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JEANNINE STEIN / Fashion Police

Pumps or No? You Be the Judge

April 23, 1998|JEANNINE STEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Fashion Police: My co-workers and I have an ongoing disagreement about the pump. While they indulge in the latest fads, I'm faithful to what I consider the classic: high-heeled pumps. This shoe is timeless, and depending upon the cut, can go from sexy to savvy and from seductive to conservative.

Even I have to admit that some other styles are cute, in a goofy sort of way. But as a woman in my mid-30s, I'm not too interested in looking cute anymore.

They say that women dress for other women. But if you want to test my theory, ask your boyfriend, husband or any member of the opposite sex what they prefer. I already know the answer!

--A SHOE-IN

Dear Shoe: We, too, are aficionados of the classic high-heeled pump and have found that generally men appreciate the look it gives a woman's leg.

But let's get real. Woman does not live by one shoe alone. Think about it--there would be chaos in the shoe world if women wore only pumps. It's like eating steak every day. Sure, steak is good, but every day? What about mashed potatoes? Asparagus? Cheesecake?

But OK, Miss Smarty Pants, let's put your theory to the test.

Gentlemen? What'll it be? High-heeled pumps or some other kind of footwear? (For those not familiar with fashion lingo, your basic pump covers the back, sides and front of the foot and doesn't have any straps or laces up top. If you're clueless, ask any female; she should know.)

We'll let you know the results.

Dear Fashion Police: I have two questions: Is denim going to be in vogue for a while? And are the longer styles of dresses in for a while? I love them both.

--JONES FOR JEANS

Dear Jonesy: Yes and yes.

We don't anticipate that denim will go out of style any time soon--can you imagine people willing to give up their jeans? They'd sooner do without double decaf lattes and cell phones! So unless there's an Attack of the Killer Weevils From Outer Space that wipes out the world's cotton crops, denim will be hanging around for a while.

And so will long skirts and dresses. As we've said before (and will probably say again), fashion is no longer so restrictive that there is only one hem length per season.

Attention, All Petite-Headed Women: Recently a woman wrote seeking hats for her small head because most department stores stock only one size. We suggested contacting a milliner to have custom hats made.

Since then, our loyal readers have sent in still more ideas. Several recommended scoping out children's departments and stores for smaller sizes. They said some kids' styles are surprisingly sophisticated, not just cutesy caps that say, "I (Heart) Barney." One woman suggested sewing your own from patterns in Vogue, Butterick, Simplicity, McCall's and others. If you don't sew, find a seamstress or ask your local fabric store to recommend one. You could also knit a hat or ask a yarn shop for someone who can.

We also found another milliner--in Pittsburgh. Mickey Kampsen of Hatsapallooza makes custom styles in straw and felt, most around $50, and orders can be taken via telephone. She started her business out of frustration at not being able to find hats for herself--she has a large head. But she sympathizes with the plight of every odd size. Contact her at (412) 741-5805.

* When reporting or preventing a fashion crime, write to Fashion Police, Life & Style, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or fax to (213) 237-0732. Submissions cannot be returned. No telephone inquiries, please.

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