Clever creations for the wife, mother, or daughter in your lifeCOLUMBIA, 12/16/11 (Beat Byte) -- Two words describe fashion intern Sharon Quinn's favorite selections at House of Van Sickle: sweater dresses. She was wearing one herself when I visited."Our sweater dresses are one of those unique clothing items that just have to be seen on a person to be fully appreciated," she told me. "They only really come to life on the fitting forms of a human body."Quinn was right. Her Van Sickle sweater dress was a sexy-cozy combination of what she calls a "deconstructed dress" and a cotton-spandex blended midsection. The spandex, from specialty dance wear, forms the dress' middle layer and form fits, right around the center of an hourglass figure. You men out there will love to hug your ladies in this unusual take on casual, cold-weather comfort.
For the cold weather, my daughter has started wearing my sweaters, also starting a fashion trend called "wear dad's sweaters to school day."Now compliments of another Van Sickle intern, she can have her own dresses made from dad's neckties. You read that right: "necktie skirts." Skirts -- and purses -- made from men's neckties. It sounds like an odd combination, but the result is striking and offbeat.
I also liked Van Sickle's festive holiday leggings, red and green and ready for almost any dress, skirt, or shorts. "They're among my very favorites," Quinn told me. She also introduced a Van Sickle exclusive: Signature line skirt, tunic, and dress-ready tops so self-supporting they don't require a bra. "They're our current pride and joy," owner Suzanne Van Sickle told me.
I walked out of Van Sickle with a gift for my daughter: the cutest, cleverest, most adorable fashion accessory I've seen in a while made by Van Sickle intern Allia Rahman. It was one of those items I bought the minute I saw it, since as we dads and husbands know, the women in our lives aren't always easy to buy for.
You see the right gift, and you land on it! And like everything else at Van Sickle, it was very reasonably priced. What is it? Can't tell. Santa says that's strictly hush hush until opening day.
Artists and artisans featured in this story:Allia RahmanSharon QuinnSuzanne Van Sickle