DEAR HOT: My daughters, ages 9 and 11, love clothes that are gussied up with studs, embroidery, pins and patches. I don't mind that they look as if they were dressed by Dolly Parton, but it seems like every time these things are added to a garment, the price quadruples. What do you think of these styles, and is there any less expensive version of this look?
--R.T., Sun Valley
DEAR R.T.: We prefer our T-shirts plain and tame (except as oversized nightshirts with such motifs as "Surf Russia," regularly worn by one of us who shall remain nameless). But since you seem to be more concerned about the expense than the style of your children's clothes, you might want to do a little shopping at a nearby Builder's Emporium or Michael's store.
In those stores, you'll find a new product called Dotts. They are snap-on plastic studs that retail for about $4 a package and will provide your daughters with an opportunity for creative expression along with relatively inexpensive but tricked-up styles. Dotts can be snapped onto shoes, caps, T-shirts, sweat shirts and even leotards (pictured). The studs are machine washable and dryer safe. And they can be removed and reused on other garments.
For more information on Dotts or additional store locations, call (800) 725-DOTT.
DEAR HOT: My family is a bunch of die-hard movie buffs, and they love movie memorabilia. Any suggestions for gifts besides the obvious, like old movie posters or videos of their favorite films? I'm running out of ideas!
--P.R., San Bernadino.
DEAR P.R.: Some smart people at Warner Bros. studio put together a catalogue for film lovers and logo-worshipers. The current catalogue features such items as a "Beetlejuice" mask ($24.95), a "Batman" baseball cap ($7.95) and a Bugs Bunny serigraph ($135). It includes loads of toys for kids, plus serious collector's items such as animation cels.
There's memorabilia from TV shows, too, like FYI crew jackets from "Murphy Brown" ($119.95), "China Beach" dog tags ($10.95) and "Full House" sweat shirts ($21.95). Actors from the shows model much of the merchandise. Happy acquiring! To order, call (800) 223-6524; for information, call (818) 842-0070.
DEAR HOT: Stirrup pants--they're everywhere! I see them in stores, in catalogues, in my dreams. I know what to wear on top, but what about on my feet?
DEAR S.H.: Stirrup pants, the rage for fall and winter along with stirrup-footed unitards, can be tough to accessorize. Shoes should be flat, such as oxfords, skimmers or short, ankle-high boots. Opt for socks or opaque hose in the same solid color or a subtle pattern or texture. We'd prefer that you not wear them with sheer panty hose and/or high heels. Trust us, it's not a becoming look unless you're a regular on Hollywood Boulevard.
Don't know how to accessorize your camouflage gear? Send your gripes, dilemmas and questions on all facets of shopping to Krier and Stein, Hot to Shop, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif. 90053. Questions may also be faxed to (213) 237-4712.