Sweaters' bright patterns are the stars of this season

November 21, 1996|By Elsa Klensch | Elsa Klensch,LOS ANGELES TIMES SYNDICATE

I just had a fight with my stepmother because she threw out my dad's old ski sweaters. When I came to visit I used to love wearing them. My mom bought them for him when they were married.

My stepmother says they were "old and worn out," but I would have loved to have had them.

My dad says to make up he'll let me buy any sweater I like. What should I choose?

This is a great fall for sweaters, and you're sure to find one that you really love. For advice I asked New York designer Todd Oldham.

He's enthusiastic about bright patterns for fall. "I even did sweaters based on a Persian rug."

Oldham says classic motifs always look smart, and he advises basic patterns -- Fair Isle, stripes, plaids or ski motifs.

As for shape, you can go two ways: "Modern proportions are either tight or loose. If you can't find something really great, try the children's department for a really shrunken look, or try the men's area for a slouchy style."

I recently bought a designer pantsuit and matching blouse. The jacket has a single, large, handcrafted, pearl button and is cut in a way that the top of the pants just shows.

My problem is that the pants have belt loops but no belt. The saleswoman told me to wear a contrasting belt, but if I do, the metal buckle will show next to the button. I really don't want to change the button. Any ideas?

Today most pantsuits are sold without matching belts. You wouldn't want to wear the top with loops and no belt, but it can be difficult to find the right belt.

The easiest solution is to look for a long chiffon scarf in a slightly darker shade. Thread it through the loops as a sash. Don't knot it. Just tuck it in back where it will not show. The darker shade will be slimming.

Another solution is to remove the loops. This can take time and patience (or the expense of a professional). But when you close the jacket you will find your waistline looks slimmer and the line of the jacket is as the designer intended.

Pub Date: 11/21/96

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