Head game: Off with the beret

November 23, 1995|By Elsa Klensch | Elsa Klensch,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

I love berets and have worn them for years. This winter I want to experiment with other types of hats -- something more feminine. I can't wear anything too fussy and wonder if you can help me choose something for my conservative style. And how about a few suggestions on how to wear them?

Patricia Underwood, a New York designer who makes simply shaped but extremely feminine hats, suggests you start experimenting with a "Padre-style" hat: "It has a brim which turns up and away from the face. Also try hats with full crowns; they are as easy to wear as berets.

"Do avoid wide brims -- with your conservative style you'll be happier in small to medium sizes."

Ms. Underwood suggests finding a full-length mirror when trying on a hat to get a complete view of your silhouette. "Then you can try the hat at different angles to familiarize yourself with the different ways you can wear it."

Although my boyfriend is a conservative dresser, he just freaks out over leather jackets. He must have six or seven of them in brown, beige and black. We are going to Florida in the spring to celebrate his birthday. I would love to surprise him with a new jacket, something he would never in his life dream of buying. Have you any suggestions?

According to Calvin Klein, white is the way to go. He says a classic jacket in white takes on a totally new look: "It is simply the newest and the most exciting for spring. It's a natural for warm weather."

When you look for the jacket, make sure the leather is lightweight, so it will drape nicely. This is important in light colors.

You could also look for perforated leather. It comes in several light shades and is one of the cool new looks for spring.

My husband and I live in New York. He is a successful investment banker, and we entertain his clients several nights a week. I've decided to stop wearing my mink jacket and would like to find a good faux fur to replace it. I'm thinking about a neutral shade with a touch of glamour. What do you think would be appropriate?

I turned to Renate Gunthert, Munich-based designer of the Rena Lange collection who sells her clothes in many a wintry city.

"I find that lighter faux furs look best," she says.

"For a fun evening of dinner and dancing, I would get a short jacket in a neutral like gray or maybe an animal print. Either would look good over a nice wrap jersey dress or pants outfit."

If you want a warm jacket for less important affairs, Ms. Gunthert suggests "an even brighter, more amusing color in faux fur."

I am in my 60s and I need help selecting moisturizer, foundation and mascara. What do you advise?

Julia Berman of Prescriptives says to ask yourself these questions: "What type of skin do I have? How long do I want to spend on skin care and a cosmetic regimen? What do I want the end result to be?

"Then you need to think about your lifestyle: Do you work? Do you have children? Is saving time important to you? How much money do you want to spend?"

After determining these factors, Ms. Berman advises beginning with the essentials.

"You should find a cleanser for your exact skin condition. It should tone as well as cleanse the skin. Then look for a moisturizer with ingredients that help to fade age spots and exfoliate dead skin."

Ms. Berman says finding a foundation that matches the skin can be difficult. "Many women don't wear foundation because it looks unnatural. I suggest first having your skin tone identified.

For a more personalized service, Ms. Berman suggests a custom-blended foundation. "The foundation is usually made in front of you and is your very own formula and match. Special ingredients can be added to make it more oil-controlling or moisture-rich.

"Once your color family has been determined, you will be able to choose color options for lips, cheeks and eyes. As for mascara, you should look for one that will lengthen and thicken lashes. It should also provide protection from the elements that can damage and dry out lashes."

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