By Danna Thompson

The weather is warming up and summer vacation is almost here, which means it’s time to try on last year’s suit and decide if it will make an appearance this year. If your red bikini is now some shade of pink or those bottoms seem to have shrunk since last year (even after all those squats), and you’re headed out to shop swimwear-Atlanta Beach in the heart of Buckhead has you covered.

Patricia Schaefer (also known as Pat) and Ron Kogod, co-owners of Atlanta Beach, have been suiting up area shoppers for 26 years so they know a thing or two about fashion swimwear. In fact, she’s made it a priority since they opened the doors to shop all over the world for what the boutique offers each season. When Atlanta Beach first opened in the 80’s they were the only store in the country carrying separates, Pat recalls, “The only person I could find to make separates was a woman in California making them in her garage. In those days Brazilian swimwear had to be smuggled in and bought out of the trunk of a car!”

Today the shop carries a range of designers and the price points start at $99 and go as high as $750. Eres is a line from Paris made of French lycra and will set you back anywhere from $550-$700. Pat says a favorite among her Atlanta customers is a skirted swimwear bottom, comparable to a tennis skirt, and is popular among women from ages 15 to 60, varying in style and coverage.

After so many years of dominating the niche market in Atlanta swimwear, she knows what styles her customers are seeking each season. One style she chuckles about not endorsing is the “Burkini” (as in burkha), which covers from the top a woman’s head to the toes.

New to Atlanta Beach, and swimwear fashion this year is SPANX Slimming Swimwear. This month, Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX and leader of a shapewear revolution visited Atlanta Beach to celebrate the new line and provide styling tips. Blakely resides in Atlanta and New York, and Atlanta Beach is the only local boutique carrying her line.

“I grew up in Clearwater, Florida, with a drawer full of swimsuits that all seemed to squeeze and pinch in all the wrong places,” said SPANX founder Sara Blakely. “And, when I heard that we were getting calls and e-mails from women asking if they can wear SPANX under their swimsuits, the visual of those tan lines was something I couldn’t bear!”

The cuts are very feminine and flirty, coming in a variety of styles and colors while the design slims and trims in all the right places. Prices for the new SPANX line start at $58 for bottoms, going up to $198 for a one piece.

Look for some the latest fashion cover-ups and accessories, such as Swamisz footwear, Tommy Bahama and L Space. The staff at Atlanta Beach is trained on a continual basis to offer their customers the utmost service and fashion advice.

Upcoming Specials & Deals at Local Boutiques

  • Thursday Night Party at Shops Around Lenox: Outdoor fun with food, drinks and live music, May 20.
  • Complimentary Yoga every Saturday at lululemon Athletica in Buckhead, May 22. www.lululemon.com
  • Drea’s reTreat at Paisley Umbrella in Buckhead: Sparkling wine, chocolate and jewelry from Drea James designs from 5:30-7:30 p.m., May 23. www.paisleyumbrella.com
  • Squash Blossom Boutique Trunk Show: Local jewelry designer Heather Haase for the Decatur Arts Festival, May 29-30. www.squashblossomboutique.com
  • Sex in the City Sales Event at Poor Little Rich Girl during the month of May in College Park. www.plrgvintage.com
  • Evolve Signature Butterfly Tank Discount: 20% off Evolve signature tank when you mention “Boutique Beat” during month of May.www.evolve-boutique.com
  • Summer Camp at BethAnn: Personalized style, makeup and wardrobe camp for girls ages 12-18 July through August. Call to schedule, (404) 233-4424. www.bethannstyle.com

Danna Thompson is the founder of AtlantaBoutiques.com, which provides shoppers, fashionistas, and trendsetters with up-to-date information on Atlanta Boutiques. We cover shop events, promotions and profile area boutiques. Contact Thompson at danna@atlantaboutiques.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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