Monthly Archives: February 2017

Tips To Clean and Care for a Wool Sweater

It’s about time to store wintry knits for the season. Here’s your pestproof plan.

Wash Gently
“Clean sweaters before storage, because moths, carpet beetles, and silverfish feed off sweat and stains,” says Brian Johnson, the director of education and analysis at the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute, in Laurel, Maryland. Dry cleaning works well but can get pricey. In most cases, it’s safe to hand wash wool (including blends), but let the care label be your guide. Add 2 squirts of a delicates wash, like Wool & Cashmere Shampoo ($19 for 16 ounces, thelaundress.com), to a sinkful of tepid water. Turn the garment inside out; submerge, swish, then soak for 10 minutes. Rinse twice, pressing out the water. Never wring or hang-dry, since wet wool stretches easily.

Dry Flat
Lay the garment on a clean towel and roll it up like a jelly roll to extract water. Unfurl and let dry on a new towel or a mesh rack. Reshape, or “block,” the knit. You can adjust the fit slightly bigger or smaller, and as the garment dries it will set in place.

Depill
Shave off fuzz balls with the Gleener ($20, gleener.com), a fabric-safe device with different blades for heavy, medium, and fine knits.

Stash Safely
Creepie crawlies can worm their way through cracks in a cedar chest; also, cedar’s effectiveness wears off. Instead, fold knits and place them in an airtight plastic bin, says Michelle A. Lee, the country manager for the American division of the Woolmark Company. Finally, throw in a sachet filled with ½ cup dry lavender (bugs hate the stuff) and store in a cool, dry place.

Some Pretty Plus Size Dresses for Spring

Whether you’re looking for a sleek silhouette or a pretty print, an ensemble for the office or a frock for a fete, we’ve got you covered.

1 Kiyonna Barcelona Wrap Dress

A classic wrap style (updated with cute shoulder cut-outs) in versatile navy makes this dress a year-round staple. Add a blazer and tall boots for work during the winter months, then slip on sandals and statement earrings for warm-weather get-togethers.

2 Ashley Stewart Pleated Tiered Maxi Dress

A tiered, pleated construction gives this maxi an ultra light and airy feel that can go casual with flat sandals or dressed up with heels (and eliminates any worry about clingy or tight-fitting fabric).

3 ASOS Curve Smart Midi Dress

Office appropriate without feeling stuffy, this modest style transitions effortlessly from desk to dinner, no wardrobe change needed.

4 Avenue Blue Mixed Floral Cold Shoulder Dress

There’s little not to love about a fit-and-flare frock. From the on-trend “cold shoulder” look to the leg-elongating asymmetric hem, this one will be on repeat for whatever your summer schedule throws at you.

5 City Chic Lace Underlay Chiffon Dress

A wardrobe not-so-secret weapon, every woman needs a go-to little black dress in her closet. With a lace pencil skirt and a floaty, sheer chiffon overlay, this one is anything but basic.

6 Lauren Ralph Lauren Plus Denim Shirt Dress

Stock your closet with no-brainer summertime staples—like a denim dress—and you’ll never experience the “I have nothing to wear!” conundrum again. Just slip on your favorite shoes and you’re out the door.

7 Luxe by Carmen Marc Valvo Plus Size Floral Dress

This clever pattern centers the darkest part of the print right at your waist, creating a minimizing, nipped-in appearance that’s universally flattering

Top Raincoats for Women

London Fog and Burberry may have the market cornered, but they’re not the only brands who stock chic slickers.

1. Topshop

Not all fashion brands consistently carry a broad selection of macs, but Topshop never fails to have plenty of options available. Unexpected colors and design details like contrast lining set this trend-focused retail chain’s offerings apart from the more expected.

2. Lands’ End

Leave it to a retailer with a heritage in outdoor outfitting to turn out an abundance of raincoats in all colors and silhouettes. Whether you’re looking for basic black or something that makes a little bit more of a statement, you’ll find it here. (And like nearly every other item they sell, almost all of Lands’ End’s slickers are available in regular, petite, tall, and plus sizes).

3. Stutterheim

If rain gear could be elevated to an actual art form, Stutterheim would be it. Inspired by Sweden’s gloomy weather (and Swedish artists like Ingmar Bergman), their jackets are handmade with high-end materials like rubberized cotton, and often designed in collaboration with contemporary artists and influencers, making them well worth the investment.

4. Joules

Based in Britain (where it rains more than 100 days out of the year), Joules recognized the need for outerwear that’s as stylish as it is functional. The company carries raincoats in a broad array of colors and prints with no detail left untouched—from waterproof taped seams to cozy linings. The fact that they also have wellies to match is just an added bonus.

5. Hunter

They already make the world’s most beloved rain boots, so it makes sense that Hunter’s updated collection of outerwear was just as well-received. The company paid special attention to fit and design details (like a flattering drawstring waist and contrasting inside print) so their pieces add to your outfit—instead of just covering it up.