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Bits & piecesThe Cottonpatch, a shop specializing...


Bits & pieces

The Cottonpatch, a shop specializing in casual and career clothes in natural fibers, has sprouted among the diverse specialty stores in Federal Hill. It is the project of Dottie Moore and Heidi Bathon. Ms. Moore 15 years ago started out on the festival and horse show circuit selling hand-knit sweaters with her Cottonpatch label.

Now the women have settled in the Federal Hill neighborhood and are showing their original private label sweaters as well as other items, such as accessories and gift items. The Cottonpatch, 5 Henrietta St., is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Call (410) 625-2326.

* There's a new shop on the bridal path. Celebrations Bridals and Formals, opened March 1 by friends Nancy Jean Ardis and Sharon Jones-Boyce, aims to make wedding planning as pleasant as possible. "We have expert hair and makeup artists plus we can supply caterers, limos, flowers and all the trimmings," says Ms. Jones-Boyce. "We went into this because brides are an upbeat business. The people we see are in a good mood and looking forward to a happy occasion." The bridal gowns are priced in the moderate range because the partners have the "average working girl" in mind. The shop, at 7634 Belair Road, is open seven days a week. Call (410) 668-2200 for additional information.

Arnold Borenstein, owner of Eclectic, the Gallery store for men with an eye for fashion, is expanding his services for men who want more out of their clothes.

Mr. Borenstein will now make office and house calls to measure, fit and provide total wardrobe advice on custom-made suits.

"I'll ask a man about his pet peeves, what he likes most about his favorite suit, and what he would like to change. The hardest customer to suit is the one who has no opinions," says Mr. Borenstein. "When I can't key in to the customer's clothing preference, I'll look to his personal preferences about everything and design a suit around them."

He gives some basic reasons a man would prefer custom-made suits: to get a perfect fit, to get what he wants, convenience, and to feel that the image he projects is consistent with the excellence he pursues in his career. "Of course there's always the factor of 'egonomics'; some men just do not want to look like everybody else."

The suits and sport coats, which can be made up in a nearly endless variety of styles and fine fabrics, run from $410 to $1,250 with most men spending in the $525 to $750 range, Mr. Borenstein says. Appointments can be made by calling the store at (410) 539-2411.

Vida Roberts

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