Fashion: Suiting Up

Bathing suits, like ground hogs, are harbingers of a sort. Flung into department store show windows in the gusty middle of March, they hold the promise of summer in every synthetic strand; mannequins plant tanned plastic legs in the cardboard surf, shading their painted eyes against a light bulb of a sun, and even the earliest shopper sniffs about anxiously for a hint of sea smell in the icy air. But by April's end, summer seems only split seconds away; across the U.S. last week, bathing suit sales began to show something...

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