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Swimsuits showcase trends at the lake

Melinda Hunter
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Ashlee Pacheco of 1,000 Bathing Suits arranges swimwear.
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Since the beach is the place to be to beat sweltering summer heat, the brightly colored, barely there bikinis emerging on store racks are once again making women pray the South Beach Diet they’ve been faithfully following will pay off.

South Shore beachgoers have a wide variety of options to pick from when it comes to finding that one and only bathing suit that fits perfectly and hides every bodily flaw, if such a suit exists. From Sidestreet Boutique at The Village Center to 1,000 Bathing Suits in South Lake Tahoe among others, there’s no shortage of sporty or slinky summer swimwear. Each shop offers varied selections of beachwear and apparel including the ever-popular sandals and flip-flops.

Popular for the third straight season among women 35 to 55 is the tankini, while teenagers and young adults are buying low-rise bikini bottoms with tie sides and triangular halter tops, said saleswomen from both 1,000 Bathing Suits and The Village Mountain Surf and Sports.

The “it” colors this season include brightly colored greens, pinks, oranges, white, reds, browns and black. Trendy patterns range from polka dots to stripes to strategically placed hibiscus flowers. Where tube-top styled bikinis were in last season, triangular halter style shapes and low-risers are in this season.

Sidestreet Boutique has more than 500 varieties of swimwear available for adults, teens and children. What’s hot, said owner Barbara Parina, are “world colors” – bright colors and patterns worn across the globe.

Swimwear at Tahoe is as diverse as the people who visit, Parina says.

“You’ll find those who swim will typically go with the one-piece, but if they are sun worshippers here to have a fabulous time, they’ll go with what’s fashionable,” she said.

The trends in men’s beachwear change much less from season to season, with the remnants from last year’s craze for surfer-style board shorts with higher and lower alterations. Speedos, all the rage among older European men, have long been traded in at Tahoe for the longer, tropically patterned board shorts.

As far as accessories, the usual sunglasses, sarongs, big bags, bright towels, flip flops, and shell-and-hemp jewelry are frequently found gracing beach bodies. New this season is the tunic dress that fits over a swim suit and is used as a light cover-up. Another item that is quickly picking up popularity is rash guard clothing, usually worn by surfers under wet suits, which now comes in stylish cuts and patterns and is worn over a swimming suit or, in some cases, as a swimming suit.

When asked if television shows such as “The O.C.” have inspired this season’s designs, saleswomen from both 1000 Bathing Suits and The Village Mountain Surf and Sport replied that it is very likely.

“A lot of girls come in asking for specific suits, knowing exactly what they want because they have seen it somewhere,” said Ashlee Pacheco, saleswoman at 1000 Bathing Suits.

When it comes to their opinion on Tahoe’s fashion sense versus the trends and styles being sported in Southern California, the salewomen agreed that Tahoe is low-key and a little more casual.

“We get the tourists who come in from Southern California and you can tell by what they are looking for that they came from down south,” Pacheco said.

Ready or not, the swimsuit season is here, and with record high temperatures, most will be worried less about how the swimming suit looks on and more about the quickest way to get in the water. Rest assured that selection awaits all those in need of a suit with styles, colors, and patterns to work with any body shape or size.

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