Dear Sentimentalist

Dear Sentimentalist,

I am loving your regular updates and so thought that you might be the person to ask some fashion advice. We are off on spring break soon and I would love to treat myself to a new bikini. I remember you were wearing a very groovy bikini last summer and that it was available somewhere locally. Help me please!!

With Love,
The Jetsetter

Dear Jetsetter,

My mama grew up in Florida and that means in our house we take our swimwear very seriously. There was no “rinsing and drying” one suit day-after-day on vacation in our family. We brought a suit for every occasion and boy did we have fun revealing each one. Most important feature for me at this point in my life is fabric and cut that doesn’t “dig in”. I also really appreciate some extra “support” since gravity has started to take effect. Trying on bathing suits can be intimidating, but fear not – there are some great options out there.

My new FAVORITE swimwear line is Letarte. Two years ago my husband surprised me with my first Letarte bikini for Valentine’s day. He had picked it out of a magazine and ordered it online. (I know ladies, I have him very well trained.) I wore the heck out of that suit and it is still in great shape. I was thrilled to discover that the brand opened a Greenwich store last year. It is near the bottom of the Avenue on the left hand side. Since they opened I have bought two more from their line and have gotten many a compliment on their fun colors and flattering shapes.

Go, shop, and flaunt that bod of yours with pride! One tip – zipping your hubby a phone pic of you in the suit you are trying on is a nice way to get those sexy beachy travel juices flowing in advance of your trip. I also must point out that a healthy dose of confidence is almost more important than the suit. Your body is yours. Embrace it and try to love it as it is!

(One of Letarte’s Most Recent Designs)

As far as Letarte goes – the line was designed by two sisters, love me a family brand, and they really understand what women need in a bathing suit. I was lucky enough to chat with co-founder, Michele Letarte Ross, and here is what she had to say!

Q&A with Letarte Cofounder, Michele Letarte Ross:

Why did you start the brand? What was your mission?

My sister, Lisa, and I started Letarte in 2000. We were frustrated by the lack of bikinis in the marketplace that were both flirty yet functional. Lisa is an ex professional windsurfer so she has lived and breathed that water moment when you get crushed by a huge wave and find your self with sandy pants… 🙂

What makes your suits unique?

Letarte is a blend of two lifestyles – both Lisa and I. Lisa lives the island life, while I live the sporty life. We combine these two lifestyles to bring you a brand that is fresh, innovative, and functional.


Different bodies, different swimsuit needs. Any tips on how to find the right style for a few different body types (pear shaped, curvy, curve-less, full bosom)?

Finding a swim suit that fits your body shape is really a lot of trial and error. We keep many of the same style numbers and silhouettes year after year so that once a customer finds a silhouette that works for them, they can buy it year after year.  For instance, our 1005 Halter is a great full coverage top for a B or C cup gal and this has been a style that we have had in our collection for 12 years! There are a lot of tricks in helping to determine styles that fit you and our Letarte Retail Swim Specialists are very thorough in knowing how to select the best Letarte for your body type.

(The 1005 Halter)


How excited were you when you found out you had landed the SI Cover?

It was an OMG moment…..

(The 2013 Cover Model in Letarte)


When it comes to cover-ups – to match or to contrast is the question?

I like cover ups that have some contrast. For instance, if you purchase a print bikini, I would recommend a solid cover up and vice versa… never print on print!

What is next for Letarte?

Lisa and I are excited about expanding our Retail Store footprint, and expanding some of the categories from our Apres Soleil division.

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