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The Art Of Shopping

Everything I Could Ever Tell You About …

By September 2006Comments

NAME: Kim France | AGE: 42 | HOMETOWN: Houston | Qualifications: Founding editor in chief of Lucky magazine / Co-author of The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece

• The biggest mistake you can make is falling in love with a look that’s completely wrong for you. You see a picture in a magazine, and it seems so chic, so impossibly what you wish you were, and you decide you have to have it. I take a friend with me shopping or I’ll ask the salesperson, “Please tell me if these jeans make my butt look big.”

• Absolutely always keep the tags on until you get home.

• Everyone—from Target to Kmart—has gotten smart about great design. Last summer at Old Navy I found—in their maternity department—this flowy top that was right on trend. No one at Lucky could believe it was from Old Navy, much less the maternity department.

• Nobody ever got into too much trouble with an A-line skirt. It hides a multitude of flaws.

• When we started Lucky, in 2001, our thought was “‘catalog’ is not a dirty word,” which made us controversial. I saw these fashion magazines that women were really intimidated by and realized that catalogs are completely accessible. Everything in Lucky has got to be worth explaining to your friend why she should buy it.

• On the runway in Milan this year, there was a phenomenal amount of eighties. My fashion director was sitting up really straight, terribly excited, and I was like, “Oh, no, this is not going to happen.” But for fall there are some Empire-waist shrunken jackets that are pretty cool.

• There’s a line I steal from Working Girl, when Melanie Griffith’s character is looking at this $6,000 dress, and her friend, played by Joan Cusack, says incredulously, “It’s not even leatha!” Everything has absolutely got to be worth the money.

• I definitely learned to ply my shopping trade in Houston. My favorite boutique there now is Mix Modern Clothes. It never could have existed when I was growing up, but the city has become so cosmopolitan.

• I was very excited about leggings coming back, and then I realized—I’m 42! I can’t do the leggings! If you remember them from the eighties, you’re too old to wear them now.

• Women in New York think cowboy boots are very chic, but I just can’t see it. I associate them with the outfit we all wore in the eighth grade at Spring Branch Middle School on rodeo day.

• I’m a girl who still enjoys Neiman’s. A few years ago I was in their Chanel department in Dallas, with a co-worker who was asking about a certain jacket, and the saleswoman allowed us to go into the back. Every single private order for every single fancy lady in Dallas had come in, and it was like Chanel heaven. I hadn’t seen that much Chanel even in New York. I felt like I had to go sit down with a big glass of water.

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