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Fashion Police

Wedding Elegance for Grandmother

March 31, 2000|JEANNINE STEIN

Dear Fashion Police: I am writing this for an elderly lady I work for. She is attending the wedding of her grandson in May. It is a backyard garden wedding starting at 5 p.m. She is confined to a wheelchair and wants to wear a pantsuit. Will this be appropriate, and if so, where can she purchase a nice outfit for the occasion?

--CAREGIVER WHO CARES

Dear Care: Of course it's all right for her to wear a pantsuit. And if anyone says otherwise, we'll tell them a thing or two about not only respecting their elders, but having compassion for the disabled as well.

Having Grandma there is a blessing, and people should be thinking about that, not what she's wearing.

OK. Now that we got that off our chest, here are some ideas about where to purchase said pantsuit: Talbots, which we've touted before for its feminine, tailored clothes, has beautiful pantsuits for spring. So do chains such as Ann Taylor, St. John and Laura Ashley.

Don't rule out department stores--they not only have a large selection of items to choose from, but also offer many personal shopping services.

Personal shoppers are great for situations like this. Here's how most work: You make an appointment and give the shopper as much information as you can, including what kinds of clothes you're looking for, what occasion they're for, sizes, color and fabric preferences, and whether you need accessories, from stockings to shoes to jewelry. Usually there is no charge for the service, and you will save time and effort spent perusing racks of clothes.

*

Dear Fashion Police: My mother is celebrating her 90th birthday in June and her grandchildren's weddings in July and August. She is in a wheelchair and needs clothing that is easy to slip into, helps maintain her modesty, is easy to manipulate when she is assisted with her personal needs, and easy to maintain. I would like her out of housecoats!

--DUTIFUL DAUGHTER

Dear Daughter: She'd probably like to be out of housecoats too. Wheelchair users and disabled people have more styles of clothing to choose from than just sweats and floral shifts.

We found a few Web sites that specialize in such clothing; some are clearinghouses for a number of companies:

* http://www.disabilityshop.com

* http://www.wardrobewagon.com

* http://www.eskimo.com/~jlubin/disabled

* http://www.rolli-moden.com

If anyone else has additional resources, we'll be happy to pass them along.

*

From the Fashion Police Blotter: A controversy is brewing about First Lady and U.S. senatorial candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. We're not talking about her policies on crime or education. We're not talking about her politics at all.

We're talking about her clothes. Specifically, her pantsuits.

Apparently Mrs. Clinton's penchant for pantsuits has sparked grumbling among those who feel she should wear dresses or skirts while making public appearances.

Frankly, we're a little shocked.

That in 2000 a woman of Mrs. Clinton's stature is criticized for wearing pants is disturbing. It's not as if she's running around in cutoffs and a Korn T-shirt. The woman is appropriately dressed in beautifully tailored clothes--they just happen to be pants. We're guessing she wears them because they're easy to maneuver in. They've probably also kept her warm during the winter months.

But evidently there are some people who feel that a woman is not appropriately dressed unless she is in a skirt.

We'd like to know what you think. Set aside your feelings about her political ambitions, and just weigh in on her choice of clothing. Write, fax or e-mail your opinions to the addresses below.

Write to Fashion Police, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, fax to (213) 237-4888, or send e-mail to socalliving@latimes.com.

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