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Dressing for less after work hours


Weekend bargains

After work, why not slip into something . . . cheap?

When shopping for clothing or shoes for the weekend, one money-saving strategy is to head for less-expensive department stores, suggests Leah Feldon, author of "Dressing Rich -- A Guide to Classic Chic for Women With More Style than Money" (Putnam). "It makes more sense to spend more money on the clothing that really counts like clothes for the office," she says.

Besides, great bargains on items such as white shirts, traditional T-shirts and shoes like metallic sandals or thongs and sneakers can be had at large discount stores such as K mart and Caldor. Remember, Ms. Feldon says, what's called the "basic look"

-- that style popularized by such stores as the Gap -- is in these days. Who needs a designer label on their tennis shoes anyway?

Fall's start

If you're the sort who can plan ahead and envision your fall wardrobe despite the heat, think tweed, denim and houndstooth. Think jackets.

Since jackets will form the basis of many fall looks this year, it's worth putting time and effort into your purchase -- and in the next few weeks stores will be putting out their fall merchandise for any who want a head start.

The jackets come belted, hooded, with zippers, cut long or in classic, tailored shapes. And they come in houndstooth, plaids, solids and even vinyl.

Indeed, the jacket is so important for fall that you may want to consider it your major buy for the season, says author Leah Feldon. She calls jackets this season an "investment" buy. "One great gray jacket and perhaps some gray slacks or a gray skirt will go with everything. If those two things are really great, you can wear copies of jewelry or other accessories and they will look expensive."

Small change

They say small savings add up. Well, here's a way to put that adage to a test: A mail-order business, called TLC, that specializes in fashions for very small people (preemies and newborns to be exact) offers several discounts -- all the time.

Founded in March 1990, and run out of Finksburg resident Linda Standiford'shome, the company always offers a 10 percent discount to grandparents.

And for the month of August, it will offer 20 percent off black-and-white toys called Tot Toys, which include stuffed animals and mobiles as well as "cradle art," or decorated, soft, vinyl bumper pads for cribs. Parents of twins or triplets get discounts, too. "Anyone who has more than one baby at a time I think deserves a discount," says Ms. Standiford. To order a catalog, call (800) 755-4852.

Saving In Style welcomes questions and suggestions. Write Holly Selby, acting Fashion Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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