Meet Rachel.

Summer officially begins June 21st, but mentally the season has already started for most of us. We're so excited to showcase a swimsuit model this week and share tips on how you can be suit ready for these next few months. Whether you're going to the pool, beach, or on the boat, looking good and feeling good is a necessity and more often than not, it begins with what you wear. With that said, let's get started...

As you can see, we have quite the ensemble with Rachel and starting from the bottom, notice her light blue lace-up sandals. This spring color matches perfectly with her cover up and also compliments her rust one-piece. I'm sure you've noticed the transparent heel trend is rising and now you can get a pair like hers at popular retail stores such as Steve Madden, Aldo, and Zara. However, this week we want to focus on the type of sandal she's wearing. Lace-up sandals are a great way to accent your legs and compliment any look (i.e. dressy, sporty) and as always we've got a few tips!

How to find:

1. We mentioned a few stores up top, but one of our favorite stores to find sandals is DSW. For your first pair of lace-up or gladiator sandals it's important to keep a few things in mind. If you have heavier legs, go for a pair with a high heel (2 inches+). In addition, if you want to avoid a stocky look, rule of thumb is the fewer straps to go around your ankle, the better. You can also consider going for metallic colors, rather than browns and blacks, which will make your legs look thinner. However, a very strappy lace-up can be just as complimenting and if you go this route, we advise styling with more subtle outfits such as a t-shirt dress, or a tee or tank with shorts.

2. Generally speaking, the higher heel, the longer and more flattering your legs will look. However, we understand not rocking heels and wanting to be more on the comfortable side. In that case, we suggest wearing flat lace-up sandals with thin straps going around the lowest part of your ankle. That way you can achieve a "long leg" appeal and keep your options open when styling.

How to wear:

1. Make sure your feet are right! No one wants to (or should) wear sandals with let's just say, unappealing toes or soles.

2. Typically, you can dress sandals up or down. Try rocking them like Rachel with a suit and cover-up or even casually with a pair of slim-fit jeans or a sundress. If you plan to dress in a summer white dress, then go for a pair of brown short lace-up sandals with feminine detailing. As mentioned, metallic colors are a great choice too! Check out some examples below.

The modern one-piece swimsuit made its appearance in the mid-1900s, when the style was widely described as a maillot. A maillot is a tank suit that resembles a sleeveless leotard or bodysuit. and we've been emphasizing lately how most of the trends you see today are not necessarily new but recycled with a twist and the one-piece is another example. Rachel has a tall and thin physique, so we decided to go with a deep neckline to compliment her figure while the rust hue balanced her skin tone and added dimension to the spring colors we paired with her suit. Wearing a one-piece can be a bit tricky; no one wants to debut a swimsuit and resemble a child or look dated, so with that in mind we have tips below on how you can stay sexy in your suit.


1. Know your body shape! Obviously, any gal in a swimsuit wants to achieve the right silhouette. The key is to find a one-piece that flatters your figure. If you're pear shaped and want to "hide" your hips, try a suit with a skirted bottom. If you're more of an apple shape and want to cover up your belly, then go for a style that has a print or pattern. In addition, curves can be accentuated with bold patterns, and for our fit ladies, cut-outs are your friend.

2. Realize that YOU can rock a one-piece. It's all about finding the right one so if you don't already own one, here are a few great stores to start with: Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Macy's, Victoria's Secret, and Zara.

3. Click here for MORE!

Lastly, we have Rachel's cover up. This was a last minute touch---quite literally. As we were finishing up, we noticed this hanging in her closet and immediately got excited. Then we thought...well this is a bath robe, so how do we make this work? If you take a look above, you can see that her headband matches her robe; we decided to make the belt a headband and use the robe as a cover up. Quick and easy right? There's no need to purchase a million different accessories or apparel when you can put multiple uses to one piece. FYI: Pinterest is both a great resource and outlet for fashion and style ideas. Here we simply want to remind you again to use your resources and get creative.

This gem is from Miami, Florida and is also passionate about fashion and style.

Her dreams are to be both a model and designer, so be sure to keep a look out for Rachel Garcia.

Challenge: Rachel is just like you and this week we want to challenge you to try putting a "new use" to an item. Turn your earrings into pins or your laces into a belt. You can also check out Jessica here for more inspiration and ideas on how WE used a necklace as a belt! Be inspired and don’t forget to share your creativity with us by using the hashtag #andieandaj on Instagram or Facebook.

Till next week,

Andie & AJ

Find the look:

Swimsuit (PacSun)

Lace-up Sandals (Steve Madden)

Cover up(Market)

  • Instagram - White Circle

© 2021 A.J. Dunlap