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Nearly black jersey dress is versatile


I'm part of a marketing team that's launching a perfume. To promote it we are holding elegant black-tie events in 10 major cities. I've always made it a rule to buy black separates for such occasions as they are so versatile. Now my assumptions about style are being challenged.

Our marketing director, who is extremely well-dressed, said I need something that "promotes the sexy image of the product." She also mentioned that the dress is back. Any suggestions?

No doubt about it, the dress is back, and the stores are full of long versions. How to find the right one for you?

Here's some advice from Calvin Klein:

"Consider a dress made in deep shades of jersey. It's sexy, drape-able and clearly the fabric of the season. I love it for evening because it's subtle and sexy at the same time. It follows every curve, but still provides coverage so you don't look too bare.

"As you go from city to city you can wear a jersey dress again and again."

Klein says to look for a dress with a special touch, a certain edge. This could be a plunging back, an asymmetrical neckline or a slit on the side. Instead of classic black, Klein likes the rich, sophisticated shades of deep aubergine and indigo.

"It's a modern, simple, yet luxurious way to dress."

I'm working in Santa Fe, N.M., selling high fashion clothes at a boutique. I'm very successful and have a group of loyal customers who constantly request my advice. They ask me to put aside special items when they come into the store and call them immediately.

In the three years I've been here, I have become a personal shopper. Now I'd like to move on to a bigger job in a major city. Can you tell me what chances I'd have?

I turned for advice to Sharron Bowers, the manager of Francine's Closet, an upscale Manhattan boutique.

She tells me experience as a "hard-core salesperson" is the key qualification.

But she adds, "You'll be asked what kind of background you have, where you worked and what kind of clothing you sold. But most of all, you'll need to be dynamic -- someone who makes waves."

Your ability to communicate with customers is a plus.

"In a big city, every customer wants service. You must always think about what they need. Ask them what fabric and what style they prefer and what occasion they are shopping for.

"If I don't have an item, I'll even recommend another store -- anything to make them happy and keep them coming back for more."

Elsa Klensch welcomes questions from readers. While she cannot reply individually, she will answer those of general interest in her column. Send questions to Elsa Klensch, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, 218 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90012.

Pub Date: 12/19/96

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