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Buying swimsuits can be a
wonderful lesson in self-hatred, but it doesn’t need to be. I fully
believe that spending a bit more on a good swimsuit is worth it, and
that means heading to a place that specializes in all things beachy. In
the metro, that’s LA Sun & Sport (1200 N. May; 752-2627) inside
Northpark Mall.

The
shop carries a huge selection of swimsuits arranged by color, brand and
style. And although there are lots of bikinis (like one I spied
splashed with bright, bold cherries), there is a great selection of
those that offer a bit more coverage.

More
coverage doesn’t equal Victorian Lady’s Day at the Seaside. Like a
lovely one-piece in a pretty raspberry color with a flattering panel of
ruching down the front and a halter top to keep everything (ahem) in
check.

At LA Sun
& Sport, suits from Tommy Bahama are always popular, but a big
seller this season is a new line from Seafolly, a company out of
Australia (where I hear they wear nothing but swimsuits and fight
saltwater crocodiles all day). The Seafolly suits are fairly simple, but
universally flattering and really well constructed, meaning that sucker
will support the girls (again, ahem) and stay in place. Yay!

I
noticed a lot of metal accents on the swimsuits, and lots of that metal
was in a warm gold, like the Grecianesque medallions on one very pretty
turquoise suit by L*Space.

But it’s not all
swimsuits. This great shop — where the staff is trained to help fit you
in the right suit — also has a large selection of cover-ups ranging from the classic
tunic and terrycloth to dresses that can work as a cover-up (check out
the red and tan batik-print dress by Pura Vida or the camel-colored maxi
dress by Lucy Love in soft jersey).

Also head there for flip-flops, beach bags and big, floppy hats.

It
may not carry swimsuits, but Cloverleaf (2825 Wilshire; 840-5556) has
some seriously great finds for your day at the pool. I always love
trying on the sunglasses at this adorably quirky shop — they range from
classic shapes to over-the-top awesomeness (pink sparkly cat-eye
glasses, anyone?) To go over the swimsuit, check out the simple tunics
by Mud Pie and Monoreno, but honestly, lots of Cloverleaf’s easy summer
dresses could pull double duty at the pool.

There
are also terrycloth towel cover-ups by Room It Up complete with elastic
along the top and Velcro. Also check out the beach towel sets that come
with a towel tucked inside a matching terrycloth beach bag. And — this
is genius — don’t skip the lounge chair covers (in bright, fun patterns)
by Buckhead Betties.

Finally, keeping your hair in check.

Headscarves and elastic headbands at Cloverleaf will keep your pool-wet hair from getting too unruly.

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