Tanks for the Memory

Do you love your gym outfit so much that you wish you could swim in it? Well, now you can--or at least you can wear a bathing suit that looks just like the outfit you wear to aerobics class. This modest two-piece suit--with the midriff tank for a top, and a high-waisted brief for a bottom, is the hottest thing at the beach.

"This look is great for the active person," says Helmut Behensky, owner of the Bea Dyke swimwear stores in Northridge, Encino and Woodland Hills. "After you swim in it, you can go play volleyball in it."

Tanya Vasic, manager of Simply Italian Retailers Inc. in Sherman Oaks, agrees. "It's more modest than a bikini. You wear it with a pair of shorts, then go walk down the street."

"At first, people laughed at the idea of a bathing suit that looked like gym wear," said Behensky. "But now it's really catching on."

Behensky thinks the suit is perfect for big-busted women. "It accommodates them. It holds them together. They don't fall out all over the place--like they do in those bandeau-type tops," he says.

This suit is also right if you have problems with other areas of your figure. You can mix and match different tops with different bottoms. "If you feel your hips are too large, you can buy a printed top and a black bottom. Then the attention is drawn to the top," says Behensky. The key is the color. "Black forgives all sins," says Behensky. "We've been selling a good amount of size 14, high-waisted bottoms--in black."

Despite the fact that the suits are selling well at her store, Vasic doubts if she'd ever get suited up in one herself.

"I'm from Europe. I love the sun," she says. "So when I go to the beach, I like to expose my skin as much as possible." Besides, she says: "I believe the woman is built in such a way that she looks better in a skimpier suit."

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