It's hot outside, but freezing inside the building. Or -- as in the case of the summer of 2014 in Arkansas, it's unseasonably cool outside ... and inside is Antarctica. And you've gone sleeveless.
Sounds like you may need the Pocket Poppet ($99), a wrinkle-free, open-drape front cardigan that folds into its own attached pouch. Its versatile styling is good for various destinations. While the cardigan is being worn, the empty pouch, centered in the lower inside of the garment, can carry small essentials.
The Classic Poppet Travel Cardigan comes in multiple color choices. Its open front drapes asymmetrically, and the garment features a self-belt feature at the back, with box pleats from belt to hem. Sleeves are shirred at the wrist. Sizes run from XS-XL, but the cardigan runs large; XL can fit those who wear a women's size 1X. I personally experienced the cardigan in Dark Chocolate, subtly heathered with black. The garment seemed more suited for fall, but came in quite handy recently in a frigid theater on an unseasonably cool night. It looked flattering with a red fit-and-flare T-shirt dress, and it indeed stayed unwrinkled. Interested? Visit Thepocketpoppet.com, where you'll also find a Lotus Poppet Yoga Travel Cardigan (also $99).
SEE THROUGH A GLASS, CHEAPLY
You've heard of the stores in which everything costs a dollar. But what about the online store where featured prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses are $39? The discount site 39dollarglasses.com offers a mega-selection of high-quality eyewear, with featured brands including Varilux no-line bifocals and Transitions Lenses. (A caveat: Not all of the glasses are $39; that's just the starting price. The highest price I noticed was $89.) Any of the company's frames can be made into prescription single-vision or bifocal eyeglasses or bought as nonprescription or prescription sunglasses.
Going for the fashion aspect, I checked out the company's Retro Eyewear 100 style ($53.95) -- narrow, rectangular frames slightly turned up at the upper corners -- in Brown/Brown Smoke. There should be a retro full-skirted dress, head scarf and long convertible to go with them.
The website has a SmartFit Color Selector that allows the buyer to click on any frame page to customize his glasses. A SmartFit PDF feature lets the buyer print the exact sizing on the chosen frame for a customized fit. Customers can also upload a photo to "try on" the frames being considered.
Remember that brand of body-slimming pants you were assured you could buy one size down ... but then you found that was hogwash? That doesn't seem to be the case with SlimSation by Multiples, "the revolutionary hybrid pant that combines comfort, trend and function all in one for the modern woman." The collection is designed by John Bourgeois, who also designs the regular Multiples line.
The SlimSation pant comes in various styles and colors, regular and plus-size, all cut close to the leg. It contours the waist, slims the lower tummy and shapes the hips. I tried the Women's Seasonless Sleek Relaxed Pants ($73). With a rise just below the waist, the pull-on trousers are even flattering on women whose figures do not normally get along well with slim-fit pants. But they need to be a size smaller so they can do their job better.
A company representative said customers do, from time to time, find their regular size to be too big -- "but that is a great selling factor. Who does not want to wear a size down." Indeed. Visit Slimsation.com.
The Jamileh Kamran Arkansas Fashion School, 3625 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock, is taking registration for the fall semester. Classes will begin the first week in September, starting with basic sewing and the only online course, Intro to Fashion Design. Afterward, students will go on to the nine courses making up the fashion curriculum, which covers such topics as sketching, flat pattern making, tailoring, and three courses in body draping. Graduates' work shows up regularly in such events as Designers Choice Fashion Preview and Little Rock Fashion Week.
Tuition for the entire program is $9,685, including a $100 nonrefundable registration fee. Financial help is available. Call (501) 663-3242. For more information or to enroll online, visit Arkansasfashionschool.com.
WEAR YOUR SCANDAL
We've all seen our share of scandalous clothing. But now there's a new line that embraces the word "scandal": The Limited's new fall apparel collection, inspired by Shonda Rhimes' hit ABC series of that name.
Due to hit stores and the Internet in late September (right along with Scandal's fourth season, which debuts Sept. 25), the 42-piece Scandal collection is inspired by the style of Scandal's protagonist, Olivia Pope. The collection has been developed by actress Kerry Washington, who portrays Pope, and costume designer Lyn Paolo in partnership with Elliot Staples, head of design from The Limited. (Washington and Paolo have already been credited with creating looks for Pope and for inspiring fans to call themselves "Gladiators in Suits.") The collection will debut with separates, including tops, pants, jackets and outerwear with prices beginning at $49.
YOUNG AND SWEET -- ONLY ...
Seventeen. The magazine of that name has also spawned a clothing line. Hearst Brand Development recently announced the exclusive launch of Seventeen's fashion collection at Sears.
The new Seventeen line includes a mix of 83 pieces "from flirty boho to sporty cool and pretty sweet to girly prep," and in sizes small to XL. Printed leggings, denim vests, military jackets, floral dresses, cardigans and blouses, as well as accessories, handbags, jewelry and footwear, are included, with prices less than $50. The full collection is being made available at 450 Sears stores nationwide; it's also online at Sears.com/Seventeen.
An Arkansas couple opened their second Plato's Closet store in late June. Plato's Closet is a national "recycling retail" chain store targeting teens and 20-somethings by buying gently used brand-name clothing and accessories from them ... and selling to them. Jordan Prater and her husband, Seth, opened their first location in Jonesboro in 2012; the new location is at 500 Amity Road in Conway. No appointment is necessary for sellers. The store pays cash on the spot for goods it buys from consumers. Typically, Plato's Closet buys items that have been in retail stores within the past 12 to 18 months and are consistent with styles currently seen in the mall. More information is available by calling the new Plato's Closet at (501) 504-6900 or visiting Platosclosetconway.com.
Meanwhile, Leisa and Ron Gay of Sherwood -- who own and manage the Plato's Closet store in North Little Rock's Lakewood Village -- have opened the first Arkansas Clothes Mentor franchise. Located at 2641 Lakewood Village, Clothes Mentor focuses on buying and reselling gently used, better brand-name fashions and accessories for women size 0-26, including petite and maternity customers. Here, too, cash is paid on-the-spot. Call (501) 232-2455 (Note: I had to dial the area code, even though I was calling from Little Rock); visit the corporate website at Clothesmentor.com; and stay tuned for news of additional stores planned for Little Rock and Rogers.
Got fashion and beauty news? Contact Helaine R. Williams, Dressing Room, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203, or email:
High Profile on 08/10/2014