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Do I look fat in this?

Even the most die-hard shopaholic acknowledges there's one exception to her usually unfaltering love of retail therapy.

Swimsuit shopping.

It's probably one of the worst experiences ever, yet a necessary evil if you want to immerse yourself in the world of bad tan lines and body insecurities.

The drill usually goes something like this: You find the ideal bikini, only to learn that just 50 percent of it fits correctly. Then you're faced with a dilemma — buy half of it, and hope you'll find something that remotely matches in the future, or ditch the entire ensemble knowing that you'll settle for second best.

Those are the risks I'll take when I hit three local hot spots in search of the perfect swimsuit this weekend.

I'll start my quest at the relatively new T.J. Maxx (5550 Whittlesey Blvd., Suite 700). It'll be my first time in the store, and I'll use it as the starting point to find something that's pink, but doesn't quite scream Paris Hilton in the Hamptons.

My second stop? Pacific Sunwear in Peachtree Mall. They always have tons of Roxy suits, which make me feel like a total surfer even though I can barely doggie paddle.

Finally, I'll end the adventure by browsing at Target (1591 Bradley Park Drive). Here, you can expect a pretty big selection at relatively affordable prices.

Of course, there's a 90 percent chance I'll come home with nothing, so look forward to a second installment next Friday.

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