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Summer Essentials

Posted on: May 9th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

On Thursday, May 12th Islamorada will be turning up the heat with their Sizzling Summer Fashion Show at The Village Square at Trading Post. The fashion show will feature summer fashions from Miss Monroe Boutique, D-Luxe Boutique, Island Trendz Boutique, Otherside Boardsports, and Mayu Boutique. Below are a few of my favorite summer must-have’s that will be highlighted at the fashion show.

For Women

Scarf Dress

Lightweight, easy-to-wear dresses are a summer staple for every fashionista.  The key is to find designs that are effortlessly chic.  The colorful hand block printed fabrics on the scarf dresses by Roberta Frymann will keep you cool all summer long.  Slip it on over a swimsuit during the day or wear it through the night in style.  Starting at $155 at Mayu Boutique within the Moorings Village and Spa at 123 Beach Road in Islamorada.

Custom Swimsuits

Danielle Pierog, the owner of D-Luxe Boutique, just launched her own swimwear line with hand picked fabrics and custom designs.  D-Luxe Swim by Danielle includes a variety of styles and coverage options in tropical prints, brights and neons, classic black and exotic snakeskin.  The best part about her suits are the attention that went into the detailing with braiding, strappy sides and gorgeous backs for a suit with a one-of-a-kind look.  D-Luxe Swim by Danielle suits range from $40 to $50 per piece and can be found at D-Luxe Boutique at 80925 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

D-Luxe Swim by Danielle

D-Luxe Swim by Danielle

Bright Jewelry

Let your accessories make the statement this summer with bright hued tassel necklaces. Add a pop of color to any ensemble with one of these gorgeous pieces or layer them for a statement making look. Tassel necklaces range from $30 for a single strand to $80 for a set and come in an array of colors and materials to mix and match.  Each necklace includes a variety details including pearls, lava rock, sandalwood, semi precious stones, and silk tassels.  You can find these necklaces at Miss Monroe Boutique located at 81868 Overseas Highway in Islamorada at the Village Square at Trading Post.

Bright tassel necklaces from Miss Monroe Boutique

Bright tassel necklaces from Miss Monroe Boutique

For Men

Hybrid Shorts

Functional and stylish, hybrid shorts are made to be versatile. Fast drying, lightweight fabric, belt loops and mesh pockets make for easy wear shorts from beach to bar or surf to turf.  Casual yet stylish, you can’t go wrong with a pair of hybrid shorts.  Hybrid shorts are available from a variety of brands and start at $44 at Otherside Boardsports at 82758 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Distinctive Men’s Shirts

Every man needs a nice dress shirt to wear to dinner or a night on the town.  Envy men’s shirts up the ante with a distinctive collection of vibrant men’s shirts cut from the finest European limited edition fabrics.  Their original prints, contrasting accents on the cuffs and collar, top stitching, double button detailing provide a shirt unlike any you’ve likely seen.  Trade in your classic white button up for an Envy shirt that is sure to impress.  Envy shirts range from $115 to $130 and are available at Island Trendz Boutique within the Amara Cay Resort at 80001 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Envy men's shirts from Island Trendz Boutique

Envy men’s shirts from Island Trendz Boutique

Join me on Thursday, May 12th for the 3rd Annual Sizzling Summer Fashion Show to see some beautiful summer fashions for the Florida Keys from some of your favorite local boutiques.  The gates and pop-up shops will open at 5:30 p.m. with the fashion show starting at 7 p.m. and will include complimentary drinks, taco bar from Bad Boy Burrito, and summer tunes by DJ Marissa Sardar. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Purchase your tickets at participating stores or call 305.440.3951 for more information. Hope to see you there!

The Future’s So Bright…I Gotta Wear Shades

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

In the Florida Keys, sunglasses are a fashion accessory worn daily.   It’s also an accessory that you can never have enough of.  All that wear makes them easy to lose, scratch, and break making sunglasses a purchase made multiple times throughout year.  According to the market research group NPD, women spent 1.85 billion on sunglasses from June 2014 to June 2015.  That’s a lot of eyewear. To help you find the most flattering shades for your summer wardrobe, take a look below at some tips before your next purchase.

Jimmy Choo round sunglasses with small cat eye shape and leather snake skin accent on temple available at Tropical Optical.

Jimmy Choo round sunglasses with small cat eye shape and leather snake skin accent on temple available at Tropical Optical.


Sunglasses come in many shapes but are not a one-size-fits-all accessory.  The first step in finding your most flattering frames starts with analyzing the shape of your face.

Round: A round face is widest across the cheekbones. Rectangular and geometric shapes will help elongate your face.

Styles to try: oversized, rectangular, cat eye

Square: If your face is square with a strong jaw, wide forehead and wide cheekbones, soften your features with rimless shades or curvier frames.

Styles to try: Aviators, round, cat eye

Heart: If you have a broad brow and narrow chin, try a style that is wider on the top than the bottom.  Shapes that are extend past the width of your face will complement you.

Styles to try: rectangular, aviators, sport, retro square

Oval: Oval shaped faces are longer than they are wide. This face shape allows for more flexibility letting you wear pretty much any style you want.

Styles to try: rectangular, oversized, round


We all know how important sun protection is for our skin but have you thought about protecting your eyes?  Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory; they are also meant to protect your eyes.  Make sure the pair you wear provide 98 to 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. If the label reads “UV absorbing” or “blocks most UV light”, you are not providing enough sun protection for your eyes.

Gradient – These ombre tinted shades are perfect for combating overhead rays during peek daylight hours.

Mirrored – These lenses boast increased protection by blocking out more light than other tints.

Polarized – If you spend a lot of time on the water or outdoors, these are perfect for you as they reduce glare.

Tinted – Darker hues are best for bright and sunny weather like we have in the Florida Keys.


Whether you are all about classic black or prefer leopard print with gold embellishments, the range of color and patterns available for your shades are endless.  So if you find a pair you love, better buy two. Make that three – one in each color of course.

Look for your next pair of sunglasses at Tropical Optical at 81933 Overseas Highway in Islamorada for the latest selection of designer eyewear.

It’s All About the Shoes

Posted on: April 4th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

The Spring 2016 shoe trends are not for the faint of heart.  They are bold, daring, sexy and strut-worthy.   To help you find your footing this season, I’ve rounded up the top trends for you to add to your shoe closet.  Put your best foot forward this spring with the following must-have trends in footwear.

Western Boot

For all you ladies who love a beautiful cowboy boot, this season offers a plethora of western inspired boots. From basic cowboy boots to vibrant hued boots with kitten heels, the western trend is perfect for spring and summer.  Wear these beauties with everything from shorts and a tank to a feminine flowy dress.

Tribal Sandal

Find your footing in tribal sandals.  Ethnic is not only trending for footwear this season, it is also a popular style in clothing and jewelry. Inspired by many cultures, this look incorporates bold colors, intricate patterns, and drool-worthy designs sure to make even the most obsessed shoe lover swoon.  The tribal trend worn from head to toe will look too costumey.  So instead opt for wearing a tribal inspired sandal with a bohemian frock for a modern look.

Tribal sandals from April Daze Boutique in Tavernier $68

Tribal sandals from April Daze Boutique in Tavernier $68

Statement Heel

Take a bold step forward this spring in statement heels.  A bright hue will put the spotlight on your feet for an effortlessly chic look. Look for styles that wrap up your leg, offer fringe, pom pom, or feather details, or unique futuristic accents.  With a statement heel, you don’t need to coordinate the color of your shoes to your outfit.  Instead, let your shoes shine on their own by pairing it with neutrals or contrasting colors so your heels get all the attention.


Block Heel

Step into style this Spring with block heel sandals and pumps. Give your stilettos a break and instead opt for this unique shape that are having their moment in fashion.  These walk-able spring heels are better than their skinnier cousin providing much needed comfort for your feet.  Try something new and discover a pair of strappy sandals with block heels to obsess over.

The Mule

Mules are hot, hot, hot this season and are sauntering onto the fashion scene in a variety of heights and colors.  These easy slip on styles are also the most fashion forward looks for spring.  My favorites are loafer mules otherwise known as the mullets of the shoe world – business in the front, party in the back. Find a style with soft leather for a sleek and comfortable shoe you can wear to the office or pair with a cute pair of slacks for effortless style.

Put a spring in your step this season with these fun footwear trends.  Happy strutting.

Fringe Benefits

Posted on: March 11th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

The resurrection of 70s inspired fashion in 2015 brought on a surge of patchwork patterns, flared pants, and colored suede with the most coveted looks incorporating fringe. From chunky, oversized fringe dangling from sweaters and winter coats to delicate fringe details adorning necklaces and evening wear, the runways for spring and fall were covered with fringe and this swinging trend isn’t going away fast. Below are a few tips on how to wear fringe in a modern way.

Tan Fringe Faux Suede Vest from the Banyan Tree Boutique in Islamorada

Tan Fringe Faux Suede Vest from the Banyan Tree Boutique in Islamorada

Fringe Skirts and Dresses

Skirts and dresses are no exception to the fringe trend with styles incorporating statement full-on fringe reminiscent of the roaring 20s or a sophisticated look with just a touch of fringe along the hem. To embrace this trend, choose a length and style appropriate for the occasion. Knee length or midi length skirts and dresses in colors such as black or metallic are going to look more sophisticated for a wedding or formal event. Whereas a mini skirt or shorts with fringe details in bright hues could be worn for day or night in a more informal capacity.  You can also pair a swaying fringe skirt with a button down denim shirt or tank for a more laid-back feel.   To draw additional attention to your lower half, pair a fringe hemline with standout heels for an eye-catching look.

Fringe Details

This season’s statement trend also is great on tops, jackets and vests.  A touch of fringe adorning the back of a blouse or around the front neckline are the perfect bold statement when worn while shopping with your girlfriends or when attending brunch.  Although most jackets will be too hot for our warm Florida Keys weather, a fringe vest is lightweight and great for layering over a shirt and shorts.  The key is to keep it simple by wearing only one statement piece at a time and then styling the rest of your outfit around it.

Black and Tan Tassel Kaftan from Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada

Black and Tan Tassel Kaftan from Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada

Fringed Accessories

Not quite ready to embrace a full-on fringe outfit?  Try a handbag, shoes, or necklace with fringe details or opt for something with a tassel embellishment to give you a more subdued look.  A tassel or fringe necklace is a great way to add color to your wardrobe as many of these fun neckpieces have tassels in bright hues and bold patterns.  Tassels are a classic embellishment that can provide more than an artful vibe.  A metal necklace with fringe detail can give just enough movement to direct the eye while still remaining chic.

If like me, your craving for fringe has become unquenchable, spring is the perfect time of year to add more of this fun element of surprise to your wardrobe.  It’s actually quite amazing that a trend could feel this sophisticated while also this fun to wear.  Just wait until you try dancing in a fringe enhanced ensemble.  It is sure to make you wish you would have been born in another decade.

Florida Keys Footwear

Posted on: July 17th, 2015 by Leah No Comments

For Conchs, flip flops are likely the most basic and yet most popular item in your closet. These comfortable and durable sandals are a staple in the Florida Keys and yet Jimmy Buffett has been warning us about the perils of wearing flip flops for some time.  He sang about blowing out his flip flop in his infamous song “Margaritaville”.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, of the 198,437 emergency room visits due to shoe-related injuries, (yes, shoe-related injuries!) 25,300 were associated with flip flops in 2014. And worse yet, podiatrists point the finger at flip flops for causing bacteria and viral infections, bad posture, bunion exacerbation and formation, athlete’s foot and lack of arch support.

Before you go throw out all 50 pairs of flip flops in your closet, here are a few things to consider before wearing your favorite Florida Keys footwear.


Wear in Moderation

Just like red wine and chocolate, in moderation, flip flops are just fine. Podiatrists hate stillettos too so now you might as well break all the rules and wear a little of both.   Let out your inner fashionista with some fun for your feet. Instead of donning your regular black flip flops try a cute pair of ballet flats or a great pair of colorful heels. You may be surprised by the response and your feet will look fabulous.

Consider the Time of Day

Wearing flip flops at night can be disastrous. I once had the unfortunate experience of accidentally stepping on a scorpion at night while wearing flip flops. As I stepped on him, his tale whipped up and stung me in the toe. My foot throbbed for days. So when going out at night, consider something that will provide a bit more coverage from stings, bites, rough terrain, broken glass, and other debris.

Flip Flops Do Not Last Forever

“Broken in” isn’t a good thing. If you’ve had your flip flops for longer than you can remember, then it may be time to replace them. Just like running shoes, flip flops get old and stop providing the support you need. A little wear is fine, but considering how many cute color combinations are available for relatively inexpensive, I recommend replacing your flip flops every year.

Don’t drive and flip flop.

Flip flop wearing while driving can also be dangerous. Backless shoes can easily slip off and get wedged under the break or gas pedal. A recent study identified over 1 million accidents or close calls while driving that were caused by flip flops every year.

Pamper Yourself

With all your flip flop wearing fun, it’s important to also keep your feet looking great. Get a pedicure regularly, be sure to lather plenty of sunscreen on your toes when out in the sun, and clean your feet after wearing flip flops. Remember that any dirt you come in contact with will also end up on your feet so be sure to give your toes a good wash before climbing into bed.

Consider the Event

Named for the sound they make when they slap between your foot and the floor, flip flops are great for the beach but have no use in any professional environment or dressy event. Just imagine flopping into your office or into a wedding. If sandals are a must, opt for a cute pair of sandals that don’t flop in a metallic hue for a more dressed up look.

When in doubt, wear your flip flops. After all, life is better in flip flops.

10 Signs You Have a Shopping Problem

Posted on: March 25th, 2015 by Leah No Comments

Who doesn’t love to shop?  But when does that love turn from passion to obsession?  While most of us aren’t shopping addicts, your shopping behaviors may be harming your bank account and adding to the clutter in your closet.  Below are 10 signs that you may have a shopping problem.


You buy garments that have limited wear

When you are shopping for clothing, before buying the item think of three outfits  you can wear it with.  If you can’t come up with three outfits, than you will not wear the item often enough to make the purchase worth the money.  This is especially true of investment pieces.   Investment pieces must be versatile enough to warrant the price tag, like a handbag or a piece of jewelry you will wear every day.

Packages arrive you don’t remember ordering

You should be excited about a purchase you make anticipating its arrival and the opportunity to wear it.   If packages arrive that you don’t remember purchasing, it may be a sign that you don’t really need what you bought and it would be best to just return it.

You don’t remove an item when you add a new item to your wardrobe

As a rule of thumb, use the one in, one out rule.  When you buy something new, you need to remove one thing from your closet.  This will make you regularly review your inventory for articles of clothing that you are no longer wearing so that you don’t have to do a huge closet cleaning each year.

You often sleep walk shop in the middle of the night

Insomnia is a problem many face, but when you’re having a sleepless night try reading instead of online shopping.  Online shopping at this time of night will only lead to buyer’s remorse because you didn’t read the return policy and are now stuck with an item in the wrong size and color.

You still have tags on more than 5 items in your closet

If you bought something more than a month ago and still haven’t worn it.  It’s time to return it.  Most return policies are 30 days so you may still have a chance to get your money back.  If you haven’t worn it in 30 days than you likely don’t love it as much as you thought you did when you bought it.

You buy pieces of clothing for only one occasion

Very few people have the type of disposable income where they can afford to wear an outfit only once.  Weddings and celebrations warrant wearing something you feel fabulous in.  However, make sure that the dress you buy is something you can wear again to a future event.  By changing up your accessories you can create a new look without buying a whole new outfit.

You buy items you can’t afford

Purchasing items you can’t afford will cause more stress than it’s worth.  Instead of splurging on something in the moment, save your money each month so that when you have finally save enough, you can feel good about the purchase.

You buy items that are the wrong size

Never buy items that don’t fit when you try them on in the store.  We all would like to lose 10 pounds but buying something that doesn’t fit hoping it will fit once you lose weight is not the way to go.

You shop just to shop

Window shopping can be fun but if you find yourself purchasing items that you really don’t love or need, then it may be time to put down the credit card.  It’s best to go shopping when you know you really need something.  Maybe your skinny jeans are in desperate need of being replaced, or perhaps you have an event coming up and your black heels have reached their expiration date.  You wouldn’t go to the grocery store without a list or at least an idea of what you need so why would you go shopping for clothing without a plan?

You don’t know what you have

Fashionistas know that the more you have, the less you wear.  If your closet is so crammed that you don’t even know what you have, than it may be time for a major closet cleaning.  Go through your closet and get rid of the items that don’t fit, have holes or stains, and that haven’t been worn in a year.  As you get rid of things, make a list of wardrobe staples that need to be replaced.  If you consign some of your unwanted clothing, you can use the money you get from selling them to buy the items you need to replace.


2015 Pantone Color of the Year

Posted on: February 23rd, 2015 by Leah No Comments

Since 1990, the Pantone Color Institute has selected a color of the year which influences the design world for the year to come. In the past few years, we saw top colors such as emerald, tangerine, honeysuckle, and turquoise. The global color authority announced that their 2015 color of year will be Marsala. A hue they describe as the color of fine chocolates, exotic spices, and the fragrant loam of the fertile Earth. Below are a few ways to incorporate this beautiful hue into your life.

For the Home

This rich earthy wine red hue is a seductive shade that exudes warmth and comfort in its surroundings. Thus, when incorporating this color into your home, Pantone recommends it be considered for textured surfaces such as rugs and furniture. Both hearty and nurturing, Marsala is also a great color to accent in the kitchen and dining areas.

This full-bodied color is strong enough to be used alone as a statement color, or as an accent to other complementary colors like blues, greens, off-whites and browns. Try this color in your home by adding a rug, throw pillows, or by painting one accent wall for a vibrant yet soothing effect.


Versatility is Marsala’s best shade. Unlike past Pantone colors, Marsala has been seen in more variations in fashion and cosmetics. From shades of earthy browns to rich nudes with hues of pink.

Marsala is a color that looks great on all skin tones making it easy to wear.   Embrace this hue by adding a pop of color to your nails, lips or eyes. The trend in makeup is to use an unusual color on your eyelids. Apply this rich color on the corner of your eyelids or as eyeliner for a dramatic look.


Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a the perfect shade for apparel and accessories.   Marsala was a big color in the Spring 2015 runway fashion shows and works well for every season. This winter, it was prominent in big cozy sweaters and rich leather bags. For spring and summer look for it in prints.

As an accent, try pairing the color with neutrals like warm taupes and grays, or brights like yellow, teal, and orange. This shade also looks gorgeous with other earth tones such as copper, black, brown, and metallics. Incorporate this into your existing wardrobe by trying it as an accessory color such as heels or a big necklace for a dramatic, on-trend ensemble.

DK's Style Hut Marsala Wrap Dress

DK’s Style Hut Marsala Wrap Dress

Stop by DK’s Style Hut at 8347 Overseas Highway in Marathon to view their impressive range of clothing and accessories for spring. Open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. you’ll find this little store is jam packed with great basics and fashion forward apparel with beautiful prints in the Marsala hue.

DK's Style Hut Marsala Print Bag

DK’s Style Hut Marsala Print Bag


Planning Ahead for What to Wear

Posted on: November 15th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Dressing up is synonymous with celebrating. In the words of Rachel Zoe, “It’s what differentiates the cork-popping moments from the everyday routine of our lives.” With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start forging a plan for what you will be wearing to all of the festivities. From holiday parties with friends, to work functions, to family celebrations, each event means a different outfit. By creating a plan for what you will be wearing, you will ensure you won’t be stuck wearing the same black dress you wore last year. Very few holiday celebrations happen spontaneously so save on the stress and make a plan now for looking your best.

Identify what you already have

First, go through your closet and look at what you already own and what needs repairs. Do you own a party dress that still fits you well and looks fabulous? Do you have work appropriate apparel that can be worn for holiday celebrations with your colleagues? Are your dress-up shoes in need of a shine, polish or being reheeled? If so, now is the time to do so. You will also want to check on whether you own the right accessories and undergarments. Often the clothes hanging in our closet that have yet to be worn are hanging there because you still don’t own the right strappy heels to go with the dress.   Here is a list of some of the things you should own: an LBD, a formal cocktail dress in a color other than black, a sweater, wrap, or jacket that could be worn over a dress or skirt for warmth and for more conservative work functions, an evening bag, and glamorous jewelry.

Is there a Dress Code?

Before deciding what to wear, be sure you know the dress code. New Year’s Eve celebrations and holiday weddings both tend to demand more formal attire. If you’re not sure of the dress code, consider the venue and the time of day. Evening events will always be more formal in nature. The Florida Keys are typically more relaxed when it comes to dress codes, however, the holidays are the perfect excuse to break out your sequined shoes and fabulous LBD. It’s never a bad thing to be the most glamorous person in the room.

Reinvent a Look

Stylish women know the art of reinventing a look with chic accessories. If you always wear your LBD with the same heels and jewelry, it may be time to swap in a new bold necklace and matching heels to make the same basic dress look a bit different.   Suzette Kelly in Key West creates beautiful handmade jewelry perfect for dressing up your holiday look. All of her creations are handmade with sterling silver, 14 karat gold, semiprecious stones, and Swarovski crystal. Locally, you can find Suzette’s one-of-a-kind jewelry at Wanderlust Boutique at 310 Petronia Street in Key West. Open Monday-Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 10-4.

Sterling silver, jade and precosia crystal by Suzette Kelly at Wanderlust Boutique in Key West

Sterling silver, jade and precosia crystal by Suzette Kelly at Wanderlust Boutique in Key West

Dressing up is an opportunity to show another side of you. The most important thing to remember is that you need to feel comfortable and fabulous in what you are wearing. With a well thought plan, you can be the life of the party instead of worrying about what you are wearing.

Fall Fashion Trends

Posted on: November 15th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

The humidity has finally subsided and it’s time to pull out your fall favorites. Embracing fall trends can be tricky when you live in a tropical climate. And this fall is all about cozy knits, boxy wrap jackets and capes, and shearling accents which may be a bit too wintery for our weather in the Florida Keys. But there are many trends that will easily help you make the transition your summer wardrobe into fall.

When trying to figure out how to work a new trend into your wardrobe, it’s always best to start with classic pieces such as accessories or a jacket. Review the list of fall trends below and then add a few key pieces to your wardrobe to update your look.

Gucci embraces the call of the wild with this leopard ensemble at Milan Fashion Week Fall 2014

Gucci embraces the call of the wild with this leopard ensemble at Milan Fashion Week Fall 2014


Midi Skirts

A midi skirt is a skirt or dress that hits in the middle of your calf. It’s fashion forward and a major trend for fall. This ladylike look can work for office or fun by pairing it with the proper accessories. Take a look at the next few trends below and try wearing a midi skirt with leopard or buy one in a bold hue like blue or orange.

Seeing Spots

Fall’s boldest print is leopard. This classic pattern is hot, hot, hot. Whether worn head to toe or as an accent, leopard is the most eye catching trend for fall. Worn as an accent with black is a safe bet, but to create a wow factor try wearing leopard with primary colors such as yellow, blue or red. If you’re going to wear the pattern head to toe, make sure the prints are different sizes to create contrast so you don’t end up looking like you’re dressed for a Halloween party.

Color is the new black

Make an impact this season with color. Don’t cast aside your springy pastels just yet. Mint green, pastel pink and baby blue pieces are still hot for fall. Transition your pastel staples into fall by pairing it with more wintery textures and dark accents such as leather, black and tweed.

Orange and blue took over the runways for fall 2014. From juicy brights to subdued muted hues, you can find these beautiful shades in a range of colors to complement your skin tone. For a modern take on the color trend, wear your favorite shade from top to bottom, or mix a few to create a color-blocked ensemble.

If you’re sick of black and white, try a happy medium of both and go for some gray. Gray makes a beautiful pairing with pastels, sapphire blue and juicy orange.

Add Layers and Textures

Layering is easily one of my favorite dressing techniques for fall. Layer a summer dress with lightweight scarves and fitted jackets to look effortlessly stylish while also making good use of your entire wardrobe. To add texture to an ensemble, try mixing in a new texture you don’t wear often like leather, lace, sequins, brocade, and tweed. Just make sure the textures you fall in love with are still light weight enough for our winter weather in the Keys. Get extra bold and mix the textures. Leather and lace can look pretty amazing together.

Fashion trends are open to your interpretation, so have fun and break out of your normal style boundaries. Happy shopping.

The Evolution of Swimwear #MBFWswim

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Fashion is in constant evolution with styles and trends changing as quickly as the seasons. This is also true of swimwear. Swimwear’s greatest influence has historically been based on the beliefs of society on modesty and sexuality. The swimwear we know today has really changed very little since its first appearance in the 1940’s. Instead, designers have relied on colors and prints, embellishments, and unique cuts to make a collection fresh and new each year.

The earliest form of the female bathing suit was a bathing dress worn in the early 1800’s. These reserved full-coverage dresses were made of material that had weights sewn into the hems to keep the dress from rising up in the water. The men’s bathing suit at this time was a wool garment with long sleeves and legs similar to long underwear. Can you imagine how hot these would have been? Certainly these ensembles would not have worked in the Florida Keys.

At one time, swimwear also included stockings, paddle gloves, and emergency flags to alert others when in danger. It wasn’t until swimming became popularized as a sport by the Olympic Games that swimming attire became streamlined to provide greater movement. And thankfully, Speedo introduced the first non-wool bathing suit in the 1920’s.

The arrival of the bikini was popularized by the style icons that wore them. Betty Grable glamorized the pin-up style, Marilyn Monroe showed how curves can be supported in a structured silhouette, Farrah Fawcett is famous for wearing a rust colored one-piece donning a fabulous smile and California style, and who could forget the leggy lifeguards on Baywatch.

Today, the estimated revenue of the swimwear industry is $17.6 billion, according to the research firm Global Industry Analysts. One look at the entourage in Miami for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim a few weeks ago would prove this number accurate. Celebrating their 10th Anniversary of Swim Week Miami, swimwear, cruise and resort collections were strutted down the catwalk for buyers, press, and industry insiders. Designers included Poko Pano, Frankie’s Bikinis, Clover Canyon, Wildfox Swim, Beach Bunny, L Space, Caffe Swimwear, Luli Fama, and Mara Hoffman. My favorite was the show by designer Dolores Cortes. Her flattering silhouettes offered stand out cutouts, and animal prints paired with soft florals. Bold gold accessories adorned each suit. The real showstopper was the brown leather one-piece with tortoise shell accents. Yes, leather! Each of the models donned elevated ponytails which were constructed with wire allowing their hair to bounce with each step.

Whether you prefer a one-piece or a string bikini or swim trunks or a tiny Speedo, your choice has been influenced by the history that influenced swimwear styles of today. Thankfully, the evolution of style for swimwear has made the bathing suit both functional and fabulous for the modern man and woman.