Even for women who adore shopping, looking for bathing suits is the worst kind of shopping.
Just trying to figure out what a suit is going to look like on your body from its appearance drooping on a hanger is the job for a mind reader. The average number of suits a woman takes into a dressing room is twenty, and she’s going to be there for one to two hours trying to figure out which one shows the least amount of her flaws. The most anyone has tried on at Paradis du Maillot is 121 suits!
Milad Hodhod, owner of Paradis du Maillot, really surprised me when he mentioned, “ Sixty percent of bathing suits never even get wet.” In fact there are entire lines of suits that are made for show – they have piles of bling, impractical fabrics for water and all kinds of fancy trimmings.
The bathing suit manufacturers have really gone madly out in all directions to help us find something that pleases. There are niche suits for every type of figure imaginable. Starting with women who are thin and flat-chested, there are suits with padded bras or gel enhancers (which feel more like breasts). At the other end of the spectrum are the women who have had implants and want to show them off, so there are tops that are cut provocatively for them.
The best news in the industry, though, is the great concept of mix and match pieces – just like casual clothing. No longer are you stuck buying a two piece in one size. Not only can you buy a top of one size and a bottom of another, you can even choose different kinds of tops and bottoms in co-ordinating colors to suit your body shape. You can buy a teensy bikini top for your trip to the Riviera and then a tank top for sitting on the pool deck with your in-laws.
Bikini Village Entrepot, 2727 Taschereau Blvd. at Marie Blvd., St. Hubert. Phone: (450) 923-1754. Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p..m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. (after Labor Day and until May: Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun 12 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Call first for instructions on how to get to this hard to find place (enter through Marie and left on boul.Grand). You will be rewarded by up to 75% off youthful styles of bathing suits for women and men (women XS-16, men S-XXL) with names you know – Seafolly, Billabong, Livia, Vitamin A, Split, Gottex, Christina, Tommy, Roxy, O’Neil. Look for special promotions of casual clothing. Right now there is a mix and match bathing suit sale going on for $1.99 top or bottom each and even 2-piece tankinis for $5.95 www.bikinivillage.com
Paradis du Maillot, 9800 St. Laurent Blvd at Sauve St. Phone: (514) 389-2032. Hours: Monday to Wednesday 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday 9.30 a.m. to 9 p.m,. Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is bathing suit heaven – a one stop shop for the whole family, with amazing prices. Since it is so large – 12,000 sq. ft. – they can fill it to the rafters with thousands of suits, with walls full of mix and match tops and bottoms. When you are ready to buy, you can select twenty or so, go in to their spacious, air-vented, large-mirrored try-on rooms and find one that fits your body. Suits from all over the world – Brazil, South Africa, Columbia, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, U.S., Spain, Germany, France and the Mid-East – are there for all body types. Men will see their favorite board suits, but the newer trend is the shorter leg (think boxer brief length) volley suit.