Mitzvah Market Magazine: Fashion Fun

Mitzvah Market Magazine: Fashion Fun

By Amy Fish

A Different Look For Every Party Without Breaking The Bank

When Jen Forman’s daughter Charlotte was nearing Bat Mitzvah age, she wanted a new dress for every party. “Sometimes there would be two, three Bar/Bat Mitzvahs the same weekend!” says the founder and CEO of Charlotte’s Closet, an online store that rents designer dresses to teens and tweens.

Pictured above are a few looks from Charlotte’s Closet (L-R): Un Deux Trois, worn by Zelda in a black A-line dress, Ella is wearing an ombre bandage dress by Jolene and Goldie has on a Jolene deep blue dress with strappy detail.

Like many parents of young girls, Forman had to find a way to combine her daughter’s love of fashion and her budding independence, with Forman’s own needs for a manageable price and reduced shopping time. And so, five years ago, she launched the Charlotte’s Closet website. Last year, she opened a corresponding store in Port Washington. With Charlotte’s Closet, girls have access to a communal clothing rack with hundreds of designer dresses that they can borrow. They can pick several dream outfits online and get them delivered right to their door, all for one flat fee. When the parties are over, they simply pack them up and send them back.

Their slogan: Rent It! Rock It! Return It! There are several different options to choose from, ranging from a one time rental for the girl who needs a special gown, to the “Endless Closet,” where those with a packed social calendar can borrow several designer dresses for a month.

It’s a lot greener than having an overstuffed closet and there’s no need to wear the same dress twice, says Forman.

Alas, that’s the dilemma many girls face today: what to wear when you’re invited to dozens of parties with the same people during one Bar/Bat Mitzvah season. You want different looks, but you don’t have a bottomless budget. Hence the popularity of Charlotte’s Closet.

There are other ways to have a runway of styles, colors, and trends without repeating a look or breaking the bank. Here are some ideas:

• Have a dress and accessories swap with friends who don’t share all the same social circles. Trade what no longer fits or isn’t your fav, for something someone else wants to give up. It won’t cost you a dime to get many new outfits.
• Upcycle. Repurpose what you have: shorten a long dress, take the sleeves off a top, or add a lace trim to a mini, and voilà, you have a whole new look. If you’re crafty you can do this yourself; if not, a tailor can help for a fraction of the price of buying something new.
• Check out resale, consignment, and thrift shops for a cache of dresses, accessories, scarves, belts, and other items to change up your look at bargain prices. Some stores like Buffalo Exchange even sell new, current-trend, tags-on garments.

Want a different look for every party? Switch things up. The little black dress (LBD), for example is a blank slate. Add a sparkly belt and some fun costume jewelry one night, and then a sequined or furry bolero jacket over it to another party. No one will be wiser that the LBD is the same. Or step out in animal print ballet flats and matching shawl and then trade them out for trendy boots and a coordinated clutch with a pop of color.

Animal prints, metallics, and navy are all the rage in girl’s attire, says Andrea Forbes, area manager for Lester’s stores. Plus, hair accessories are hot. “Headbands, scrunchies, and clips can help you. change your look. Wear your hair up or down with a headband that coordinates or contrasts with your outfit. Add color or texture with one in velvet or plaid, rhinestones, or grommets.”

Make sure your wardrobe has a few great pieces that can be rotated, advises Forbes. Have separates — a skirt and two tops – a dressy jumpsuit, and a couple of dresses in different shapes including straight, fit and flare, and bandage.

Be creative with accessories, suggests Esther Fortunoff, president of Fortunoff Fine Jewelery. “Girls change their look these days by adding big gold hoops in an ‘80s revival, or they add lots of stacking bracelets. You can do them in silver, gold, or mix with blackened metals. Wear a big blingy pendant of cubic zirconium. There’s a whole rainbow of costume jewelry,” she says.

“Girls are also layering lots of fine gold necklaces of different lengths, some with tiny diamonds, little bars, or gemstones. You can even raid your mom’s jewelry box.”

Mitzvah Market Magazine 2019-2020

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