Friday, May 11, 2007

Clothes with pizazz

While the proliferation of mega-retailers (Gap, Target, Old Navy, Wal-Mart) has increased the amount of clothing available for sale, the diversity of styles available seems to have decreased. The khaki cargo shorts at the Gap look just like those at Old Navy (same company, go figure!), and just like those at Target. So how do you establish any type of identity or individuality? According to author Kate Haxell, you do it by Customizing Cool Clothes: from dull to divine in 30 projects. Haxell takes a bunch of relatively ordinary clothes - skirts, jeans, camisoles, t-shirts - and jazzes them up with a variety of techniques that range from the simple (sew some beads on a basic skirt) to intermediate (change a plain t-shirt into a shirt with a lace-up front). She also offers a nice continuum of flashiness. Are you a conservative dresser? Then it's best to start with adding a few small fabric flowers to a camisole, and save trimming your jeans with leopard-print fabric until you're feeling a little more bohemian. The mint-green faux fur stole with the hot pink satin lining might be a bit too outre as well, but perhaps a brown fabric with cream lining will be demure enough. Whatever your style, whatever your age, this book will definitely give you food for thought.

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