How I became a bathing beauty

When I was a girl, I loved to go to the movies and watch the ultimate human mermaid: Esther Williams.

Esther had it all – beauty, athleticism and a pinup-worthy body. She could act – and she could even swim while wearing silver lame and sequins! She wore the most fabulous swimming costumes ever created while she swam, made daring dives, and kicked up her heels in MGM’s famous water spectaculars.

Growing up with America’s greatest bathing beauty inspired me to wear pretty swimsuits. Now that I’m living the Florida resort life, I have more chances than ever to show off my swimwear collection from Anthony’s.

Like Esther, I like to keep my suits ladylike, and I like the retro look that shows off the curves.

Anthony’s boutiques in Florida have a great collection of swim separates that help me channel my inner Esther. Separates from Beach House and Caribbean Joe can be mixed and matched – one day, I’ll wear a swim short with my halter tankini. The next day, I’ll wear a swim skirt with my tiered tankini.

Anthony’s tankini tops are Williams-worthy with lots of feminine details, like criss-cross twists of fabric at the bodice, empire waists and color-block straps. Esther wore lots of halter tops to show off her swimmer shoulders – that’s why some Beach House tankinis cut in to show off your shoulders.

I’m not big for synchronized swimming, but I am a big fan of stylish swimming…and it’s all because of America’s “Million Dollar Mermaid,” Esther Williams.

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Love a dive down memory lane?

Val’s tip of the week: Take a trip to Cypress Gardens

Esther Williams helped make the classic Florida tourist attraction Cypress Gardens into a popular destination when she filmed a TV special there in the 1950s. The water spectacles are gone now, but Legoland Florida has preserved Cypress Gardens’ beautiful and historic botanical gardens. Still standing sentinel in the garden is the massive Banyan tree that was planted as a seedling in 1939.

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