High fashion, low prices: Here's how

STYLE FILE

March 11, 2001|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,Sun Staff

All the clothes on the spring 2001 runways have one thing in common: super-high prices. Two hundred dollars for a pair of shorts? Not in this lifetime.

You don't have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks -- you just have to be savvy. The key is to know what's hot and where to find it -- or something that closely resembles it -- without shelling out a fortune.

To see what's new and cool, try checking out the department and specialty stores to note what's filling their racks, but before you buy, visit a discount store and see if you can find the same styles at less-expensive prices.

Marshall's says it can put together a pretty good Prada-imitation outfit for about $37, and it also carries designer leftovers from other stores (labels include Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger). You just have to dig a little.

Value City is another good knock-off spot. It seems to follow the trends and stock accordingly. The store carries big names like BCBG at small prices.

Who cares about the labels, anyway? We just want to look good.

Kickoff season

While you're busy thinking about spring wear, keep in mind the coolest shoe styles bare your tootsies. Yep, those things you've cooped up in boots and heavy socks all winter are going to spend a lot of time in the public eye.

The Luxiva Foot Care Essentials kit can help you prepare your feet for those flirty, toe-baring slingbacks and bright slip-ons. For $16, you get the whole shebang: pumice foot scrub for exfoliation, AHA foot balm for sealing in moisture, AHA footbath for sweet smelling tootsies and a pumice foot stone for smoothing callused areas.

Available online at www.merlenorman.com or at any Merle Norman Cosmetics studio (There are two in Baltimore: White Marsh Mall, 410-931-6770; Perfect Touch Hair Salon and Day Spa with Merle Norman Cosmetics, 402 Frederick Road, 410-788-5252.) -- T. B.

Rocking in style

Many of us watched the Grammys last month less to hear the music than to see what the performers were wearing -- or not wearing, in Toni Braxton's case.

For half a century, really since the birth of rock, the hippest kids have taken their fashion sense from their favorite musicians -- whether it be an Elvis pompadour, like-a-virgin Madonna lace gloves or grungy flannel a la Kurt Cobain -- says a new book, "The Look" by Paul Gorman (Sanctuary, $30). The book traces pop music's power over pop culture's clothes through photographs, advertisements, design sketches and interviews with everyone from David Bowie to Elvis' tailor, making for a nostalgic read. --T. B.

Silky wrappings

We all flipped for pashmina -- the look, the warmth, the soft and fuzzy decadence. But it's so yesterday. Time for something a little newer and a little lighter. If you still want the swaddled look, though, check out Natori's accessory line. Stoles and shawls are extremely feminine, with embroidered accents, light colors and silky textures.

The Ombre Silk Georgette stole ($300) features 3-D chiffon flowers and a graduated change in color from soft yellow to sky blue. The Handpainted Chiffon stole ($750) is a generous 30 by 60 inches and studded with chips of crystal over watercolor flowers. The Pina shawl (pictured, $900) holds whatever shape you place it in and is a combination of silk and pina, a fiber indigenous to the Philippines. The line is available online at www.saksfifthavenue.com.

-- T. B.

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