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Clothes Line

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Possibly the greatest problem in the quest for remaining stylish and fashion-conscious is the expense. The soaring inflationary rate reflected in price tags has put many clothing items out of the reach of most workers' paychecks.

In the past decade clothing prices have more than doubled - although most of our budgets haven 't. The clothing industry increases its prices at al most triple the cost-of-living rate.

Clothing manufacturers blame the exorbitant prices on soaring labor costs and the high cost of raw materials like fabrics, buttons, zippers, etc. Most consumers know, however, that the manufacturers tend to make a profit much higher than the increase n wage workers earnings on its ready-to-wear, low-to-middle priced garments.

In addition the texture and fiber of today's expensive polyesters can in no way match the elegance and-durability of yesterday's gabardines and jersies.

Consumers are weary of the high profit margin attained by the clothing manufacturers who sell to the wholesalers, who in turn pitch for high profits at their level, and so on down to the retailer.

Most retail stores-from the larger department-store chains like Hudson's and Sears to the smaller specialty-shop franchises like Louis the Hatter and Nadon's (and to a lesser extent, the small retailers) also attain a high profit margin.

The dilemma then becomes buying the best possible garment for the lowest possible price-an objective that entails as much luck as knowledge.

Since department stores buy in bulk and in larger quantities, it seems in theory that their prices would be less expensive.

Not true. Department stores are notorious for marking up prices higher than smaller specialty stores which have a different set of problems in their overhead expenses.

Department stores have a couple of things over smaller shops. Their size makes for a greater selection, and their larger stock of inventory goods makes for greater sales at better savings for the shopper.

Most department .stores traditionally hold their clearance sales the day after Christmas, Easter, 4th of ]uly and Labor Day, times of seasonal and therefore fashion change.

J. L. Hudson's holds its Bra and Girdle Sale in January and July and its Home Sale in August and February. Other special sales fall during Discovery Days in October and the Motor City Sale n March.

Crowley's, like Hudson's, features both its Bra and Girdle Sale and its White Sale in July and January. October is the month of their Anniversary Sale and departmental coat sales, and May brings Crowley's Summer Preview Sales.

Saks Fifth Avenue, downtown and at Somerset Mali, provides drastic savings to its charge and mailing-list customers, offering them three days of access to its clearance-sale clothing before the general public gets to it.

At Franklin Simons, a special floor or section of each store features clearance merchandise exclusively.

ACCESSORIES. The multiple-pierced-ears look is still considered a bit flamboyant, but the Monkey Boutique can pierce any number of holes in any number of ears quickly and painlessly without the disapproving stares of the department store ear-piercing nurses. Price includes 14-karat gold earrings, piercing with a special ear-piercing gun and warm encouragement and assistance from proprietor Ali Rahaman. The Monkey Boutique also features a complete line of natural cosmetics. . .

Junior's Jazz Room, with two stores on Dexter and on W. Seven Mile, is- contrary to its name- a clothing store featuring handpicked selections of high-fashion clothing for men and women.

Check out the new leather-trimmed jeans for fall at low prices at any Pants Station location.

The Plum Pit, one of the original "head shops" of the '60's (on Gratiot in Roseville), is now carrying Third World shirts from Pakistan and India, hand-painted belts from Mexico, leather products and an excellent supply of t-shirts. Tell 'em The Sun sent you! o