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A New Job Requires a Special Wardrobe to Fit the Image

October 25, 1985|MARYLOU LUTHER

Question: I have been promoted to a supervisory position over about 50 employees. The position has never been held by a woman and never by a person as young as I. (I'm 27, 5-foot-5 and wear a Size 9.) Knowing that I will be met with opposition, I want to dress with a style that spells professionalism. The clothes also have to have a carefree feeling so that I am comfortable wearing them. The job requires bending and lifting so dresses are not suitable. Shoes, by regulation, must have a low heel. I also will be dealing with the public. What do you recommend?--C.E.

Answer: First, put on a more positive attitude. If you "know" that you will be met with opposition, you probably will be. If you "know" that your employees will love working for and with you, they probably will. To help you feel positive and project a positive image, consider the pants outfit illustrated here. It's from Koret of California's Career label--with a line created especially for working women. The pantsuit, priced at about $65, is made of 100% wool and comes in gray, winter white, camel, heather green, light blue, navy and red. The fully lined pants are styled to fit loosely at the hips, thereby providing room for bending. The cotton-polyester blouse at $45 comes in white, winter white or soft pink. The acrylic-nylon vest at $30 is available in black, winter white, bright blue and red. For retail outlets, write to Koret of California, 611 Mission St., San Francisco, Calif. 94105. In choosing your colors, remember that gray and navy register as the colors with the highest authority rating, red will get you noticed, and the others can be selected or discarded according to your coloring and work needs. Winter white, for example, may not be practical on the job.

Q: Please help me find long-sleeve golf shirts. Short-sleeve styles are everywhere, but I need long sleeves for protection against the cancer-causing rays of the sun. I wear a large size.--L.O.

A: Long-sleeve polo shirts in all-cotton knit with knit collar and cuffs are available in the current catalogue published by Cable Car Clothiers, 150 Post St., San Francisco, Calif. 94108. They come in royal blue, white, maize, Kelly green, navy, light blue or maroon, in sizes small, medium, large and extra large for $32. Extra, extra large sizes are priced at $34.

Q: Why can't I wash white garments--cottons, synthetics and blends--with bleach? Almost every garment I buy has a label cautioning against using bleach. It is particularly puzzling in regard to cotton garments. How else can I remove stubborn stains? Instructions on laundering bleaches say the bleach can even be used on colored fabrics, and often state that the bleach "can be used on all washable fabrics and colors." I am torn between "Do Not Use Bleach" and my common sense. What do you think?--J.E.

A: Textile expert Norman Oehlke of the International Fabricare Institute says there is no reason you cannot use bleach on ordinary white cotton. But if the garment is labeled by the manufacturer "Do Not Bleach," he says there is a reason, and for safety's sake you should abide by the directions. Oehlke suggests that while the cotton fibers might not be affected adversely by the bleach, there might be a finish on the fabric that would be affected deleteriously. The only way to know for certain why a certain garment is labeled "Do Not Bleach" is to ask the retailer and/or the manufacturer.

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