Shop Talk: Swimwear to Suit Your Needs

Plus: Luxe gear for dogs from a Chevy Chase company

(page 1 of 2)

Suit Yourself 

With anywhere from 25 to 50 swimsuit brands stocked year-round (a rarity for local retailers), Sylene in Chevy Chase has long been the area’s go-to spot for water wear. This summer, the style you’ll see everywhere is the one-piece. 

“The one-piece speaks to a lot of different ages and body types,” says Sylene owner Cyla Weiner. “And designers are getting more creative with their cuts.” 

Unfortunately, putting the bikini away doesn’t make the process of picking out a swimsuit any less daunting. Here, Weiner—a 42-year veteran of the swimwear and lingerie world—eases the pain with a few tips on finding your most flattering cut. 

Ruffling About  | $110 at J. Crew in Chevy Chase Pavilion | 5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. | 202-537-3380 |


Show Some Skin 

Designers are taking away fabric to flatter their customers’ figures. If you’d like your midsection to look smaller, try a suit with cutouts at either side of the waist. Wishing you looked a little less hippy? The trick is to pick a suit that stops just above the hip bone. Though it seems counterintuitive, the more skin you show, the longer your legs will look, and the slimmer your hips will seem in comparison.

Cut It Out | $339 at Sylene by Marysia |

4407 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase | 301-654-4200 | 





Shop In A Store

Buying a swimsuit is often like shopping for jeans—no one really enjoys it, so they procrastinate. “You just have to bite the bullet,” Weiner says. “But go somewhere you trust.” 

Once you find a brand that fits well in-store, return to that brand when shopping online. “If you know a vendor looks nice on you, then many styles from that vendor will also look nice on you,” Weiner says. “And, in most instances, they’ll fit you the same.” 

If you find yourself clicking “Add to Cart” without being familiar with the fit, Weiner recommends ordering a size up from your regular pant or dress size.

Keyhole Chic  | $42.94 at Old Navy at Chevy Chase Pavilion |

5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. |  

202-237-1091 |

Find Your Color

Pinky nudes are a major fashion trend of the moment, but Weiner cautions against these shades for swimwear—appearing almost naked won’t do much for hiding problem areas. Neutrals that contrast with skin—think grays, hunter greens, and navies—are more universally flattering. In the nude family, Weiner loves dark chocolate browns and coppers on lighter skin.  

Take the Plunge | $322 at Sylene by Karla Colletto |

4407 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase | 301-654-4200 | 





Get Some Support

A built-in bra is often the key difference between looking frumpy and fit, so make sure your suit has underwire (most run true to bra size) or, at the very least, a shelf lining. “When your bust is lifted, it makes your waist look smaller,” Weiner says. “It makes everything else seem thinner and longer.”

Halter Ego | $315 at Everything But Water by Kiini |

Westfield Montgomery Mall, Bethesda |

301-365-0954 |






Play With Shades

Using light and dark shades is the best way to highlight—or downplay—different areas of the body. Opt for suits with lighter colors in areas you want to play up, and darker, solid hues in areas you’re hoping to minimize. An ombre suit that fades from dark on bottom to light on top can help make hips look smaller and your bust look bigger, for example. 
Want to add curves to a straighter figure? “Get a suit that’s two-toned,” Weiner says. “An olive green suit with a beige waistband will give you more dimension in the waistline.”

Green With Envy ‚Äč| $315 at Everything But Water by Kiini |

Westfield Montgomery Mall, Bethesda | 301-365-0954 |

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