It’s time for that annual event you may very well dread…bathing suit shopping. And while you may have a suit or two that can hang in for another summer of pools, lakes, sprinklers and water slides, it really is time to find a suit you love and feel good in. Head on over to Popina, which boasts a tiki bar and a play area, and we guarantee that you’ll be delightfully rewarded for your efforts.

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Sink or Swim
With two locations, one in the Pearl and a new 2000-square-foot boutique in Hollywood, Popina really can deliver the swimsuit of your dreams. The staff would love to help you find just the right style to make you feel sassy and classy, or if you simply need something your little polliwogs can’t stretch out when they hang all over you this summer – it’s here. They most assuredly have a suit for that.

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Be in the Swim of Things
Popina is likely on your radar because of Pamela, one half of the owners.  She and her hubby Will have been running the place since 2006, and Pamela is design maven of their amazing vintage styles. She now has her studio (complete with windows) in their Hollywood store. You can watch her design – and her employees sew their marvelous creations – while you shop. Only in Portland! Popina also carries styles from well-known brands like Tommy Bahama and Jantzen among others.

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Make Your Head Swim
Now for THE best news to share in years: while you’re shopping Popina you can grab a complimentary beer or glass of wine at the bar. Yes, you read that right. There is a tiki bar in the middle of the store. They serve Kona brews or a nice cold glass of white wine. If you choose to sit at the bar, perhaps to collect yourself as you gather the muster for the bathing suit battle ahead, take some time to watch the fish swimming around in their tank. You’ll feel better in moments.  And hey, you really can take the edge off – or drink a toast to yourself for getting this must-do – done! Popina’s motto is: Your vacation starts here. Perhaps they’re right.

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Shop with Your Fishes
Rounding out the awesomeness of how intuitive this couple is in making bathing suit shopping a low stress affair – they have play areas in their stores. Compete with LEGO bricks, train tracks and trains, there is space for the wee ones to hang while you get down to business in the dressing room. Best of all, there is a TV in the play area! You can bring their fave DVD and throw it in whilst you shop and sip. Your tadpoles will be so content you can browse every single rack at your leisure; checking out the cover-ups, flops, sunscreen, and vintage bathing caps. Who knew bathing suit shopping could be so enjoyable?

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Swim with the Tide
Popina sells all the gear mentioned above, plus suits for men and kids, rash guards, a few pool toys and floaties, and they throw in your momentary tiki bar oasis for free. Popina also features a website that’s shop-worthy for anyone who prefers to buy online or for any pals who love vintage suits but live out of town.

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Popina Pearl
318 NW 11th Ave
Portland, Or
503-243-SWIM (7946)

Popina East
2030 NE 42nd
Portland, OR

Where will you be doing your summer suit shopping?

–Liz Overson

Thanks for the photos Popina!