With the shrinking size of carry-ons and increasing costs of checking luggage many designers are making multi-purpose garments.

A few years ago, Miss Elaine offered a heavy weight cotton short sleeved A line dress with pockets.  Bright colors and neckline detailing followed ready to wear trends.  One of my customers bought one to take on a vacation.  When I told her she could wear it five times, i.e., to lunch, to dinner, to hang around the beach house, to sleep in and as a bathing suit cover up (always last), she seemed skeptical.  After her trip she came in to tell me she did exactly that and picked out another one.

Maybe all multi-purpose styles wouldn’t pass the five use test, but all are very flexible in function.  PJ’s look like casual wear; Lounge sets look like sportswear; nightgowns act like dresses and cover ups; caftans are great for patio parties and beach cover ups.  The shorter caftan makes a great outfit with leggings.  Dresses can go from breakfast to cocktails and dinner just by changing accessories.

Two best sellers this summer are a camisole with built in bra by Amoena and various styles of tops with excellent quality lace covering the shoulders by Arianne.  Paired with shorts, jeans, or dressier outfits, they take the place of multiple garments.  With an array of colors in both, matching isn’t difficult.

Haven’t yet found a bra and panty that doubles as a swimsuit in polite company.  Maybe next year!



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