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The Chic Shop
by shop girl
issue no. 89

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Swimsuit Countdown

It’s not like we haven’t known it was coming. Winter leads to spring, which leads to summer; it’s been this way for EVER. So why am I standing in front of my full-length in a so-last-year tankini with a sagged-out two-piece in one hand and a dejected look on my face? How am I going to be ready for a quick jaunt to a tropical clime (I know the invitation to a week in Hilton Head is coming, I just KNOW it) with this pathetic collection of out-of-date Lycra? Time to get crackin’.

And as we all know, this sort of outing can’t be entered into lightly: we need a PLAN; we need to take STEPS to insure we don’t run screaming from the dressing room, head in hands, and retreat to our beds with the remote and a pint of Phish Food. This is far too potentially traumatic endeavor to rush things. Here’s my plan of attack:

  • Exercise. Since I haven’t been as faithful about this as I would hope (okay, I’ve been pretty terribly irregular about my gym habit, but hey, I’m human), I’m now feeling the effects of my recent culinary indiscretions a bit more than my waistband would like. However, a little emergency intervention (cardio and weights today, yoga tomorrow, Pilates the next day) will go a long way to toning up the jiggly bits enough so I can stand the sight of myself in a full-length mirror. Plus it gives me a chance to trot out those smashing workout duds I bought myself as exercise incentive in BagsJanuary.
  • Exfoliate. Every night after washing my face, I apply a nighttime moisturizer and treatment with retinol to continuously refresh my skin cells and keep wrinkles at bay. Then the morning of the shopping expedition, I’ll use a facial scrub and a body scrub with lots of essential oils to slough off the last of the winter’s dry skin. (Post-shower, pay special attention to the heels, knees and elbows with a thick cream – the flaky stuff can be so disheartening, and we need our spirits up, up, up!) The scrub also paves the way for a much more effective…
  • Bronze. Whether you choose a light sunless-tanner-moisturizer combo potion or something a little more direct, it’s best to apply with a subtle hand, possibly over the course of a week. Take care with areas like knees, elbows, ankles and the backs of your hands so you’re not tea-stained around the edges. Facially, I prefer a good bronzing powder to a sunless tanner (less chance of errors creating days-long embarrassment), but some swear by mixing a little sunless tanner into the night cream for a fresh light glow in the AM. (Sub-corollary: highlight. Blonde streaks add to the sun-goddess illusion; however, I took care of this last week.) (Sub-sub corollary: whiten the teeth, too! Makes the face look tanner.)
  • Dine carefully. Heavy carbs, too much salt or a couple of cocktails will add five pounds of water weight easily. The night before your search begins, stick to vegetables, lean protein and fish, and drink water like it’s free. (Come to think of it, perhaps this would be a diet plan that would be worth sticking to on a more permanent basis, and allow me to avoid the issues associated with skipping #1?)
  • Remove black knee-socks.
  • Attack. Choose silhouettes wisely, based on body type. Busty. Straight waist. Small chest. Short torso. Full hips. Long torso.
  • Edit. Cross-reference styles that look good on me with extensive knowledge of the spring’s swimwear trends. Pastels. Sporty. Skirted. Boho. Retro. Ethnic prints. Brights.
  • Accessorize. Shoes to carry us to the beach or pool. Cover-ups to, well, cover up for a walk on the beach, a quick game of kadima, or a stop (or six) at the local boutiques before a light lunch. Large brimmed hats and sunglasses to spare our newly freshened faces from the evils of UV-A and –B while allowing a coy sneak-peek at all the people nearby. Chic and stylish bra barette to keep my swimsuit straps in place! A sensible and chic moisture wicking headband to keep hair out of your face while taking the sun or exercising. A darling tote to hold reading material, water, a towel, phone, sunscreen and lip gloss (with SPF of course!)
  • Celebrate. After selecting two (or three) of the season’s best hits suited exactly to my body type, retire not to the nearest watering hole but to a quiet evening at home (oh, all right, with three or seven of my closest GFs) with a plate of crudités, a little sorbet, and our empty calendars. It’s time to plan a season’s worth of outings to show off our new shopping conquests!

Happy Shopping!

Shop Girl

P.S. Be sure to check out the Home Page for updates from She She Me. Also, check out our all new Hot Products in the She She Mall. We are also adding New Stores each week so check back often for updates and fantastic savings! Also, don't miss the great girly merchandise in our Chic Shop.

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