Sexy/Sweet Custom-Made Swimsuits

It's the bolts (and bolts and bolts) of bright fabric that first catch the eye when you're passing the Palmela G. store on West Third near The Grove. Because whether you can sew or if you've ever threaded a needle, you love fabrics. The touching. The looking. The thinking of things that could be created.

And the fabrics inside this one-of-a-kind shop are special indeed: they're water-ready. And they're ready to be turned into swimsuits, which is what designer Palmela G. does. Wee ruffles and shimmery metallics and bright stars and rainbows and solids galore; there are well over a hundred to choose from.

Reason we're liking this, and the reason pretty much anybody who has ever worn a swimsuit has got to like it: Very often you find a style you like, but the fabric? Hmm. You can deal with it. You won't rave about it, but the cut is right, so...whatever. You'll like it, but won't love.

You, swimsuit wearer, are at the helm here; Palmela will help you pick out your fabric and style (she said Brazilians have been very popular as of late). Then she takes your measurements and gets to making it.

There's no web site for the store -- Palmela says she'd rather work with people in person instead via the web -- plus it is hard to get true measurements that way, says she -- but the address is 7922 W. Third; phone 323-951-0033. She's open every day but Monday.

Our purchase: one of her Esther Williams-esque swim caps, bedecked with popped-up flowers. It's retro and pert and very photographable, but it should also help us not have crazy-dry-straw hair come the close of summer.

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