I absolutly loathe it - my goal in life is to find a comfortable, modest, yet nice-looking, bathing suit that will actually stay where it's supposed to when you jump into a pool. So far that holy grail of bathing suits has eluded me, but I found this news article that gives me hope...this might just be the solution!
Sink or swim
Calgary custom swimwear maker lessens the horror of bathing suit shopping
Shopping for a bathing suit has always been a special kind of hell, real or imagined, for most women.
Every woman -- unless you're a supermodel and, let's face it, even they have issues with their thighs, tummies and butts too -- hates shoehorning herself into an itsy, bitsy and then checking herself out in a teeny, weeny dressing room lit with hideously unflattering fluorescent lights.
Worse than the realization you will have to actually wear the offending item in public, finding a great swimsuit that fits well all over and is flattering seems like mission impossible. And with many of us fleeing the frozen north for sunny destinations such as Mexico and Hawaii in the next few months, the pressure is on.
That's where Calgarian Chelsea LaBossiere can help.
Inside her basement suite in northeast Calgary, the seamstress lessens the loathing of Lycra. While she can't do anything about stretch marks or cellulite, LaBossiere, who makes custom-made swimsuits, eases the pain of buying a bathing suit. "That's a big thing for me -- making people comfortable," says the 32-year-old small business owner.
LaBossiere's company, Caba Fashions, has been in Calgary since 2003, when she bought it from her former employer in Grand Forks, B.C.
With LaBossiere's help, customers first pick out a bunch of bathing suits to try on from her sample rack that contains more than 60 suits. Mixing and matching is strongly encouraged. She can whip up every kind of swimwear, from tankinis, triangle suits, halter tops and bandeaus, to boy shorts, string bikinis, sports suits or lounging-by-the-pool confections.
Customers can also bring in magazine pictures of their favourite suit for LaBossiere to work from.
Need more coverage on the bottom, but like a higher cut at the thigh to lengthen the legs? LaBossiere can do it. She has about 100 different patterns and stitches together the suits on her four commercial sewing machines inside her sewing room.
Once a style has been chosen, LaBossiere pulls out her swatch binder and customers flip through dozens of different fabrics, all of which she has on hand.
She has seen every kind of suit on every kind of body and that experience helps her counsel customers on the best style and fit for their bodies.
"I am honest with people," she says.
She's honest, but gentle in her appraisal of what looks good. (To be honest, it felt a little like therapy, a bathing suit breakthrough, of sorts for this reporter who sampled LaBossiere's wares. And the resulting swimsuit turned out great.)
LaBossiere's mantra: Make her customers feel a little more confident and happy in their suits, as best she can.
"It's the smallest piece of clothing you will wear in public. It's important to feel comfortable in it. . . . It's like going outside in your underwear," she says.
The average custom-made suit costs $60, but prices range from $42 to $80. Don't, however, expect instant gratification.
Sewing is LaBossiere's passion, but it's also her night job. She works full time as an advertising assistant Monday to Friday and fits sewing in on evenings and weekends.
Depending on how busy she is, LaBossiere takes two to three weeks to make suits. (She also sews gymnastics and skating wear.) It only takes her an hour to actually make a swimsuit, but she often has a backlog of orders.
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