Clotheslines by Marylou Luther



braceleted shirt


Q Dear Marylou:  Shirts are widely featured in the spring collections for 2017.  Do you see this as another sign of Him for Her fashion swapping? __ N.B., Cleveland, OH.


   Dear N.B.:   Kind of.  But with a definite feminine signature.  For example, the silk georgette shirt with silk charmeuse collar illustrated here, is, to its designer Denitza Skorheva of Roumel6, a blouse.  (Maybe it’s those blousy sleeves.)  But to me it’s a shirt—a shirt with glass buttons and its own built-in bracelet.  The beaded cuffs (you’ve heard of bracelets called cuffs; these are cuffs called bracelets) are created from small, very small, glass bugle beads.  They are lined in silk charmeuse.  I applaud her creation of a shirt with built-in jewelry.
Denitza, the Bulgarian-born designer, received her MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, came to New York, earned a design degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, and following internships at Diane von Furstenberg and Carolina Herrera became design director at Necessary Objects and Nine West.  For more information, go to



illustration by Denitza Skorcheva




    Q Dear Marylou:  I’m looking for a bag big enough to accommodate my computer and one with a handle that is long enough so I can throw it over my shoulder.  I don’t want to have to hold it with my hand or over my arm.  Does such a bag exist? __ H.Y., Hogansville, GA. 


      Dear H.Y.: Check out the Grace Deluxe Sleeve Bag at  Go to Laptop Sleeves and you will see a foam-padded, polyester bag sized to fit all 13 and 15-in. Macbooks.  It is made with an envelope closure and a front zippered pocket for easy access to small essentials such as pens, cell phone and small wallet.  The front flap is magnetized, and the handles are long enough to slip onto your shoulder.  It’s available in four colors for $59.95. 



     Q  Dear Marylou:  I know that almost any length is now “fashionable”, but how does a woman determine which length is best for her, her figure, her age and her lifestyle?  I am 5 ft. 2 and have heavy legs .__ A.T., Lincoln, NE.


     Dear A.T.:   Your best research tool is your mirror.  It has been said that the average woman looks at herself in the mirror l7 times a day.  Next time you look, try lowering your sights to include your entire body.  You will soon be able to see for yourself which length is best for you.  Begin your hemline research by wearing black pantyhose.  Now hold a black skirt in front of you, beginning just above the knees, then lowering it until you feel you look your best.  The unbroken line of black skirt and black pantyhose will elongate your figure.  I didn’t factor your age into this scenario (you didn’t tell me), but neither do designers in their spring hemline gyrations.



   Q  Dear Marylou:  What jackets and dresses are best for a woman with osteoporosis?  I have this curvature of the spine and need help in dealing with it sartorially.__ J.T., Mead Point, CT.


    Dear J.T.:   The gathers and shirrings that appear in dresses, jackets and tops with shoulder yokes are especially helpful in disguising dowager’s hump and other figure problems, including protruding stomachs, caused by the disease.  Avoid dresses with waistlines as the curvature of your spine will cause them to pull to one side or to slant.  Smocks and smock-like jackets are especially becoming.    Wear prints instead of solids, as they camouflage curves.


  (Marylou welcomes questions for use in this column, but regrets she cannot answer mail personally.  Send your questions to


 ©2017, International Fashion Syndicate


      Marylou Luther, editor of the International Fashion Syndicate, writes the  award-winning Clotheslines column, a question-and-answer fashion advice feature read weekly by more than 5 million.

   In addition to her syndicated newspaper column, Luther is the creative director of The Fashion Group International, a non-profit organization for the dissemination of information on fashion, beauty and related fields.  Her twice-yearly audio-visual overviews of the New York, London, Milan and Paris ready-to-wear shows are must-seeing/reading for industry leaders. Her coverage of the European collections appears in newspapers throughout the U.S.

   The former fashion editor of The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Des Moines Register is biographied in “Who’s Who in America.”  She won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s coveted Eugenia Sheppard  award for fashion journalism, the Women in Communications award and, in 2004, the Accessories Council’s Marylou Luther Award for Fashion Journalism, which will be given every year in her name.

  Her essays have appeared in “The Rudi Gernreich Book”, “Thierry Mugler: Fashion, Fetish, Fantasy”, “The Color of Fashion”, “Todd Oldham Without Boundaries” and “Yeohlee: Work.” A book with Geoffrey Beene was published in September, 2005. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, where she received the prestigious Alumni Achievement award, Luther is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Kappa Tau Alpha, Theta Sigma Phi and Gamma Phi Beta.