by Carly J. Cais, Fashion Designer & ChicSteals blog

As a designer – my line is RIVETED Clothing & Accessories – I’ve developed an eye for style over the years…and right along with it, a nose for a bargain. Half the fun of fashion is looking fabulous without needing to declare bankruptcy. Each week, I showcase hot designer-style steals (each for $100 or, in most cases, for much, much less)…along with one splurge-worthy item.
This summer, be the envy of the crowd in a cute suit. There are tons of pre-Summer sales to choose from, making this the time to snag some swimwear for a song. Here are five ways to stay cool by the pool or brave the waves in style this season:

  • OMBRE EVERYWHERE Reminiscent of 60’s tie-dye, but updated for 2008, this alluring gradiant color-wash – seen on all the A-list spring runways – has found its way to swimwear. Fade from seaweed-green to sandy-gold in a hot-hot-hot little side-tie triangle…and for strutting down the beach at your most fabulous, pair with white accessories – especially bangles, sunglasses, and a caftan. Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Ombre Sliding Triangle Top & String bottom – $38 (each).

  • MOLTO MONOKINI – aka side cut-out suits – provide the stay-put-ness and tummy coverage of a one-piece, with a healthy dose of skin-baring sex appeal. Say ahoy in the nautical chic of a striped-top and anchor print bottom, which is also available in an extended-torso version for $40 from Delias…which means you can set sail looking fab, but with your swim budget still intact.

  • SEXY HARDWARE Gold rings, silver brooches, jeweled dangles…metallic accents add a fabulously shiny touch to this year’s suits. Even modest swimwear gets glam with something hard thrown into the mix, however, for hardcore sex appeal, this down-to-there monokini with an enticing trail of O-rings provides just enough coverage to leave him breathless. For sunset cocktails, simply tie on a low-slung pareo and head for the cabana. 3-ring monokini – on sale for $35 (was $70) at

  • BOLD GRAPHICS Prints are a major trend this season, especially over-sized, brightly colored and eyecatching. From floral to psychedlic, a fab one-stop shopping option is Venus Swimwear, which carries a staggering array of styles, colors, and sizes. The Mocha Java print two-piece is simultaneously sophisticated and mod…just add a breezy coverup and some glistening gold-flecked body oil. For just over $55 from, the price is definitely right.

  • RETRO GIRLIE GIRL Make a splash in a high-waisted pin-up number from, one of the best online sources for retro chic. The halter-neck supports and accentuates your curves, and the boy-cut bottom conceals the tummy-control panel within…so all bystanders will see is you looking slim and trim. For added bonus points: coat your nails in lipstick-red polish. Two-piece cherry-print suit – $70 at

  • SPLURGE OF THE WEEK: AN ICONIC DESIGNER For the perfect suit, sometimes it’s worth investing in a tried-and-true designer label. DVF does not disappoint with an itsy-bitsy bikini in an on-trend (but not overly trendy) safari’ish print. Diane Von Furstenberg Stone String Bikini – $175 at

If there are any high-priced pieces you’d like me to find similar, less costly versions of, please email me at carlyjcais AT Fashiontribes DOT com.
‘Til next week, fellow bargain-hunters!
Carly J. Cais


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