Off-the-wall shopping is best for summer clothes
Summer clothes, like summer days, should be careless and carefree. Seeking out the fun stuff is off-the-wall shopping at it's best. Think low cost and short term, and save investment dressing for winter basics. Keep your eyes open at one-price stores, discount malls, and street stalls.
* For openers, don't buy summer things that say "dry clean only." If it can't be tossed in the washer and dryer, it's no bargain.
* The summer fashion climate allows for a little more silliness. If you must have one hot fashion item, such as a ruffled rumba skirt, shop the junior department where prices are lower but the clothes reflect the latest fads.
* A T-shirt is a T-shirt. Look for the basics at a better price in the boy's and men's departments.
* Plastic has its place. Orange jelly sandals or a molded tote can make a fashion statement.
* Any inexpensive straw hat can be dressed up or down. Tied with a bandanna, it looks down-home; a striped silk scarf makes it downtown.
* Street vendors are a great source for clunky brass and wooden bangles. Buy them and wear them in bunches.
* Great color stands on its own. Fancy details and subtle construction add cost to clothing. An inexpensive bright tank top can stretch the look of summer separates.
D8 Start looking now, summer is just around the corner.
A STEP FOR WOMANKIND
White shoes are in again. Some fashion renegades may even wear them before Memorial Day. The problem with light shoes is the dark scuff marks they pick up from from rubber car mats and pedals. Kiwi Brands has introduced the "Scuff Zapper," a product that removes scuff marks instead of covering them. Since it's a clear liquid there's no need to match shoe color, and it works instantly. While it is tough enough to remove stubborn marks, it will not damage leather. It's available at Safeway stores and shoe repair outlets at $3.49.
A SHORT EXPERIMENT
Who likes short shorts? Designers do. April Allure features an eight-page photo spread of this year's version of '60s hot pants.
Designers make them very short and very tight. Some are also very dressy, such as sequined chiffon by Isaac Mizrahi and coral-beaded by Gianni Versace. Tiny denim shorts are featured under a hot pink jacket by Emporio Armani.
Don't you own an old pair of jeans that are snug in the seat but don't hang quite right in the leg? Cut them to shorts length. Higher. More. Machine hem them and give it the mirror test. Allure says the shorter the shorts the longer the legs appear. You be the judge. All you've lost are your least favorite jeans.