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Telling your friends that you're going to "Undrest by the Sea in Venice" will probably have them thinking you're running off to join a crazy hippie nudist colony, but the stylish ones in the group will know that you're going to one of the cutest, girliest boutiques on Abbot Kinney. Located inside of a blindingly white house, Undrest contains the brand's signature swimwear and lingerie in addition to vintage gems, jewelry by local artists and handmade French footwear.
In fact, the first thing you'll see when you walk in is a display of delicate, beachy jewelry from local designers like Tai, Monica Rose, Christy Lea Payne and Adara. The stone earrings, braided friendship-style bracelets and French silk necklaces can keep you busy for hours while you try everything on (don't ask us how we know this, really), but then you'd miss out on all the other goodies the store has to offer. Throughout the store there are vintage Levi's cutoffs for $38, woven 80's bags that look brand new for $78 and footwear from the French company Tropezienne, a brand that has been selling handmade leather sandals since the 1920s—but this is the only place in the states where you can buy them.
Naturally, most of the racks in the store are dedicated to the swimwear and lingerie. Undrest by the Sea not only carries its own line, but it's one of the few places in LA where you can find the Cynthia Rowley for Roxy collaboration and some seriously adorable Liberty of London swimwear (no, not the Target stuff, the real thing). But Undrest is known for its knitted bikinis and Brazilian nylon swimwear with vintage trim. There's bright colors, neutral colors, polka dots, zig-zag stripes, ruffles and ribbons galore. Plus, there's a whole rack of waterleggings, which are exactly what they sound like: really cute, long swim bottoms in patterns and solids that will keep you warm in cool water but will also look good under a dress. Also, saying "waterleggings" is really fun. And as always, everything by Undrest is made right in LA with organic fabrics, striving to recycle and reuse as much as possible to keep a low carbon footprint.
But back to the dresses, there's a whole rack of coverups that could be worn without a swimsuit under them: loose cotton ones from Undrest, plus patterned silk ones by Miami designer Bianca Coletti and local designer Mixie.
As for the future, owner Maria Paz Navales divulged that she'll be getting more vintage into the store, plus more beachy brands from unique and local designers. In the fall, the store will switch from sandals to boots and possibly a few pieces designed by Maria herself. While we talked to her, she was wearing a gorgeous taupe open-crochet fisherman-style sweater that she had handmade herself and we wished we could have bought on the spot. But we settled for some earrings and saltwater taffy and left just as happy.
· Undrest [Official Site]