California's annual autumn swimsuit line is out, and so are the rigid lines—out of the suits, that is. At the resort this winter and on any beach next summer, in the matter of girl and suit, the girls will have all the lines. Women's Wear Daily heralds it as "Girls Are Back," which sounds like a scoop only if you missed them. Actually, some girls were banished—or hidden, anyway—by last year's form-concealing covered-up look. They return now, relaxed, comfortable and completely feminine, in gaily colored suits shaped to disclose the body's most alluring contours. One striking aspect of the trend is a swing back to straplessness and sunburned shoulders. Of course, the natural look may not be for everybody. The alternative for the woman who prefers some coverage is a beach adaptation of the so-called layered look. It is achieved (upper right) by matching a sweater or vest to a two-piece suit. Virtually all of the new suits are boneless, but built with skill. This will not be the year that suits make the girl, but, rather, the year the girl puts the lines back in the suits.
A relaxed, easy fit, this suit from Cole of California ($24) fluidly accents femininity. Derived from the oldtime, unflattering tank suit, the new suit pictured here is made of a filmy, lightweight stretch Helanca and spandex knit.
Rose Marie Reid's strapless shift ($26) attaches to a fitted jersey inner shell, has hidden straps for active swimmers. Helanca suit has a border of art nouveau flowers on one side of its fetching design.
Three-piecers move far off Madison Avenue, as Elisabeth Stewart covers a two-piece swimsuit with matching sweater ($28), and Rose Marie Reid Juniors adds a waistcoat to complete a beach ensemble ($24).