SHOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE: El Vez, the Elvis impersonator with the homeboy edge, recently returned from his annual visit to Memphis with tons of great junk honoring The King. Also known as "The Mexican Elvis," El Vez is celebrated for doing such songs as "You Ain't Nuthin' but a Chihuahua" while costumed in a white polyester, flare-legged, rhinestone-studded jumpsuit with a sequined Our Lady of Guadalupe on the back. He offered this report:
"In Memphis, my favorite place to shop is at the Graceland Crossroads, a kind of pinkish stucco, Elvis-ized mini-mall adjacent to the Graceland Mansion and home of the Hound Dog Cafe. This trip, I got an Elvis sports mug, in the shape of a No. 1, that I can use when I'm sweating on stage and need to take a sip of water. I got some Elvis ribbon and an 'Elvis is King' ruler and a protractor.
"My favorite thing I bought was a T-shirt with Elvis as the ghost of Operation Desert Storm. It has the American flag and 'God Bless America' on it. And it was on sale."
DEAR HOT: My kids are always ripping their hats off their heads because they're too stiff and scratchy. Are there any cute, comfortable hats out there for children?
DEAR HOT SHOPPER: Some of the softest, cuddliest hats for kids (pictured, $34, in ivory velvet with multicolored flowers) come from a Sherman Oaks manufacturer called kap kap. They retail for $18 to $36 at Auntie Barbara's for Kids in Beverly Hills, Fred Segal Baby in Santa Monica and Harriett Dorn in Santa Monica.
If you find those prices a bit much for hats that will be outgrown before your kid even learns to work the remote control, try tossing inexpensive, scratchy hats in the washing machine a few times. It should soften them up and help the hats look fashionably beat up too.