Laurel Zapke stalks a wild bikini along West 4th Avenue, Vancouver’s one-stop-shopping swimsuit street.
SAVE TIME | I’m just in from Cancun. I went there on “spring break” in December like so many of us timesharing fools do before our week expires. Get ready for your own upcoming tropical adventure with our one-stop-shopping swimwear primer: Kitsilano’s West 4th Avenue is swimsuit alley, featuring swimwear shops from Burrard to Blenheim.
SPLURGE WORTHY SUITS
Bodysurfing Babes will love Australia’s SeaFolly line. I put my feminine, ruffle-trimmed bikini through mild bodysurfing waves and the fabric stayed in place (stayed in place when dry, too), making my SeaFolly my favourite suit. The price will get your attention— prices begin at $125–230 for a two-piece—but the fit will justify the expense. Splash is the spot for specialty suits; plan to spend time trying on several as the selection is overwhelming, but the sales staff is helpful. Splash Swim and Cruise, 2950 West 4th Avenue, 604-736-8868.
Couture-Lovers should head to Forbie Canada for custom-fit swimwear in a wide variety of styles to fit many body types. Pick your style, choose your fabric, and your swimwear is custom made for you right in Kitsilano. Prices start at $65 for a two-piece swim suit; $45 and up for a one-piece. In a hurry? For an extra $10, your order will be ready in about an hour. Nahid, the shopkeeper, makes beautiful cover-ups too. Forbie Canada, 2678 West 4th Avenue, 604-731-4242, www.4B.ca.
Sexy Sirens should visit Swim Co. to dive into a saucy selection of two-pieces from an array of designers, including SeaFolly (see Bodysurfing, above). Some are even reversible. Prices begin at $85 for tops and $72 for bottoms, with the affordable Hula Honey starting at $37 per piece. There is a large selection of one-pieces from Miracle Suit ($170 – $190), along with several other lines, including Roxy. Yummy mummies will appreciate a large selection of children’s swimwear. Swim Co., 2166 West 4th Avenue, 604-732-7946. www.swimco.com
BEST ON A BUDGET
Frugalistas can play splash for less cash at La Vie En Rose Aqua. Regular prices start at $34 for tops; $24 for bottoms. The store also always has a sales rack with up to 50 percent off, and frequently has a rack of suits for $14.99. La Vie En Rose Aqua, 2127 West 4th Avenue, 778-328-9840. For other locations, visit www.lavieenrose.com.
Glamourpusses wanting a retro two-piece need venture no farther than American Apparel for that pin-up-girl look. Ruffled bottoms begin at $30, with ruffled tops starting at $34. Available in black and ivory. American Apparel, 2242 West 4th Avenue, 604-733-7050. For other locations, visit store.americanapparel.ca.
Photo: Jess Hart for SeaFolly