"Rock on, little mama" -- it could feasibly be the slogan for Planet Motherhood, a maternity clothes retailer that doesn't think pregnancy is a reason to start donning smocks.
"Comfort is key," says founder Debbie Schulman, but just because something is comfortable doesn't mean it has to be conservative -- or worse. It used to be, Schulman says, that maternity designers "thought you lost your brains [when you got pregnant] and you wanted a bow or a bear or an arrow pointing downward to read 'under construction' Now there's no limit on maternity wear."
Planet Motherhood's fall collection is largely designed for moms-to-be in their 20s: young, funky and fashionable. "Sexy Mama"-emblazoned camouflage Ts, rock-'n'-roll-style ostrich- and crocodile-print pleather pants, and metallic blouses make up the line, which doesn't shy away from form-fitting silhouettes.
Check out the collection, which sells for $10 to $52, at J.C. Penney or call 212-244-1322 for a catalog.
Leather by Venus
This fall, Wimbledon champ Venus Wilson traded her tennis togs for leather and suede when she launched the Venus Collection at Wilsons Leather. Designed by Williams (with the help of two Wilsons designers), the collection includes fitted leather blazers and pants, and loose tanks and jackets made from metallic-looking pearlized suede. The lines are clean with stitched detailing in geometric patterns.
The Venus Collection, most of which ranges from $200 to $400, is available at Wilsons stores and online at www.wilsonleather.com.
-- T. B.
Show off your American pride the old-fashioned way: Get a tattoo! Oh, all right, get a temporary tattoo.
Tinsley Transfers, a company specializing in fake tattoos for films, offers three vintage versions of the U.S. flag: a 1950s biceps-ready, flag-clad pinup girl; a 1920s red, white and blue butterfly; and an actual flag (also circa 1920). Each sells for $4 and is available online at www.tinsleytransfers.com. Twenty percent of the profits will go toward the New York United Way's Sept. 11 relief fund. -- T. B.
Give a smile
What kills your romantic dinner mood faster than finding a hair in your soup? Flashing your date a ghoulish, red-wine-stained come-hither grin.
To keep your pearly whites pearly, you can switch to chardonnay or try Go Smile, a portable tooth whitener. Unlike toothpaste, Go Smile has concentrated, fast-acting peroxide whiteners. Just excuse yourself, head off to the restroom, flip open one of the individual vacuum-sealed ampuls and brush (there are no trays or strips like the home kits; Go Smile is designed for on-the-go touch ups). Then fix your hair or face for a few minutes and rinse. Your smile should be back in business.
Go Smile comes as a purse-sized compact with seven ampuls for $28. Refill boxes of 30 sell for $75. Buy it online at www.gosmile.com or by calling 800-407-7661. -- T. B.