Shop Talk

The “last straw” in the fashion sense has nothing at all to do with breaking a camel’s back. It means that final touch — that ultimate item — that makes a costume perfect and whole. At Jay – Thorpe you can see what I mean. It’s a white kidskin cravat and it gives just that exciting note to a wool dress or suit or coat that you crave at the first sniff of autumn. Besides which, it is practical.

Crowds spell excitement—something interesting going on. The other day at Stern’s we elbowed our way into a dense throng of ladies who were gathered round what turned out to be a counter piled with sheets. It was a run on sheets because word to the effect that the price of sheets was going up had spread like the well-known fire. All the smart “hausfrau” were stocking up on them as if their lives depended on it—and certainly their families’ comfort depended on it. They were all clamoring for percale, because percale sheets have a recognized place in every well-organized linen-closet. It has a fine, smooth texture, softly crisp, and most pleasant to bury the face in. It’s firmly woven and wears interminably. Another thing, it has a quaint way of responding favorably to washing. The oftener it’s tubbed, the nicer the finish. And it looks so well. There’s something a bed, all turned down for a winter’s nap done up in percale that’s irresistible.

The female of the species has hitherto been divided into two classes—not the usual good and bad variety, but Women and Misses. For years shops have made you decide which you were. Now, a brand new idea in dress departments has materialized in Saks-Fifth Avenue. If you’re tall and want clothes with “manner” that are neither dowager nor “misses,” you can find them gathered under the heading of “Smart Sophisticates,” by one who knows. It’s a godsend—this department—to those who might be described as the rangy type and never have been helped much by the “missy” garment.

All you who have been in the habit of considering McCreery’s a conservative emporium had better change your mind. This shop has imported a host of Lyolene’s clothes from which excellent copies reminiscent of old-time allure have been run up. One is of velvet, has a sheath-like, princesse-slip treatment with a train that serves practically as a skirt, and flows sinuously backward. Another dress—of satin—smacks of the wicked. The halter neckline makes for the naked effect; and there are sleek-fitting panels over the hips. A third is a lace dress with a surplice front and a cascade treatment of the back, ending in a train. Trains, by the way, are all over the place now—they’re no longer confined only to the ultra-formal dance.

It’s all very well to be a modern woman and stand on your own feet—but that particular position has its disastrous effects. The feet get big. And the wretched part is that, as time ebbs and flows, the feet don’t diminish. Shoecraft, aware of this tragic affliction of the New Woman, has concentrated for years on ways to shorten feet—at least optically. This season they have turned to round toes, but carefully designed round toes that take good care of sizes 9 and 10. There is none of the pitched-forward look to the shoe. The toes are fuller, and the detail is brought down and out onto the toe so that often the short vamp effect is achieved without being an actuality. The Campus Shoe, for that growing gal, continues to be a suede and calf-trimmed Oxford with a medium leather heel; and it seems to weather the strain of continued wetting and mud-sloshing.

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