Ask Aimée

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Aimée Gowland is a local fashion expert and stylist who specializes in personal shopping, wardrobe consultation and private shopping excursions.

A Real Shoe-Inask-aimee2

Q.  There are some shoes and handbags from seasons past that I would like to use again, but they are in need of some mending and cleaning. Do you have any recommendations for a local cobbler?

Jo Ann, Mandeville

A. A little nip/tuck and cosmetic maintenance makes everything feel new again. There is a terrific place in Metairie that I and fellow followers of fashion have entrusted to care and repair for prized possessions. Some of my beloved “investment” pieces have visited the Shoe Doctor at 749 Homestead Ave. The number is 504-832-1910, and the hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Harem Scarem

Q. The spring fashion magazines are filled with pages of models in harem pants! Really, Aimée, they cannot be serious!

Kim, Arabiask-aimee1

A. Hello, Kate Moss? MC Hammer called. He wants his pants back.”
I am afraid to reply that designers might be playing a cruel joke on us. Spring collections for Calvin Klein, Rebecca Taylor, Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang all have some version of the Aladdin-inspired garment. (I now have Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” stuck in my head.) It will be very challenging for the everyday woman to pull off this look and not appear as if she is wearing part of a Halloween costume. It was even harsh to watch models walk the runway in belly-dancer pants. My suggestion is to skip this fad, which made a brief appearance and disappearance in the late 1980s. I persuade even the fashion-forward crowd to bypass it. However, be forewarned: My prior trend forecasting predictions with reference to UGG boots worn by New Orleanians were remarkably erroneous.

Space Odyssey

Q. Is it possible for a little green leprechaun to come do some spring cleaning in my closet? It is out of control, and my mother-in-law told me it looks like I am trying to squeeze Orleans Parish into Algiers.

Renée, Irish Channel

A. If you leave a pot of gold, I will magically appear in a little green costume and sort through your wardrobe.

Spring is the ideal season for organizing and managing your closet. Your wardrobe can quickly turn into a chaotic black hole of stilettos, socks and shopping bags. A little time and a few inexpensive organizational accessories will leave you feeling liberated and in control again. When your renovation is complete, you will be inspired to “shop” in your own closet.ask-aimmee3

These recommended items solve space limitations and save time selecting outfits:

•    Instant Shelving – Hanging canvas bags for folded items
•    Plastic Shoe Drawers – Clear, trimmer and shorter than regular shoe boxes
•    Natural Canvas Boxes – Best for storing seasonal or folded garments and accessories
•    Padded Hangers – Perfect for silks and delicate dresses and blouses
•    Plastic Hangers and Clips– Wire hangers can distort apparel over time
•    Large Plastic Stacking Drawers – Keep accessories and clothing visible and accessible
Sites such as www.thecontainerstore.com and www.organize-everything.com are terrific resources for a range of clutter dilemmas. These two sites provide detailed DIY solutions for large and small closet quandaries. Also, please visit your local Harry’s Ace Hardware to pick up your storage and space-saving accessories for your wardrobe needs. Harry’s Ace has been in business since 1910 and has three convenient locations around the metro area to offer you personal assistance (535 Magazine St., 4817 General Meyer Ave., 1521 Metairie Road).