That scorching heat the Triangle is so well known for is here again, and what better way to cool off than swim-suiting up and heading out to your favorite summertime hangout?
Whether you prefer the warm sand of Wrightsville Beach, the shady cool of Jordan Lake or the lounge chairs of your local pool, wearing the right swimsuit should always make you feel fabulous.
This season, runway models sported crazy styles with strategic cut-outs, huge ruffles and other off-the-wall motifs.
Here's how real women can translate these extreme looks into fashionably flattering swimwear they can rock on a regular basis.
Make a statement
Bold prints and patterns are huge this summer. From leopard spots to geometric shapes, there's no end to the different patterns your swimsuit can feature.
If you'd like to buy a printed suit, but just can't picture yourself in that tiny bikini covered with big symbols from geometry class, feel free to go for a more subtle print. Choose colors that complement your skin tone and a cut that covers you in all the right places.
Have you channeled your inner Greek goddess with one-shouldered shirts? This summer, the look has gone to the beach!
These suits are particularly wonderful if you happen to be gifted in the chest area, as they give great coverage and support.
Cut it out
If you're looking for a more daring swimsuit this summer, cut-outs are the way to go. They come in a variety of designs and shapes, exposing as little or as much skin as you'd like.
If you have a long torso with a toned tummy, a one-piece with a large stomach cut-out will sizzle. But, if you're hesitant to expose your belly, hip cut-outs will still garner many poolside compliments.
Nod to the past
Flaunt the old-is-new style with high-waisted shorts, deep V's and classic prints, such as polka dots and gingham.
For a pin-up vibe, try a two-piece with high-waisted bottoms.
For coverage, try a one-piece maillot. This comes in many colors and patterns, so it's possible to express your own style without worrying about bearing it all.
Ruffles were a big hit at fashion shows this year. To convert this look into swimwear that makes you look your best, there is one simple rule: Focus on your body's strengths.
Since ruffles add dimension and volume, they should highlight a smaller part of your body. For instance, if you have a smaller chest, a ruffled bikini top will look great on you!
Runway models wore cover-ups of just about all shapes, styles and patterns, ranging from short skirts to long dresses.
If you're taking a quick walk from your hotel to the beach, sport a floral, gauzy tunic. But, if you plan on having a nice lunch before hitting the pool, wear a long sundress in a bright shade.
This season, a cover-up is part of the outfit, and – just like bathing suits -- there's a number that's right for each woman and every occasion.