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Swim Spot
Black two-piece by Hurley, maillot and separates by Athena

We strode to the counter in Santa Monica?s new Swim Spot store and laid it all on the line: We need a swimsuit that makes our bust bigger, our belly flatter and our legs longer. En garde!

We?d heard Swim Spot was that unicorn of retail: a shop where helpful staff and a well-edited selection of suits, cover-ups and accessories makes buying a flattering swimsuit a snap. Our knowledgeable sales associate set our mind at ease when she suggested a lightly padded underwire top (for cleavage) and a medium-wide bikini bottom (to lengthen our legs).

We stepped into the dressing room with a black Hurley bikini ($35 top, $31 bottom) with artful coverage (and padding) and a supersoft Ella Moss one-piece ($87) with gentle shirring to hide bulges. For days when we just can?t be bothered to hold in our abs, we tried on a few rash guards, like the $37 basic black one from Next. (Tip: Buy them one size larger for comfort.)

For sporty beach fun, we browsed a collection of board shorts; imagining glam après swim, we snapped up a Grecian-style white lace tunic from Athena ($89). After visiting Swim Spot, our vacation packing is looking a lot brighter.

Swim Spot, 395 Santa Monica Pl., Santa Monica; 310-395-5600 or

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