Knit cardigan is the ticket for fall travel

September 19, 1996|By Elsa Klensch | Elsa Klensch,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

My mother has just recovered from a long illness. She hasn't been out of bed for six months. She has lost almost 30 pounds, so none of her clothes fits.

Now, as a treat, my father is taking her to England for a week in early October. As she is still pretty inactive, we are outfitting her for the trip with pants and T-shirts.

What we can't find is a suitable warm jacket to go over them. We need something all-purpose, even though she will be indoors or in a car most of the time. She is thinner, to be sure, but medium-weight jackets seem too fitted and uncomfortable.

We would like your suggestions to help us make her trip as happy as possible.

This fall is a great season for knits, and if you can't find the right knit jacket, look for a cardigan.

New York designer Cynthia Rowley suggests a wool cardigan in an Aran knit. "These sweaters originated in the Aran Islands in the north of Ireland," she says. "Sometimes they are called fisherman sweaters, but whatever the name, the cable stitch is designed for warmth." Rowley suggests buying a clear color -- one that will flatter your mother's complexion. "Then if she tires, it will pick up her spirits as well as keeping her warm and cozy."

I felt like a clone when I took out my laptop computer on a flight to London last week. It seemed every professional-looking person in the cabin had the same generic black case.

I've always prided myself on having beautiful luggage, and I want something that really stands out. I don't have time to search. Any ideas?

I always carry my laptop in a black tote bag. The machine is easier to remove, and I can put files alongside. Now it seems many women travelers are doing the same thing.

Joan Kramer, the savvy fashion director at Neiman Marcus, says the tote -- especially the designer status tote -- is extremely popular for laptops. "When your work is completed, you can leave your PC in the hotel room and use the tote as a handbag," she tells me, adding: "The least-chic way to carry a laptop is in one of the carry-on wheels that are used by flight attendants. Wheeled bags are practical but they don't spell trend-setter."

Kaner suggests a number of totes that will give you a "chic" look.

"Chanel has several totes in leather. One is quilted and another has an outside pocket for a cellular phone and compact discs. Prada totes come in black nylon. They are light, functional and look great."

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.

Pub Date: 9/19/96

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