Monday, February 21, 2011

I am reprinting a very practical article which recently appeared in our newspaper the Virginian Pilot, 2/15/11, by Jamesetta M. Walker.  Recently on Lydia Sherman's blog, we were talking about good housekeeping and the subject of ironing came up. I love what Jamesetta has to say about the subject, and also her other tips on the old, tried and true methods of doing certain things. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did. (By the way, Jamesetta's bio details her extensive knowledge and expertise in the fashion and style world, and that,

"She's a true Deep South gal who hails from Mississippi's Delta and central regions.  Jamesetta goes dormant when the temperature falls below 55.  She loves mowing the yard and designing landscapes.  She's been a lifelong stickler for style and fashion sensibility.  Most days you can spot her wearing purple.")

oldies but goodies

The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA, Feb 15, 2011 | by JAMESETTA M WALKER

Sometimes it's the simple, tried and true things that make the biggest difference. This applies to most everything, including style and beauty. Here are a few things that should not become practices of the past.
A good iron
When my mother and mother-in-law were no longer in a position to help by ironing my children's clothes, I reflected on how fortunate I had been to have them assist me with that task for some three years. Seeing folks looking like ragamuffins ruffles me, so I knew I wasn't going to ease up on that chore.
I must have gone to five people at work asking if their teen daughters wanted a gig ironing. All but one responded as if I'd asked them to pick cotton. In other words, who's still doing that? It was unbelievable to me that not only were these parents claiming their 16- and 17-year-old daughters didn't iron, but that they never had been shown how to iron.

What in the world?

My mother ironed everything from pillowcases to panties. She said it made lesser-quality items look and feel richer - and she was right. I still tease one of my best friends from high school about how we were always late for everything because her mother would still be ironing her outfits. Ribbing aside, she was among the most well-put-together students in school despite the fact that her clothes came from a discount retailer.
Central to getting that fresh look is buying a good iron. People may scoff at the notion of paying upward of $100, but it's worth the investment.

A cheap iron can ruin your day. It's maddening to have an iron spew brown water onto your shirt minutes before you're headed to work or worship service. Remember scorching one leg of those nice slacks and never getting the wrinkles out of the other ? The culprit was a whack iron that wouldn't hold its heat evenly.
Look for heavier-weight irons with a wattage of 1,700 or more, a sharply angled tip good for ironing in corners, an anti-drip feature, a no-stick plate, and a vertical and horizontal steam function, at the least.

Dry cleaning
Times are tight and you may have to trim expenses, but think twice before cutting out dry cleaning. It can extend the life of your garments, especially mid-grade ones. Although cotton and polyester are washable, I dry clean quite a few of my garments made from these textiles.
You never will be able to iron some garments just right to make them look new again. Or it could be that the fabric begins to pill, fade or lose its shape after the first wash. Dry cleaning will help you save money because your clothes will look better longer and you won't need to buy replacements.
Plus, dry cleaning is efficient. Sometimes there is just not enough time to iron. It's a relief to be able to reach into your closet, grab something and still show up looking good.

A wash and roller set
Expensive blowouts and designer straightening techniques are the rule of the day. Over time those tend to fry the life out of our manes and keep us flocking to hairdressers or in constant search of just the right miracle product to correct the damage.
A wash and roller set used to be the go-to style. Then the rise of the MTV generation gave way to everybody wanting rock star hair blowing in the wind. I'm guilty.
Those roller-set styles started looking ancient. However, advances in technique have led to the roller set looking as flexible and even more fabulous than a blowout. Plus they are cheaper. Ask for a doobie: a roller set that is combed out, brushed around the crown, covered with a plastic cap, set briefly under a dryer and combed again, very minimally using a styling iron in spots if needed.

A slip
Last year a peer mocked slips as a thing of the past. Maybe so, but they ought not be. Appropriate foundation pieces go a long way in helping you make a graceful appearance.
True, not every dress or skirt requires a slip. Many are lined, cut on the bias for more flow or are of a fabric thick enough to have body on their own, such as denim and corduroy.
But in terms of fit, hardly anything is worse than clothes that cling in all the wrong places. A slip can give the appearance of quality because it aids in draping.
Most of all, it hides your business.
Government should be transparent - your dress shouldn't be.
Jamesetta M. Walker, (757) 446-2211,
Copyright 2011
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

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