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Your Summer Power Suit – Summer16 Swimsuit Guide


Nneya Richards Power Suit Final copy

suits left to right: Hellz Bellz | She Made Me | Good Mood Creations | Motel | Kiini Swim, Missoni | Made by Dawn | J. Lo for Intimissimi | She Made Me | American Apparel | Made by Dawn

Swimsuits are my power suits. Quite honestly, I feel more comfortable in a swimsuit than I do in most things — a fact that one of my dear friends has attributed to my “island blood.” That being said, like most of the population, I still dread swimsuit shopping. Fitting room lighting, making sure the suit looks good from all angles, and while I’m loving this one-piece trend, for a short-torsoed lady like myself, finding the right fit can be a nightmare (most major brands’ one pieces are way to big for me and one suit I did find that I like is being taken in as I type). I consider myself a bit of a swimsuit expert and Stylecaster even included me in their latest round up of Blogger Beach Style! So now that temps in NYC are hotter than summer in a Spike Lee joint, here are my favorite swimsuit brands that I’ve rocked in the last year and where to get them AND my round up of suits for your bod that will have you relishing your time in the sun. BAEwatch alert!

Rasta Crochet BikiniThis is one of my favorite swimsuits that I got in the fall of 2015. It was custom made for me by an awesome woman in Romania. It can definitely be yours, check out her Etsy store!

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Here’s another crochet suit from Australian brand, She Made Me swim. I was really digging the brands 60s hippy beach culture aesthetic but what really got me are the cowrie shells on the ties of the swimsuit. Prevalent in African and Caribbean culture, cowrie shells are a symbol of luck, wealth, even fertility. Always down to have some good vibes in my swimwear. Shop my look here.


I spent New Years in Sayulita like I’ve been doing for the past few years and there is no place in the world I feel more comfortable walking around barefoot in just a swimsuit. Sometimes, I pair a shirt over my suit just to have something to sit on on the beach. Sayulita’s laid back vibes and surfer culture are conducive to this and with the fit beach bodies you see walking past you everyday (I’m not talking oiled up muscle bound, but that natural beach lifestyle type fit) you’ll start feeling like your swimsuit is your power suit here in no time. See more of my made by Dawn swimsuit shots in Sayulita here. Shop my look (the bottom is actually on sale!)

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I got this Agua Bendita swimsuit in Southampton while shopping with friend and fashion guru, Tamu McPherson. With Tamu’s nod of approval, I knew that it was pretty dope. Definitely a little out of my comfort zone with it’s beading embellishment and wild patterns but it’s oh, so fun. Soon I found out Agua Bendita is one of the biggest swimwear brands out of Colombia, handcrafted by 700 single mothers, so naturally I rocked it in Cartagena. BTW my mom took these photos… I think she has a calling as a SI photog. Shop a similar style here.


Here’s another fun made by Dawn suit that I loved because of it’s unique shape. It was slightly more covered up and the overall cut lent an air of “down for anything” which made it the perfect swimsuit in Sayulita for trekking to private beaches.

I’m a huge proponent in the bottoms making a swimsuit. Isn’t diaper bum in a suit the worst! The best I’ve found have been with made by Dawn and She Made Me (exact ones above). The great thing about She Made Me swim is they offer a pretty good variety so I have two bottoms for this suit actually with different cuts. TIP: A cheeky or ruched bum gives you that instant Brazilian butt lift!


This is probably my favorite resort look and naturally I was inspired to create it in Havana. My gold and black Kiini swim top and my favorite Missoni knit pants (shop similar here) paired with my Persols has an air of sprezzatura, no?

Kiini  definitely has a big celeb following. The colorful stitching and great cuts as well as the branding was something I definitely gravitated to. My friend Hannah introduced me to Ipeki, Kiini swim designer over dinner and it was a match made in heaven. You don’t always know who’s designing your clothes but its an added bonus when you feel like you’re repping the hard work of a cool ass chick. Shop my Kiini here.

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Another great girl boss I know making great swimwear is my friend Laura. Look out for a Brands We Love coming up with me traveling the globe in my Novel Swim. I love Laura’s illustrations (she creates them herself!) TIP: go with a racerback cut like this to support your little extra, or if you actually want to, you know, GET ACTIVE, on the beach.

This Pharrell print swimsuit by Hellz Bellz was the first one-piece in my closet since I was forced to wear one at summer camp — barring a Kimora Lee Simmons monokini that I bought in high school and ended up selling on eBay before wearing. While I wasn’t sure about the pattern, I wish every one piece would fit my like this. It’s absolutely perfect and has definitely become a favorite. TIP: High-cut legs = legs for days.


It’s the summer of the one-piece and my collection is definitely growing. I got this at the same time I got the Pharrell suit and it’s by Motel swim. I love how this swimsuit complimented the backdrop of Miami.

The retro look is back in swimwear and no one does it better than King of sultry (maybe a little sleezy retro, American Apparel). And when I saw a lifeguard stand… Damn.

1934077_523201203471_1380560_nOk, so this is a wayyyy throwback. I was maybe 22 in this photo? In Salento in Italy. I actually had just received that swimsuit for my birthday from the son of the amazing family I was with there, Jacopo. It was definitely a bit va va voom and not my normal choice — J. Lo for Italian brand, Intimissimi, so there was bling as you can see, but the color is great and it’s actually one of my favorite swimsuits to date. Chiara took this, true paparazzi style, I actually didn’t even know until about a month later.



Swim 16 – Channel your inner power with these suits!

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one. bikini top, SHE MADE ME | two. bikini bottom, SHE MADE ME | three. one-piece, TOPSHOP KENDALL + KYLIE | four. bikini top, KIINI | five. bikini bottom, KIINI | six. bikini top, MADE BY DAWN sunglasses, ILLESTEVA | seven. shoes, K. JACQUES | eight. trousers, M MISSONI

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