Colgate Couture – It’s Cozumel, not Capri

Imagine the lapis waters of Capri with the wind sweeping your sun-dried hair back into a beautiful mess and the cascading rocks that protect you from the salty yet pristine water of the Mediterranean Sea, a glass of prosecco in hand. Well, let’s re-imagine this ideal vacation, because I’m quite sure that not many of us will travel to the Almalfi Coast for our mid-semester break. But it’s the spirit of the Italian dress and the beauty of the coast, the way the women look effortless on the crystal beaches all in the name of fashion. So whether you’re lounging at the Florida or California shores with your parents or jet setting down to Mexico or the Bahamas, spring break will introduce the looks to covet in the upcoming months, when the snow subsides into the murky ground only to emerge with a blithe future of crisp grass and crimson flowers.

Since days on the sand begin in the early morning and end in the late evening, it’s crucial to make a fashion statement while soaking up the rays. Whether you’re a true prepster, a sophisticated social or a glamour goddess, the spring collections offered a new take on beachfront wear; yes, barely-there bikinis, sophisticated one pieces and retro monokinis. So don’t commit a fashion crime for all to see with a too tanned, over exposed body and ill-fitting swimwear. It’s hard to imagine paradise looking oh so…horrific. That’s why picking the perfect swimsuit and cover-up will lend you the ultimate title: queen of the beach.

The inspiration came from the runways of Oscar de la Renta, Mara Hoffman and Diane Von Furstenberg. Oscar de la Renta, who re-created old-school glamour through his one-piece suits and sweetheart tops, gave the look modern sensibility with bold blocks of color in grey, nude and red. His designs reminded me of something Jackie O would wear, with oversized round sunglasses. There’s nothing sexier than Mara Hoffman’s one-pieces in tribal prints of black and yellow. The cutouts in the midsection reveal the perfect amount of skin.

And if the one-piece isn’t your thing, opt for a bikini. Swimsuit designers to watch this spring: Mara Hoffman, Zimmermann, Diane Von Furstenberg and Milly. Hoffman’s tribal and geometric designs will give you that perfect beach chic look with tousled and braided hair. Straight from down under comes Zimmermann. Nicky and Simone Zimmermann have mastered the beach, hailing from Australia and creating an eclectic group of swimwear; a mix of feminine frills, classic polka dot prints to avant-garde one-strap bikinis in fresh shapes.

With floral prints all the rage for spring, swimsuits have followed suit. This trend included everyone from Badgley Mischka, who created full bloom one-piece prints, to Diane Von Furstenberg (a personal favorite), who created two-piece floral print swimsuits in bandeau tops and full coverage bikini bottoms. And my beach-ready look: retro wear. Try J.Crew’s solid glamour bikini with a bra-like-top, inspired by1960s Bridget Bardot.

Creativity is the best on the beach-accessorize with scarves; Hermés, Chanel or even Topshop and H&M. Any silk scarf can be used to block the rays on your hair and can be worn as a head band, too, or tied around your purse when you hit the waves.

Coverups give you the freedom to show your true personal style whether you fall towards classic preppy, hipster or glamour queen. Even if you tend to fit the true rules of New England elite wear, try preppy prints in modern cuts. Topshop carries the Tonal Check Pinny Cover Up and the Picnic Check Bandeau Cover Up in bright prints of aqua, purple and pink. For a more hipster feel, Melissa Odabash’s Patty Circle Cover-Up is not only super soft, but also ultra chic with a disco flavor. The ever-current romper trend will satisfy both comfort and style (a one piece with shorts? Get better). C&C California makes a white jersey romper that will take you from shore to dance floor with gladiators or wedged heels. And for the glamour girls, try Diane Von Furstenberg’s floral dress in silk chiffon and retro prints of Andy Warhol in prints of pink, white, yellow and green flowers.

When it comes down to it, look in your closet, because you’ll be surprised how many options you truly have. Oversized blouses work perfectly as cover-ups, as do baggy t-shirts.