Top Spots to Bikini Shop
With beautiful bodies, hot temperatures, and the best beaches, it should be no surprise that Miami is home to the swimwear fashion event of the year- Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. From July 15 through July 19 there will be VIP parties, new designers that showcase their first collections, and eager buyers and editors attending as many shows as they can. Although we can’t immediately buy the swim designs for 2011 that parade down the runway, we can go shopping in a town that offers up the best bikini shopping in the country. I scoured everything from the tacky swimwear shops to the sophisticated boutiques so you don’t have to. Here are my top picks:
In Miami the Couture Comes to You
Gloria del Rio – 17th & Collins Ave. You don’t go to Gloria, Gloria comes to you. This Brazilian designer strolls along the beach with her fabric swatches, samples, and available bikinis. Her swimsuits have been featured in magazines like SELF, Glamour, and Elle, but she’s more excited to show you her latest designs than her tear sheets. Technically you’re getting a couture bikini since you choose the fabric and colors, and she’ll make one in your size. Her top sellers are a neon reversible bandeau top with matching bottom, (which I snatched up for $100), and Missoni inspired pieces. Insider tip: She’ll wait for you to get cash, and the Delano bathroom doubles as a fitting room.
If You Can Only Go to One Store
Ondade Mar - 231 Eighth St. A favorite among South Americans, the Columbian designed bikinis are so stunning you should just bring $200 so you’ll have enough for one, and leave your credit card at home. One step into the store will make you want to overhaul your bikini wardrobe. On my last visit even though the aqua ruffle bikini was my top pick ($158), I tried to justify buying at least two more. I wanted the beautiful peacock print bikini awash in rich purples, greens, and yellows that was nothing short of a work of art. And isn’t a girl supposed to have at least one dressy, elegant bikini for those black tie swim occasions that only happen in Miami? Since you can’t play volleyball on 8th and Ocean Drive in a strapless number, investing in at least one triangle top, gypsy print bikini is surely a no-brainer.
If you get carried away (and you will), know that you can score something on sale for around $100. If you have any money left, flowy cover-ups are a great deal at $50-$130. Pick up a stylish beach hat and sandals if you want to be head to toe OndadeMar. And who wouldn’t? Insider tip: Part of the reason you look perfect in everything is the flattering light and slenderizing dressing room mirror. *Editors Best Pick
Head to Toe Glam on the Double
Passion Swimwear - 105 Lincoln Rd. If you arrive in Miami sans luggage and need a head-to-toe beach chic look ASAP, head for Passion Swimwear tucked away under the Ritz Carlton. You’ll be impressed with their tightly edited collection featuring designers like Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci, and Delfina. Swimsuits range from $150-$600. For those of you who aren’t daring enough for the Brazilian bottom, but still want something sultry, you can find bottoms like no other that lie somewhere between a Brazilian and American cut. If you have serious money to spend, the salesgirl will wait on you Pretty Woman style, and send you off in fifteen minutes in a killer bikini, a $1000 beaded cover-up, Swarovski studded sandals, and a hand woven straw beach bag. You’ll look so fabulous that lounging on anything short of a 100 foot yacht would be a travesty.
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