-Guest Post by Susan Bodack
Every time you visit a new locale, it’s important to do your research. Whether you’re attending a business conference on the other side of the globe or simply going on a family vacation, you must read up on the local customs, attractions and of course, the local dress. The last thing you want to do is stick out like a sore thumb, or even worse, offend someone.
As a seasoned traveler as well as an expert in the bathing suit industry, I always keep an eye out on what the locals are wearing in different beach towns in both the states and abroad. To help all you Smart Women Travelers, I’ve compiled a short list of what the locals are wearing in a few popular beach destinations. Read on…
1. Southern California
Southern California is one of the most gorgeous spots on the west coast, as it’s the perfect balance between hot and cold. Even if you’re headed there for business, you must check out SoCal’s beautiful beaches. Expect to see cool laid-back bathing suit styles with subtle bohemian elements. Think lots of solid bathing suit separates mixed and matched with fun-in-the-sun prints. California brands L*SPACE and Vitamin A have practically invented that clean and effortless Cali-chic look.
If you’re lucky enough to travel to the east coast of Spain, you’ll get to experience some of the Mediterranean’s most breathtaking beaches. When you step foot on the beaches of Spain, don’t be alarmed if you see many topless locals (and even some brave tourists!) Think skimpy bathing suit styles, such as string bikinis. Also, Havaianas flip-flops are everywhere. Whether you’re in Barcelona, Ibiza, Valencia or Mallorca, there’s plenty to see—make sure to bring your sneakers and a comfy pair of flip-flops.
3. Latin America & the Caribbean
Similar to its western counterpart, Latin America and the Caribbean’s beach fashion is all about sexy bathing suit styles. In fact, the swimwear is as hot as the weather! Think bold, wild prints (often mismatching) with soft feminine touches. The Latinas love easy breezy fabrics and designs, such as silk shorts, tunics and scarves. Latin American bathing suit brands OndadeMar and Aguaclara have nailed the Latin beach-chic look.
In Brazil, the locals live life as if everyday were a vacation. Brazilian culture is all about a fun, carefree lifestyle fused with intense sensuality. In some parts of Brazil, such as Rio de Janeiro, the beach is a way of life, so that means a bathing suit is part of the daily wardrobe. Brazil is the originator of the Brazilian bottom, which features less back coverage than moderate bottoms yet more coverage than a thong. The Brazilian bottom is very common on the beaches of Brazil and Brazilian swimwear designers like Cia Maritima, Salinas and Despi stay true to their Brazilian roots.
5. Las Vegas
Las Vegas may not be a beach town, but it definitely has some of the most gorgeous pools in the country. Everything about Vegas is glitzy and glamorous, including their pool-side bathing suit looks. Think bright colors and notice-me prints, sparkly burlesque-inspired swimsuits and teeny weeny bathing suit styles. Sauvage and 6 Shore Road are two brands that have really nailed that over-the-top-glam Vegas look.
Whether you’re traveling for business, pleasure or a little bit of both, keep these trends in mind. To close, I’ll leave you with my #1 travel tip: Never, I repeat NEVER forget to pack a bathing suit. If you’re going to a beach town or resort, pack your bathing suit in your carry-on in case your room isn’t ready. Even if you’re traveling to a colder climate, don’t forget a bathing suit—you never know if the hotel will surprise you and have a hot tub or indoor pool!