Ups and Downs Swimwear
2010 Queen East, 416-686-3997 Rating: NNNNN
For most people, buying a bathing suit is a loathsome task, but at Ups and Downs Swimwear the hardest part is picking just one. The selection is astounding, and co-owner Mary Abbinante can suggest the most flattering style for your body shape and clairvoyantly know your size, top and bottom. While realistic works in our conservative cottage settings, the shop also carries a wide variety of skimpy strings so you can skip right off the plane and onto an Ipanema beach without any maillot culture shock. From bikinis to monokinis, tankinis to bandeaus, this is the place to suit up.
Since opening five years ago, the shop has had its own ups and downs. Three years ago a fire totalled the boutique. Back on top, it's celebrating the third anniversary of its reopening today (Thursday, July 8), and business couldn't be better. Beaches too far? Selected Ups and Downs stock is available at Plusche (1281/2 Cumberland, 416-925-9561) in Yorkville. Abbinante's picks : Amarea sequined bikini, $175; a selection of button bags starting at $95; and Laura Biagiotti linen and pashmina shawl, $80.
Look for : swim- and womenswear by Roberto Cavalli, Gucci and Ferré coming this fall, and the notorious pashmina deals.
Store hours : Monday to Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 7 pm, Thursday and Friday 10 am to 9 pm.