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Runway Looks for Less: Swimsuit Edition


swimwear at Suno, Norma Kamali, Philosophy and Emilio Pucci Resort 2012
(L to R) Suno, Norma Kamali, Philosophy and Emilio Pucci Resort 2012 | ELLE

Bathing suits are practically synonymous with summer, and when it comes to swimwear inspiration, there’s no better place to look than the runway. For their resort collections, designers play with unique, fun and fashion-forward swimwear combinations that are sure to make a statement.

So if you’re looking for a runway-worthy ensemble to rock poolside this summer, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created three lower-priced swimwear looks inspired by three different Resort 2012 collections -- Alice + Olivia, Zero + Maria Cornejo and Milly by Michelle Smith. Simply scroll on down to check ‘em out!

1. Mix and Match

Alice + Olivia Resort 2012
Alice + Olivia Resort 2012 | ELLE

CF favorite Alice + Olivia took glam to a whole new level with this look, which paired bold stripes with a feminine and colorful floral swimsuit. The sheer striped caftan and matching oversized sun hat kept the look fashion-forward, while cat-eye sunglasses leant a retro vibe. For the finishing touch, designer Stacey Bendet added a pair of chic amethyst-colored platform sandals.

Get the Look:

RRL swimsuit edition look inspired by alice + olivia resort 2012
Product Info: Swimsuit- ASOS, Hat- Forever 21, Sunglasses- Urban Outfitters, Sandals- Piperlime, Cover Up- ASOS

Recreate this look by pairing a floral one-piece swimsuit with a bold, yet modern striped caftan. Accessorize with a floppy sun hat and shimmering cat-eye shades, which are not only stylish, but help protect you from damaging UV rays. Add some punchy fuchsia wedges for a flirty and fun look.

2. Neon + Neutrals

Zero + Maria Cornejo Resort 2012
Zero + Maria Cornejo Resort 2012 | ELLE

For something a little more low-key, look no further than this bikini/cover-up combo from Zero + Maria Cornejo. This look featured a trendy neon swimsuit paired with a lightweight, neutral-colored tunic. The contrasting coral tote added another pop of color, while taupe booties gave some fashion-forward flair.

Get the Look:

RRL swimsuit edition look inspired by zero + maria cornejo resort 2012
Product Info: Swimsuit- Old Navy, Cover Up- Roxy, Bag- Urban Outfitters, Shoes- DSW

For this look, start with a simple, yet stylish neon orange bikini — this one, from Old Navy, has the same shape as the one form Maria Cornejo, but for a fraction of the price. Add a lightweight crochet cover-up and neutral-colored slingback espadrilles to balance the neon hues. Finally, accessorize with a bright coral-colored Baggu tote, which makes a fantastic waterproof beach bag.

3. Uniquely Preppy

Milly by Michelle Smith Resort 2012
Milly by Michelle Smith Resort 2012 | ELLE

Designer Michelle Smith created this youthful and preppy look for her Milly line, which featured a fun floral print swimsuit paired with a matching drawstring handbag. A green cardigan acted as a unique and stylish cover-up, while round sunglasses made a bold statement.

Get the Look:

RRL swimsuit edition look inspired by milly resort 2012
Product Info: Swimsuit- Charlotte Ronson, Cardigan- Nordstrom, Sunglasses- Mango, Shoes- DSW, Bracelet- Tilly’s, Bag- Roxy

While wearing a cardigan as a swimsuit cover-up seems a little unconventional, we think it would be a great option for hanging on the beach after sunset, making this the perfect day-to-night swimwear look. Pair the cardigan with a pretty floral string bikini and add a pair of brown t-strap sandals. Next, accessorize with a few stacked bracelets and some sleek round sunglasses. Then just grab a roomy drawstring bag and you’ll have an adorable and stylish beachside ensemble.

Your thoughts?

What do you think of these looks? Which one is your favorite? Would you wear any of these outfits to the pool or beach? Which designers would you like to see featured here next? Remember to leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Posted on on July 11, 2012 / Filed Under: Shopping / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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12 Responses to “Runway Looks for Less: Swimsuit Edition”

  1. 1
    July 11th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Love everything about the first look! That coverup is so cute!

  2. 2
    July 11th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I like the hat & cover up from Mix and Match outfit.

  3. 3
    July 11th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Love this! I’m a huge Alice + Olivia fan so that first look is right up my alley! The purple wedges are so perfect – not too high to wear poolside!

  4. 4
    July 11th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I really like the outfits you put together. BUT. Look at the poor models, they are so skinny. I have to object it strongly. I understand it might be quite challenging to actually find picture with ‘normal size’ model, but I think it would be really great if you, influential blog, would put the effort into promoting healthy weight by not including products that support this unrealistic body image. Especially with swimsuits.
    Thank you

  5. 5
    July 11th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I absolutely agree with karony! You just had a post objecting to the photoshopping of pictures to make models look skinnier/prettier and then you put pictures like these up? The four models up top look unreal skinny – literally. Besides that, I loved the clothes and swimsuits you picked out.

  6. 6
    July 11th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I LOVE the Old Navy bathing suit in the Zero + Maria Cornejo look! In fact it was my favorite! Who knew Old Navy could be so cute!

  7. 7
    July 11th, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I was so excited when I saw the runway looks you were using as inspiration. It’s so nice having ideas that could spice up your beach uniform. I wish you would’ve used more one pieces for girls who aren’t confident showing off their sides, stomach or back. Perhaps you could provide two swimsuits- a bikini and a one piece for each outfit, since not everyone is comfortable in bikinis.

  8. 8
    July 11th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    @karony and Jackie- While I wholeheartedly agree with our “Fashionably Informed” article, this is unfortunately the norm with designer collections. I looked through 30+ resort lines for this post and all of the models seemed to be retouched with Photoshop. Since my assignment for this column is to feature inexpensive outfits inspired by the runway, unfortunately that means I had to look past the actual models and focus on the clothing.
    I apologize if I offended you in any way and believe me, if I ever find (or someone points me in the direction of) a designer who uses models with varying body types, said designer would definitely be featured here.

  9. 9
    July 11th, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I love the idea of the second outfit, so completely chic.

  10. 10
    July 12th, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Ashley, I for one think you did a fantastic job. The images you find on the Internet are beyond your control, especially for research purposes – and you found some really cute swimsuits! xx

  11. 11
    July 12th, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Ashley, I can attest that the Zero+Maria Cornejo photo was not edited at all, as I was present for the shoot and was in charge of the post processing and lookbook creation. It was just the vision of the line and the model’s prestige that led to choosing her and I am sure the idea was not to promote being unhealthily skinny. There’s a lot more great Zero+Maria Cornejo swim suits in that collection, so make sure you check them out!

  12. 12
    July 13th, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Great post, Ashley! Both the original inspirations and your affordable picks are fantastic! The Zero+Maria Cornejo set is my favorite–love love love the contrast of the neon coral+tangerine and the neutral taupe.

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