Old alligator still carries a bite

November 16, 1995|By ELSA KLENSCH | ELSA KLENSCH,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

In 1953 I bought an alligator bag and matching shoes in New Orleans. Although they are beautiful and unusual, I no longer wear them. I hear that alligator accessories such as these are sold in antique clothing stores for quite a lot of money. Is this true?

Yes, alligator bags and shoes are sold in many antique markets. To get the scoop for you I asked Terin Fischer of Out of Our Closet, a New York City store that sells used designer clothing.

She says that while alligator pieces are popular, not every item commands a high price.

"The price for a bag depends on the manufacturer or designer, its age, its quality and its handle -- particularly the quality of the handle. Some bags sell for several hundred dollars while the really good ones fetch more than a thousand."

As for alligator shoes, Fischer says, basic styles are more valuable and sell more quickly.

"If they are too dated, they are hard to sell. But a great skin shoe or pump with a standard heel can sell for hundreds of dollars."

Fischer says appearance is crucial. So if you plan to sell your bag and shoes, clean them thoroughly with a liquid or cream polish.

"And while you are at it, dust off any alligator belts that are in your attic. They are really hot these days. I sell them the moment I hang them in the store."

I have great legs and have always enjoyed wearing short-shorts. Now I'm getting older, and I'm developing tiny broken veins in my legs.

I've heard about creams that you can use to hide veins. Do you know what they are?

The only products I can suggest would be makeup concealers or self-tanning creams. The self-tanning creams would be more practical as they darken the skin at least for a few days. I suggest you experiment to see if one would work for you.

Also available are medical treatments for veins such as yours. I went to Dr. Luis Navarro, head physician at New York's Vein Treatment Center, for advice.

He says the procedures are non-surgical and work well for a range of problems from "spider veins" up to relatively big veins.

He cautions that you should consult your own physician before beginning treatments.

I inherited both my father's bow legs and his pigeon toes. I wear straight-legged pants and jeans most of the time to hide my

legs, but am at a loss as to what shoes I should choose. And can I ever wear boots?

Shoes with boxy or square toes are your best bet as they will help disguise your pigeon toes. Pointed or even rounded toes will draw attention to them. As for boots, consider ankle boots first. With the right toes they could look great. Tuck your pants into them.

If you want something higher, look for a loose-fitting pair, preferably with the matte finish of suede. They could look great with a full mid-calf skirt.

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