Arts notes

Put the wool away for the spring season

New York -- Although Mother Nature has tricked us before, surely the seemingly never-ending winter of 2003 is over by now.

So as the tank tops and flip-flops come out, the wool sweaters and other wintery garments get put away.

Pendleton, a wool garment company for more than 100 years, offers advice on proper storage of wool, so these garments will be in good shape when the weather turns blustery again:

  • The end of the season is a good time to dry clean fine wool suits -- and it's the only time of the year it's necessary. Otherwise, wool refreshes itself beautifully and spot cleaning is all you need.
  • Dry cleaning is best for moth protection, but if you see a moth infestation and can't get to the dry cleaner right away, wrap the items in plastic and put them in the freezer.

Know the skin problem to find the best solution

New York -- Makers of skin-care products are now attaching pseudo-medical claims to their serums and lotions, and that might leave some consumers confused, says Dr. Ted Daly, a dermatologist in Garden City, N.Y.

"To really choose effective products, you have to know the details -- the percentage of active ingredients, what the chemicals are, how they blend with the 'herbal' elements in the product," advises Daly, who also is director of pediatric dermatology at Nassau University Medical Center.

Daly also says it's important to correctly diagnose what skin condition it is you are trying to treat. There's a difference in the appropriate treatment for dry skin and seborrheic dermatitis, even though they might at first look the same to an untrained eye, he says.

Finding swimsuits to suit all shapes

New York-- Information is a swimsuit shopper's friend. Knowing what suit suits each body type can cut down on time and frustration in the dressing room.

Kate Rice, the style expert for the retail chain Mervyn's, suggests the following figure-flattering guidelines:

  • To accentuate or maximize the bust, select a one- or two-piece swimsuit with a light-colored top. Or, choose a large floral print or stripes rather than a solid or small-print pattern.

Ruffles or other embellishment at the bustline also will help draw the eye to the top of the suit.

  • To support or minimize the bust, wear thick, supportive straps, such as those found on halters. Consider a tankini, which often has built-in support.
  • To lengthen the torso, choose a one-piece suit with vertical stripes either throughout or on the sides. If you prefer a two-piece swimsuit, boy shorts with a lower cut and rise can be flattering.

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