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To "Bare" or Not To "Bare"

By Teresa Gallagher and Maria G. Mueller
Anna Cris Maternity, 1-800-281-ANNA(2662),

That is the question of the season! With hot, sultry summer days just around the corner, so is the impending decision of how much to "bare" or not to "bare" while jumping the crisp ocean waves, or doing laps in the privacy of your own pool.

Maternity designers are providing some fabulous versatile options. Although one-piece tank suits remain a staple in many of the current collections, the tankini is gaining rapidly in popularity. With a very contemporary two-piece design, the tankini combines the "sizzle" of the bikini bottom with the "more modest" coverage of the top in a tank suit.

Jody Kozlow Gardner and Cherie Serota, founders of Belly Basics, have incorporated both options into their swimsuit line. Their one-piece tank suit has been updated with spaghetti straps, a shelf bra, and a matching skirt with sexy side slits for a little extra coverage. Their tankini is functional for serious swimming with a fully lined racer back style top and shelf bra, and is contemporary with it's two piece styling and brief bottoms, that allow you to choose just how much belly you will bare. Both styles are available in traditional black or cool water "pool" from Belly Basics, at 1-800-4-9-MONTH. The Spaghetti Tank Suit with matching skirt retails for $79, and the tankini retails for $69.

With swimming growing in popularity for pregnant women, other designers are "diving into the pool" with new maternity swimsuit lines. Adidas has announced the introduction of a whole maternity fitness line, including 2 great swimsuit options - the traditional racer back sports style one-piece, as well as their version of a tankini. Both styles sport the signature Adidas' logo and three stripe design. With full front support lining, high scoop neck and racer back style, and shelf bra, both styles are athletic in design with active swimming in mind.

The tank suit has a higher cut leg for greater comfort and style, is available in black, red, or sapphire, with the three Adidas white stripes, and retails for $65. The tankini was specifically developed for women with sensitive stomachs, as the top is non binding against the skin, and the bottom rests just above the belly. According to Dana, the designer of Adidas maternity wear, it "is wearable with the tummy showing or not, giving the style a lot of versatility." She sees swimwear becoming more revealing, "following Brazilian fashions-with lots more color blocking." The tankini is available in black, red, sapphire and purple, and retails for $65. Both styles can be found at For a unique presentation of swimwear, Liz Lange offers a collection of "mix and matchables." Select a top and bottom separately, with different options that will fit most any personality.

Top choices include "The Jeanie Bikini Top" and "The Bette Halter (bikini) Top." Then choose your bottom - "The Peyton Bikini Bottom," "The Nanette Skirtm," or "The Tamera Swim Shorts." All separates retail for $55, and are available in light blue or navy. Some pieces are also available in a light blue batik print. The more conservative one-piece "Constance Swimsuit" is available in all three colors and retails for $110. To accessorize all of the above separates, is the "The Gwen Sarong" - a sheer cotton voile with a drawstring waist and a high front slit, available in a light blue floral print, for $110.

Dressing for the sun has never been so much fun! Happy Swimming!


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