s always tempting because you’re usually buying one because something fun is happening, whether it’s relaxing or a vacation or just the start of summer. It’s an easy pick-me-up.”

A lot of money is spent on that spiritual lift: a total of close to 4.3 billion, according to market researcher The NPD Group for the year starting April 2009 and running through this past March.

The bikini is the top seller at Saks, with the favorite silhouettes being string and halter necks, but Sherin has seen a steady increase in one-pieces, especially those with plunging necklines or bandeau tops.

Other seasonal trends:
Lingerie looks. The bustier-style bodice, in both one-piece suits and tankinis, is popular this summer, says Rosemarie DiLorenzo, co-founder and creative director of Swimwear Anywhere, manufacturer of designer swim licenses including Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and DKNY. You’ll also see delicate lace trim, especially on suits targeting youthful consumers.

Bra tops, with both band and cup sizes, mean many more choices than the old small, medium and large, and, just like in lingerie, a properly fitted bikini will be much more flattering, DiLorenzo adds.

Feminine details. Many of the spring fashion trends translate to swim, especially floral prints and ruffles, says Saks’ Sherin.

The one-shoulder top is another style that has leapt from the runways to the beach. It’s a sophisticated touch to swimwear, says DiLorenzo, and elongates the torso, which is a bonus when it comes to bathing suits.

Vintage inspiration. Ruching and draping makes for a glamorous, old-Hollywood silhouette, and is also great camouflage for figure flaws, DiLorenzo notes. Adding to the retro pinup vibe is the downward shift of the leg line, she says. The skirted suit is also getting a lot of play at all levels of the swimwear market.

Peach, pink and makeup colors. Designer Carmen Marc Valvo likes to see women in colorful suits, it just seems tropical, he says. And, he adds, white looks great against sun-kissed skin.

Hacker says get-me-noticed pink and turquoise are prominently displayed at Kohl’s, and he sees graphic prints as another trend.

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