Thank you everyone who took the time out to pledge and help Syiim reach its goal on Kickstarter. As goods are purchased and swimsuits are being sewn, there is a heart-felt appreciation that each and every one of you helped to make this happen with your selfless and considerate support. Syiim thanks YOU!

Advertisements

Finding the perfect swimsuit becomes the dreaded beginning of the summer season ritual for many women. When trying on swimsuits, it is important to be realistic and to find suits that flatter your body type. A flattering swimsuit makes the most of the proportions of a woman’s figure. The key to choosing a flattering swimsuit is less about how great the swimsuit looks and more about knowing what colors, print and silhouettes go best with your body type. Here are a few tips on how to choose a suit to flatter your figure, accentuate your assets and hide your not so favorite parts.

Shapes

The first step is to KNOW your body type. There are generally four body types: straight-figure, pear shape, apple shape and the hourglass shape.

  • Straight Figure– So you’re not so curvaceous as your other friends. That’s okay! Choose a suit that emphasizes your bust and hip area.  A bathing suit with ruffles, ties or other embellishments will do the trick. This will give the illusion that those areas are bigger and hence creating a waist. Wear a swimsuit with bold horizontal stripes or a horizontal pattern to create the illusion of curves. These will draw attention across your body, rather than up and down. Avoid swimsuits in darker colors, which can make your frame appear even narrower.
  • Pear Shape– With this body type you are smaller at the top and carry more weight in the lower regions, at your hips, thighs and legs. The key for this shape is to draw attention to above the waist and away from your lower section. The answer is a wearing a swimsuit with a lower neckline. Also look for bright, lighter colors on the top of the swimsuit. Mix and matching your suit is a neat trick. Prints on top and dark solids on bottom balance out this figure type, as darker colors are slimming. A monokini is also a good choice. It is the one-piece with the back mid-section cut out of it. It is designed to make your torso look longer and draw attention to your waist and away from your lower region.
  • Apple Shape–  For this figure, you have a larger upper-body and fuller breasts. Buy a bathing suit with patterns. Avoid strap-less suits and ones with ruffles and a lot of detailing on the top. Halter tops with banded support are a good choice. (For fuller breasts see tips below).
  • Hourglass Shape–  Hourglass figures have a curvy upper and lower body, and probably a small waist. Choose swimsuits with a matching top and bottom or solid colors. The key to flattering this body type is to avoid wearing two pieces that have little coverage. This can over-accentuate your curves and make you look either top or bottom heavy. One-piece bathing suits work well with this shape.

Features

In addition to finding a suit that flatters your figure, you also have to consider your features and what suit will work best with them.
  • Large Breasts– If you have large breasts, avoid wearing skimpy tops with little coverage. Look for suits with a full coverage such as halters, especially the ones with the band for under the bust.  For this feature the most important thing to look for is support and good bra construction, so look for suits with wider straps and that fit snug under your bust. If you would like to buy a one-piece suit, find one with foam cups or a shelf bra.
  • Saggy Breasts– Swimsuits with push up support and foam cups are the answer for this feature. Buy suits with a banded halter or bra cup top. This silhouettes naturally give more support and keep the bust in place. The more comfortably snug they are the better.
  • Small Breasts– For a small bust frame choose a suit that has ruffles on top.  Triangular cups connected by a string will draw attention to your chest and give the illusion of a fuller bust. Using the string, adjust the cups so they are closer together, which will emphasize cleavage. Also buy cups with removable padding. If you are totally flat chested avoid bra cups that are shaped to hold a bust. It will look empty and re-emphasize what you’re trying to distract from.
  • Bigger Midsection– If you feel that you have a bigger tummy, look for a one piece suit that has ruching. A one-piece suit that has draping or color blocking with a dark-colored mid panel around the waist can help to hide a larger tummy. You can also choose a one-piece swimsuit with a belt to cinch the waist. Avoid one-piece suits with the empire seam (right under the bust) suit with high-cut legs can draw attention to the curves of your body rather than the center of it. Choose suits in darker colors to make your frame appear slimmer. You can also look for suits with tummy control panels or power mesh. These have little spandex and is geared to pulling in the tummy area and creating a firmer look. Think Spanx for swimwear. Want to wear a two-piece suit? Try a tankini. It will cover your tummy but still give you the look of a two-piece and the options to mix and match your bottoms.
  • Short Legs– To create the illusion of longer legs wear a one piece with a high cut along the leg opening. String bikinis with tie sides are great as you can tie them a little higher on the hip to create the look of a longer leg.
  • Long Torso/Tall Woman– The average one piece is fit on a woman who is about  5′ 7″. So for a figure that has a long torso the suit may not fit properly and will feel like it’s not giving enough coverage at the bikini area, not sitting correctly under the bust or feels short and uncomfortable in the length. For this shop brands that dedicate one-pieces to tall women.
  • No Buttocks– If you feel you have a very small buttocks or none for that matter choose a bikini with ruffle details at the waist or on the back of the bikini. Also swimsuits with ruching down the middle create the look of a larger bum. You want to avoid the saggy look in the back so try going a size smaller. Less coverage can make the area appear larger.
Tip: Don’t buy a swimsuit based on size, buy it based on fit which is the most important factor in choosing a swimsuit to flatter your figure.

As you all know Syiim is a company that finds unique ways to give back! A runway show isn’t complete without accessories, and I think you’ll be happy to know that through the small purchase of a few accessories for the show, Syiim swimwear is giving back!

Items such as hats, bangles, earrings and bags have to be purchased or burrowed to help create a complete look for the runway. For Syiim swimwear the decision was made, that the majority of our accessories will not only accentuate the line, but will also support a good cause. Below is a brief list of how our debut collection is giving back:

  • Hats- Straw hats provide income to the local Jamaican market as they are purchased at the craft market and then decorated or hand dyed to collaborate with the collection
  • Bangles- Apart from the wooden bangles that are being dyed in house, we’re also accessorizing with clay bangles that are carved with positive messages and whose proceeds provide Africans with clean drinking water.
  • Bags- The handmade straw bags in the collection are either from the local Jamaican craft market or are made by refugee ladies from a little village in the western interior of Madura, a small island in Indonesia. These ladies live with no electricity, no running water, and no paved roads. Each family must carry their own water to their home. Syiim’s purchase of these bags helped to provided income to this community.

Whether you’re at the beach or laying out by the pool it’s a good idea to protect your skin and lips with SPF protection. Before heading out under the sun and UV rays it’s a good idea to work on some sunscreen and lip balm. And what better way to do it than using a product that is made of the highest quality natural and organic ingredients and free of harsh chemicals.

After much searching we found LAVANILA. A brand dedicated to providing high-end products that are 100% good for you. Their products contain no petrochemicals, Phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, silicone, synthetic dyes, sulphates or parabens. They have a Sun Care SPF collection that features a sunscreen body cream, face cream and lip balm. Unlike traditional sunscreens that use harsh chemicals, LAVANILA products are infused with superior components of minerals, anti-oxidants and shea butter that not only protects but also soothes and hydrates. Their Healthy Lip Screen SPF30 is a must-have for daily use, and is our new addition to our bags! It contains a superior complex of vitamins and essential organic oils to provide powerful protection. We only wish it came as a stick!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today we share a fun recipe with you for what is now known as the famous Beer-garita! We’re not sure who was the first person to think of combining ice-cold beer and tequila, perhaps a tipsy fellow made an accidental spill of one onto the other, or a nearly finished glass of margarita was reused to have a beer, whichever it may be the Beer-garita has made its way around to Mexican pubs and restaurants and have become a popular drink on menus. The combination of the two may sound a bit odd but if you’re a fan of tequila or tangy drinks, you’ll find this cocktail delightful! Unlike the Sangria, another favorite of ours, to whip up a good Beer-garita is quick and easy! Follow the below instructions and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz. tequila
  • (2) – 12 oz. beers.  ( use a light beer or corona )
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 8 wedges Lime
  • 1/2 Cup salt
  • a Pitcher half full of ice cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill pitcher half way up with ice.
  2. Slowly pour beer over the ice.  It will foam up so a slow pour is essential.
  3. Add tequila, orange juice and  frozen lime aid.
  4. Stir well to blend all ingredients.
  5. Pour salt out on to a small plate.
  6. Take a lime wedge and rub it around the rim of the glasses.
  7. Dip glasses upside down into the salt plate to coat the rim.
  8. Pour drink into glass and garnish with a wedge of lime!

Makes 4 cocktails

With less than six weeks to go, I am gearing up by developing last-minute design ideas and putting finishing touches on the rest of the line for our debut at Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) this summer! CFW offers the opportunity for designers to showcase their talents and to network with local and international people within the fashion industry.  Although I have participated in runway shows before, I have never participated in something of this calibre. Though overwhelming as it may be at times, I have to admit I am also very excited to show my work on such a big stage. My collection at CFW 2012 will be fun and very exciting. We will display 18 swimwear pieces along with accessories and beach wear that make up our Exhibela collection. Included in that collection is one of pieces from the Eco-Syiim group, that is made from environmentally friendly fabric.

This is just the beginning of a beautiful line, and I hope to use the CFW platform to grow the fan base of Syiim and display the fun, quality product we have to offer. If you’re not a fan of Syiim, I hope to make you one soon. If you already are, look out for us at Caribbean Fashion Week this June. Follow us on our blog and Facebook page for updates and giveaways to celebrate the launch!

 

 

Discover Cuba!

This is Cuba! A photographer’s dream. A culture junkie’s fix. This picture perfect island is located in Central America between Bahamas and Jamaica, some 90 miles south of Miami. Considered the largest Caribbean Island, Cuba has dramatic mountainous landscapes, dozens of miles of the world’s finest beaches with crystal clear waters and blinding white sand. It is a beautiful paradise with an amazing variety of flora and fauna as well as cultural and historical sites and activities. Despite the restrictions American citizens face with travel to the island, with everything Cuba has to offer it’s easy to see why tourism there is booming and attracting millions of visitors from different corners of the world every year.
Cuba is divided into 14 provinces, the most popular being Guantanamo, Ciudad de La Habana,  La Habana, Santiago de Cuba and Matanzas. Cuba can be visited all year-round.  The island enjoys a hot sub-tropical climate with average temperatures of 22-25 Celsius degrees in summer. There are two main seasons: the dry season runs from November through April, and the rainy season is between May and October.

Cuba is a melting pot of different cultures and races that reflect influences of the Spanish culture and African traditions. People in Cuba are warm-hearted and friendly, lively and expressive, and eager to share their culture with tourists who visit.  Cubans thoroughly enjoy popular forms of music and dance, including salsa and the cha-cha-cha which originated in Cuba. Cubans are also very enthusiastic about sports and other activities, baseball and boxing being amongst the most popular.

Attractions and Activities

Whether it’s your first visit or not, you will always find new adventures and activities to explore. Cuba has a lot to offer and provide the ideal vacations whether it be for singles, couples or families. If you’re in search of turquoise seas, pristine, glistening beaches, white sandy beaches, and a full contingent of water sports, including diving, snorkeling, sailing, cruising or fishing, Cuba is one of the best Caribbean treasures to explore.

Havana is Cuba’s vibrant capital and the leading cultural centre, boasting colonial style architecture and old hotels. Havana dazzles tourists with its beautiful sights, landmarks, museums and parks and is also the top getaways for shopping and eating in Cuba. Top attractions in Havana include the Decorative Arts National Museum, Cafe Cantante Mi Habana, and the Jose Marti Monument and Colon Cemetery, which artistic values make it one of the most important cemeteries in the world.

Manufactured very similar to the old and traditional art of cigar making, Cuban cigars are surely to taste one of life’s most generous luxuries. There are factories in Havana where visitors can see cigars still rolled by hand.  Havana cigars are tightly rolled bundles of dried tobacco, one end of which is always ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the smoker’s mouth and lungs. This key aspect is the difference between a quality product and a knock-off, so avoid buying them from people off the street.

For the art history lovers, Cuban museums are filled with a lot of culture and history and exhibit striking collections of fine arts, natural sciences, antique weapons, etc. The best known museums are Museum of the City (Museo de la Ciudad) and National Fine Arts Museum (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes), the former boasting several exhibits relating to archaeology, paintings and furniture of historic value, and the latter, the largest collection of Cuban plastic art and others.

Cuban Beaches are simply some of the best in the world. Most beaches are home to high-end beach resorts with pools, game rooms and fitness centers and an excess of land and water sports. Some of the best beaches include Verdadero Beach, where paradise meets adventure. It has fine restaurants, bars, museums, amusement parks night clubs and cabarets. Playa Sirena is the ideal for water enthusiasts, including incredible scuba diving and snorkeling experiences, swimming, fishing, kayaking and windsurfing. There are two cays that feature good deep wall dives with a variety of soft and hard corals and a multitude of marine habitats. Apart from water sports, other activities you can engage in are jungle hiking in the rainforest, mountain biking, yacht cruising, canopy viewing, birding, river tubing, caving and much more.

More than you’d Expect

Despite the general assumption that Cuba is stuck in time, accommodation options in Cuba vary, giving you choice from all-inclusive hotels, honeymoon hotels, golf hotels, historic hotels, business and events hotels, family hotels, self-catering hotels, countryside hotels, city centre hotels and much more. Nearly all hotels feature the ultimate in convenience, service and luxury.

Hotel Santa Isabel is a boutique hotel, perfectly located in Old Havana, and is considered the most elite hotel in Havana. This fabulous hotel features 17 standard rooms with colonial-style furniture and with modern amenities, like air-conditioning, private balcony or terrace overlooking the Plaza de Armas (the cities most enticing square), Jacuzzi, mini bar, room service, telephone and cable TV, and 9 major spacious and welcoming suites. The five-star hotel features an excellent restaurant with fine culinary options and rooftop private patio.

Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa is an ideal example of beach resort offering maximum comfort for an unparalleled experience. This all-inclusive adult-only resort is located Verdadero beach and is ideal for weddings & honeymoons combo trips. Housing 434 elegantly appointed rooms in different categories featuring cozy ambience, and equipped with modern amenities and facilities. The resort boasts fine varied dining options, round-the-clock activities, private cocktail party, and 24-hour service. Recreation facilities include land sports and water sports.

Cuba also has popular chain hotels that such as the Sandals Royal Hicacos Resort & Spa. A five-star all-suite hotel boasting the utmost in elegance and the highest level of luxury in romantic surroundings for couples, this resort hosts 404 chic decorated suites,  5 restaurants serving an international menu, Caribbean, Italian and Seafood cuisine, 5 bars, three elegantly designed swimming pools, 4 jacuzzis, fully equipped fitness centre, sauna and steam room, several whirlpools, night club, as well as European Spa and beauty salon.

Known as the ‘Pearl of the Antilles’, Cuba is a Caribbean treasure waiting to be explored.