Cotton jacket covers cruiser perfectly

February 01, 1996|By Elsa Klensch | Elsa Klensch,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

My husband and I have been invited to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands by his most important client. They told us we'll be taking long evening cruises, and I have no idea what kind of jacket I should take. The only warm clothes I have were meant for snowy, mountain weather. What would work well and look good in the islands?

It can get a bit chilly on an evening cruise. Consider a hooded jacket in a medium weight, perhaps a cotton jersey anorak in a flat knit that would be soft but thick enough to protect you from the wind. Designer Eileen Fisher agrees that quilted cotton is an important fabric this year.

"It offers comfort that is warm and incredibly cozy. I love the rich, soft texture of this woven cotton and its casual, easy look."

Natural fibers such as linen and cotton are good for the tropics because they breathe so well. Cotton is the easiest to maintain. In my book "Style" (Berkley/Perigee, $14) I recommend cotton for warm-weather travel because you can hang it up at night to dry and it will be ready the next day.

Look for a simple design. White is always right for the islands, and it will go with every color. You can pull up the hood to cover wind-blown hair. A jacket with a drawstring at the waist can give you even more wind protection and add a bit of shape.

Have a lovely trip.

Although I'm only 18, I have been drawing fashion illustrations for years, and I know I'm good enough to make it in the fashion industry. I desperately want to be an illustrator but nearly everyone in my small Minnesota town thinks I'm only fooling myself and can never make it. Should I listen to them?

Joe Eula, one of New York's premier fashion illustrators, offers this comment: "You should stay away from the mall and come to New York," he advised. "Knock on the door of art directors of magazines and department stores and show them your work."

He believes that if your work is truly great, you can be a successful illustrator. Compare your work to others. If you haven't had formal training, you surely should study before you set out in a very competitive profession. But have faith in yourself and don't listen to people who put you down.

Elsa Klensch welcomes questions from readers. While she cannot reply individually, she will answer those of general interest in her column.

Send questions to ELSA KLENSCH, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, 218 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90012. Or she can be reached on the Internet at

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