by Amanda Bedgood

Photo by Robin May
Photo by Robin May

The first whispers of swimsuit season feel a little like walking the plank. Naked and with a spotlight on you. It takes guts to walk into that dressing room after a long winter in leggings and sweaters. So we picked three fearless models who are also amazing real women, threw in one equally fierce fella and headed to Red’s for a shoot to kick off long days at the pool.

It was a combination of practical pieces and a hearty dose of glam that inspired our shoot. I envisioned big hats, super cool glasses and red lips. I headed to our favorite local spots to find bikinis and suits that would work for women with real bodies but stay totally on trend.

There’s nothing quite like a sexy cover-up to keep me feeling fine chasing kids around a pool. I loved the one Shaquana Lewis wore from Vanessa V. — cute enough to wear after a swim over white capris and a tank. The athletic details on Lacey Fontenot’s little bikini from Get Wet are just right for real swimming and chic enough for lounging.

We found two laid back cool looks for Randi Landry without technically venturing into swimwear: I pictured her black and white romper from Maven Womenswear and high-waisted shorts from Brother’s on the Blvd. for dining seaside and walks in the sand.

For the gents, it was all about the funky graphic print. Maybe it’s a love of the ’80s, but these trunks from Maven Menswear paired with killer mirrored glasses felt totally fresh on Ryan Rogers.

Photo by Robin May

When we arrived at the shoot it was a gloomy day. Before the first click of the camera the rain came. It was brief and then we began in earnest. It wasn’t a perfect day, but our models were flawless and the sun eventually came out in full force. It all added up to just the right thing. Much like women and swimwear.

If you arrive in that dressing room less than perfectly toned and svelte, remember how very much those days in the sun feel. How a simple hat, a pair of glam shades and a suit that works with your very best features adds up to just the right combination. There are no perfect bodies or perfect days. There are just real people making great memories rain or shine.