Jewel trims add hundreds to the cost of clothes. Gowns by Bob Mackie, who decks the stars in glitter, can run as much as the price of a car.
"The trick of adding a little designer sparkle to your wardrobe is to do it yourself," says Susan Brandt, director of communications for the Craft and Hobby Information Bureau.
Faux jewels and pearls made of acrylic are remarkably inexpensive. They can be faceted or smooth, sized from discreet twinkles to Liz Taylor-size carats. Best yet, plastic gems are washable, so they can be used on practically anything.
A rainy afternoon in April could be spent looking ahead to summer and glamourizing an old pair of sunglasses. This is a case where gaudy is the best way to get the '50s retro look. A packet of 20-carat "diamonds" costs $3.99 at Frank's Nursery & Crafts. Mark out the design and start gluing with jewelry adhesive.
Why stop at sunglasses? Showgirl glitz on a bathing suit could create a really special Hollywood effect.
That personal touch
One expects to be pampered at luxury boutiques, but finding personalized service in stores that specialize in affordable clothes is a pleasant surprise.
Casual Corner stores cater to busy women on a budget, yet offer services which were once reserved for big spenders.
The stores are introducing a "5 over 4" wardrobe idea. That is, 5 tops plus 4 bottoms can be re-combined into as many as 25 outfits. Women can select from the store's inventory or bring in their lonely separates for advice in finding a match.
In addition to wardrobing advice, Casual Corner offers shopping by appointment, and there's no obligation to buy. Clothes in the right size will be pulled and be waiting to be tried. Store managers will keep files on customer style and color preferences and give advance notice of new arrivals or sale events. And a gift box is free with all purchases.
1% For details, call (800) 635-7500.
Scatter those earrings
The big, important lapel pin is passe. The newest word in bijoux is scatter pins. Time to gather up the single stud earrings scattered at the bottom of the jewelry box and put them to work. A spray of odd pearls would be great on a business suit. Gold and silver button shapes could punch up a blazer. Pick through and experiment. Chances are any mixture of earrings will work because they will be consistent with your personal style.
Saving In Style welcomes questions and suggestions. Write Vida Roberts, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.