Dressy clothes do double duty

STYLE FILE

April 06, 2003|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,Sun Staff

Easter is nearly here and for the kiddies that means clothing that's a step up from the usual jeans and sneakers. But dressy outfits that get worn once and then hang in the closet for the rest of the season are hardly where it's at. Here instead are our picks for a couple of outfits that can be worn not only to church and brunch, but just about anywhere.

* Play around in this retro wonderful handmade cotton dress (far right) that blends a crocheted bodice with a skirt fashioned from vintage reproduction cotton fabric. Grandma would be so happy. Kids in a Blanket dress comes in sizes 3 months-4T and costs $29.95.

* Real boys do so wear cornflower blue linen -- especially when it's washable. Linen jacket-shirt with olive collar (center, $59.95) and matching cuffed olive pant ($39.95) by Green Beings. Available in sizes 2-4T.

* She bakes, she cooks, she cleans. Mom, domestic goddess that she is, deserves to be celebrated on a bib. My Three Beans oilcloth bib (left, $13.95).

All clothing and accessories are available at RAW Sugar, 524 East Belvedere Ave., Baltimore. 410-464-1240.

Knitting goes cool

Despite the recent increase in the hipness of knitting (Julia Roberts and Russell Crowe are reportedly devoted to the craft), it still has the reputation in some circles as a grandmotherly type of endeavor. A new book will definitely change that perception.

Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival (Chronicle Books, 120 pages, $19.95) features 30 projects for the novice knitter that go beyond the traditional potholder and mitten route. Perhaps your boyfriend needs a hand-knit beer cozy or your best friend could use a cell-phone holder.

Convinced that it's too warm to take up the woolly craft? Don't be. One of our favorite projects in this hip, easy-to-follow book is a colorful knit halter top that goes together quickly and looks modern and daring. This barely-there top is not only summery, it's about as far away from grandmotherly as a hand-knit item can get.

From Sweden to you

H&M, that Swedish fashion-forward emporium that sells trendy, affordable clothes for the entire family, just opened its first Maryland store. The Arundel Mills outpost, which opened at the end of February, is a sleek, modern place with up-to-the-moment clothing for babies, kids, men and women.

A recent trip found all sorts of trends interpreted in a variety of fabrics, colors and sizes. For infants, red and white stripes and gingham were summery and cute. For little girls, there were embroidered peasant tops and $17 denim skirts trimmed in eyelet. The men's department had some modern-looking cotton V-neck sweaters and pants. And for women we found everything from cargo pants to $79 red-suede three-quarter length coats.

H&M has 47 U.S. stores, primarily in the Northeast, and more than 800 stores in 14 countries. H&M's Maryland store is located at Arundel Mills, 7000 Arundel Mills Circle in Hanover. For directions, call 410-540-5100 or visit the Web site: www.arundelmillsmall.com

Love Celine? Wear Celine

Celine Dion is back from "retirement" in a big way with her giant Las Vegas show, her ubiquitous Chrysler TV commercials and her recent debut of a fragrance named what else but "Celine Dion."

The perfume, made by Coty, is a blend of light florals balanced with a sheer musk. The eau de toilette costs $20-$40 and is available in .5-ounce, 1.7 ounce and 3.4 ounce sizes at JC Penney, Sears and Kohl's stores.

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