Dive in

Summer trips to the beach and afternoons by the pool beckon, but it's still hard to relish the idea of shopping for a bathing suit. There's nothing like staring at yourself in a dressing room mirror in an ill-fitted suit under an unflattering light to kill your vibe. The answer is to do your bathing suit shopping online and to focus your search on higher end designers who have a laser-like focus on creating suits that fit well, in technical fabrics that flatter (and last forever) and in colors that emanate sophistication.

To that end, today we are (re)-introducing Malia Mills, a Brooklyn-based bathing suit (and ready-to-wear) designer who makes the best suits in the business. With many styles to choose from, you can find as much coverage as you want and always just the exact right amount of sex appeal. Her one-pieces and bikinis are equally flattering and they fit true to size (with an emphasis on bra cup sizing). The beautiful fabrics and gorgeous colors are worth the extra investment. You can wear them for 10+ years with proper care (using The Laundress delicate formula and hand washing are key) - the quality is that good. Read on for Jen's favorites.

At left, is Malia Mills' Starlet (Jen has it in 3 colors and it's her favorite all-around bathing suit). The deep V neck draws attention and is flattering on all cup sizes (be sure to buy the one that is right for you). The tie can be worn in the front or the back - and you can use it to create more bust support if you are larger chested or just want a little lift.

In the middle is the Tiona maillot. It's great if you are an A/B/C bra cup, maybe a D. We love this sophisticated navy color and there are a few other good ones to choose from on the Malia Mills site.

At right, another favorite is the Valencia. It looks like a bikini in the back and like a one piece in the front. The deep V neck draws attention like the Starlet and it de-emphasizes the stomach area. It's a perfect example of the Malia Mills' vibe that we like so much: sexy without going overboard.

If a bikini is more your style, Malia Mills offers many options for tops and bottoms (sold separately), many of which you can mix and match. At left, the Damita top (cute with the cut out) paired with the It's a Cinch bottom. We LOVE the gorgeous "la vie en rose" pink color. At right, the Juliette top (a classic style) with the Calendar bottom (the Calendar is a great choice if your waist is your most narrow feature).

A few more suits we love from various designers: at left, the G. Label one-shoulder one piece in a beautiful navy (also better for A/B/C cups); at center, the Anemos strapless one-piece (no tan lines!) in a gorgeous green; at right, the G. Label scoop neck maillot is super low cut in the front and very pretty.

And last but not least, this maillot by Haight. We profiled it last year and it's back again. A classic, it will never go out of style. The very deep V in the back is a pretty detail. This works for A/B/C/D/DD cups.

Next up: cover ups! Follow Ellevated on Instagram to see Jen's picks posted there (and in the Ellevated shop) next week.