Style : Fashion : Summer's Strong Suit

Shades of Betty Grable. The revival of the curvy, constructed swimsuit began last year, when the Israeli company Gottex introduced a flattering, highly structured, bust-enhancing maillot in every color imaginable, including metallic gold. This summer, the movement is gathering steam, and both Gottex and other swimwear makers are offering numerous one- and two-piece versions of the well-upholstered suit.

What's sexy about these suits is part smoke screen and part taking advantage of the anatomy with tailoring that would make Madonna proud. Some are padded, pleated or draped; some make the figure look like a million bucks using nothing more than a bit of wire and intricate seaming. And they're all a far cry from the show-everything Brazilian thongs and the postage-stamp-and-dental-floss suits that, incidentally, are still out there on the most dedicated tanners.

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