Step back, string bikinis. Swimwear this summer is more about modesty and style rather than skin.
Top designers such as Prada, Chanel and Marc Jacobs are producing one-piece suits that are perfect for frolicking on the beach. And other designers have created stunning coverups, scarves and separates perfect to help beach-goers transition from the sun to evening fun.
Taylor Schlette, marketing coordinator for South Moon Under, says a major trend this summer will be fashionable coverups that allow beachgoers to transition easily from day to night.
"It's all about wearing something sheer and sexy over a bathing suit," she said. "Pair wide-leg pants with bathing suits. These coverups transition to going out. They are that cool."
Among Schlette's other must-haves of the season are swimsuits in neon, fringe and prints.
"I just bought the most amazing pinup-style bikini," Schlette said. "It has a high-waisted bottom with a bra top but in an updated neon pink and peach color block."
Tinsley Mortimer, handbag designer and author of the beach read "Southern Charm," suggests that beachgoers go with swimsuits that play to their strengths. That means lots of bold colors and those stylish retro suits that have dominated resort collections of the world's top designers.
"You want to feel the most confident," Mortimer said. "It's about enjoying yourself."
She advises women to gravitate toward bright colors — avoid black, she says — and wear accessories that shield skin from the sun.
"Do not be afraid of color," said the New York Fashion Week front-row fixture. ""Wear a cute, beachy coverup, short shorts, strapless sundresses, big sunglasses and big floppy hats. Wear sunscreen. Protect your skin."
Mortimer says she's a big fan of the popular retro swimsuits and nautical patterns this season.
"I think they are cute," she said. "I like the ones with the little skirts on them."
Hair and makeup are as important as the right summer swimsuit, according to experts.
Stephanie Chervenkov, Miss Maryland Teen USA 2012, knows a thing or two about wearing winning makeup.
"You don't have to follow your full makeup regimen, simply focus on SPF protection, minimal beauty steps and, most importantly, have fun with it," Chervenkov said. "Don't be afraid to try something new — after all, you are at the beach. If a basic lip tint is too boring, amp up your lips with cool pops of color in a fun, trendy hue of pretty pinks or even orange lipsticks, but overall, remember to make your makeup appear effortless."
Chervenkov also advises that beachgoers strive for a "fresh, luminous look" by adding a pearlized pink shadow or a shimmering gold shade with nude or pale matte lips. She also recommended using a coral eye shadow — her favorite.
"It captures the essence of a summer at the beach, accents most skin tones and is on-trend this season," she said.
When it comes to hair, it's important to keep it protected and looking moisturized, says Brian Oliver, a hairstylist at Salon Ipsa in Georgetown, whose clients have included Drew Barrymore, Emma Stone and Brook Shields.
"You should always use a protective, moisturizing cream before going in the sun or swimming in salt or chlorine water," Oliver said.
The stylist recommends using Keratase moisturizing cream for short to long hair and Hair Rules for extra curly, wavy hair.
"Always use a conditioner with sunscreen," he said. "It will protect you hair color and keep it from fading. If you have heavily highlighted hair, wear a hair cover or wide-brimmed hat. That gives you total protection. It will keep the hair moist and supple."
A big hat and big sunglasses
Natural looking make-up
A light beach read