Buying swimsuits in a country where they're useless for 10 months.
July 12, 2011 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Canadian-stores-suck filter: Looking for a cute and yet athletic tankini-style swimsuit. Problem? I'm super picky and I need to try it on.

I'm in Toronto and I'm desperate. I need a swimsuit made for swimming. I'd like it to be a tankini (a two piece which covers my stomach) because I have a very long torso so one-pieces look stupid and hurt like hell. I'm fairly average sized otherwise, so I don't need a big cup size (generally I'm between a B and a C), but I'd like something that keeps the ladies in check without squishing them down. Underwire would be awesome.

I love the offerings from Athleta, particularly this one and this one, and Title Nine, this one.

Both of these stores ship to Canada, but I have terrible luck with swimsuits -- I really do need to try things on, and I don't have long enough (or enough money...) to order one, try it on, send it back, get a new one, etc. At this point, honestly, anything sub-$175 would be looked at.

So, Mefites: swimsuit store / swimsuit brand in or around Toronto with cute, swimmable suits (bonus points for one so comfy and supportive that I can paddle in it, too). And if Title Nine or Athleta are carried in some store here, even better!
posted by AmandaA to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried the Bay, Winners and Sports Experts? I am often surprised at the good selection of bathing suits there. There are also a number of brands who make bathing suits for long torsos, and they are indeed long because I occasionally try one on by mistake.
posted by jeather at 8:38 AM on July 12, 2011 has several tankini swimsuits. I realize you said you don't have the money/time to order one at a time, send them back, but they have a couple for around $10/ piece, and free shipping both ways, so it might be worth looking - you could order a couple suits in a couple sizes to try without spending much.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:40 AM on July 12, 2011

Maybe Mountain Equipment Coop? In Toronto, it's located at 400 King Street West, Tel: 416.340.2667
posted by easilyconfused at 8:43 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Zappos has expanded to carrying clothing, including swimwear. If you order before 1 p.m. Pacific on a business day, you'll get the suits the next day, and return shipping is free. They don't have the brands you've specified, but if nothing bricks and mortar works out, they might be a workable alternative.
posted by gladly at 9:11 AM on July 12, 2011

Apologies, I didn't realize that was for U.S. addresses only!
posted by gladly at 9:14 AM on July 12, 2011

This does not directly answer your immediate question since you say you do not have time for mail order, but I just found this site via Pinterest and they do have some brick and mortar stores (including three in Alberta, but none in Toronto), and it might be useful to bookmark for future swimsuits. I myself prefer my swimsuits pretty functional but still cute, and I wish I'd seen this before I did all my swimsuit buying for the year. I am posting it here for your future reference and for other people who find this question while searching Ask.

Lime Ricki

I love the boy shorts that aren't "up the butt shorts".
posted by padraigin at 9:18 AM on July 12, 2011

do you have a credit card you could use to order several sizes of the athleta or title 9 suits you like, and just send back the ones that don't work? initial outlay will be greater, but they would refund after they get the others back.

i would double check return policies on swimsuits but i do this all the time for swimsuits or clothing since i live in a small town with few options.

another line that is found in stores, atleast in the US, that had some nice suits this season that fit your requirements is PUMA. You might check there website for stores that carry them.
posted by domino at 9:24 AM on July 12, 2011

One of the many Bikini Village locations would be worth a try -- they carry a handful of performance-oriented brands (TYR, Speedo) so they'll probably have at least a small selection of good-for-swimming tankinis.
posted by thisjax at 10:11 AM on July 12, 2011

Have you checked American Apparel? I live a hundred feet from their 17th Ave (Calgary) location and am pretty sure that tankinis (and other stuff, including their spin on "Stampede wear") are in their display windows as I type this.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:34 AM on July 12, 2011

I would hit Sporting Life (they have 4 or 5 locations around the GTA and sell online) -- this one looks like it might work and this one isn't bad either.
posted by kate blank at 10:34 AM on July 12, 2011

There's also Seychelles Swimwear in the Beaches, which doesn't have a whole lot of stock online but seems to have a really big selection in-store.
posted by kate blank at 10:42 AM on July 12, 2011

I also wanted to suggest Seychelles Swimwear - I walked past them a week ago, thinking, "How does a bathing suit store this big stay in business in Toronto?" and then I realized it's because they are fantastic at what they do. They also have those really cute swim caps with flowers on them, and I want one very much.

That said, I'm a huge fan of Land's End bathing suits. Mine fit well, have lasted for years, and they have a wide variety of styles and colours and they used to have a virtual model system that was so great. Their size charts are accurate, and the online reviews also help. At any rate, all of their suits are on sale now (and you can pretty much always find an online discount code), and they are often available at Sears stores (some have a bigger selection than others) for trying on too. Their customer reps will also chat with you and help you get the right thing. I've had only good experiences with them.
posted by peagood at 11:03 AM on July 12, 2011

Mountain Equipment Co-op has two very reasonably priced and nice-looking tankinis on their site: one and two. They have mix-and-match bottoms too: one and two. Together, the top and bottom will cost CDN $85. As easilyconfused pointed out, there is a brick-and-mortar MEC near you, so you could try them on before buying.

[If at a later date you're on less of a deadline, I highly recommend Popina Swimwear--they carry suits that closely resemble the ones you linked to in your post. Popina is in Portland, Oregon, but they do ship to Canada, and their products and customer service are excellent. A couple of years ago I ordered a tankini and skirted boyshort from them and I am very happy with the set. I used their sizing chart to order, and the suit fit exactly as promised.]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:41 PM on July 12, 2011

Sears in the Eaton's center had a surprisingly large selection last time I was there
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:32 PM on July 12, 2011

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