At this late stage of the game, you've more than likely already donned your swimsuit one or two times for trips to the river, or maybe just the neighbors' kiddie pool. But if you have somehow managed to hold off on buying a summer suit, there's an opportunity this week to do so not only at a discount, accompanied by free drinks and hors d'oeuvres, but with expert advice on finding the most flattering options from Pamela Levenson, designer of Popina Swimwear (4831 NE 42nd).
The event will feature models mingling in Popina suits (you can, of course, buy them at the event, at a handy 20 percent discount), but let's say—just for the sake of discussion—that your figure differs somewhat from that of the typical model. In order to maximize the flattery achievable through the line, which borrows influence from the '40s and '50s and updates the glamour-puss cuts with modern fabrics, Levenson will be giving an informal presentation full of tips on what to look for. For instance, common wisdom has it that for a slimming effect, one should always go straight for solid black. But Levenson says that in some instances a dark patterned suit can actually provide more flattering and effective camouflage, and notes that not everyone's skin, when showing so much of it, looks great against plain black. (I know, I was surprised, too. But apparently the very pale should only wear a black suit if they have olive undertones; red undertones against black make you look ruddy.)
Whether you care about—or need help with—masking your alleged flaws is not the entire point, of course. I know women of all sizes who have grown devoted to Popina Swimwear for virtues beyond mere flattery. The styles tend to stay true to the original vintage aesthetic without the awkward construction often found in authentic pieces from bygone eras (underwire and zippers, for example), and far from looking like something you're trying to hide in, they're dead sexy, if in a distinctly non-Bo Derek way. And finally, if you're the kind of girl who doesn't just lay on the sidelines but might want to dive off the rocks or take a cruise down the slip 'n' slide, these suits actually stay put. (Dosha, 2281 NW Glisan, Thurs, July 24, 6-8 pm, free)
Already thinking about fall? So is Souchi (807 NW 23rd), where things just got a whole lot roomier. To make room for new lines and more of the in-house Souchi line of knits, the store has about doubled in size. And while designer Suzi Johnson is known primarily for her beautiful but pricey work in cashmere, fall continues to include styles in organic and textured cotton knits that are far more wallet-friendly. My pick for fall is the line of knotted necklaces in organic cotton that add a lot of impact with little effort—perfect for easing into a higher maintenance season.