Saturday, June 03, 2023

Carly’z Craze is welcoming spring with a bright and cheerful mix of casual and casual elegant clothes that are just right for work, school and shul. It’s not too early to start shopping for camp; there’s a great selection of T-shirts and skirts girls will love. Trust owner Alene Brodsky-Bloom to choose styles and colors that are the embodiment of popular looks with a twist that makes them stand out. At a recent visit, she gave me a tour of her collections.

Button down dresses are big this season, said Brodsky-Bloom, and she has a button-down chambray dress in several colors. In blue it’s perfect for running around town doing errands. In white it can be dressy with the right accessories. Wear either one open over a top and skirt for going anywhere from the store to the beach. I’ve seen button down white shirts all over the fashion and celebrity sighting media.

Denim and denim looks have made a huge comeback. A dress from maker Japparel has tiered fabric in black or blue mineral wash, a look like denim but the fabric is lighter. It has a front half zipper for up to the neck coverage, or wear lower over a shirt for a pop of color underneath.

I noticed a group of beautiful geometric and floral print dresses. Brodsky-Bloom said she always has some dresses but carries more near holidays. So if you want a new dress for Shavuot, now’s the time to choose from an excellent selection.

Transition seasons mean dressing for a variety of temperatures, sometimes during the same day. Lightweight sweaters, or tops that can be layered with a cardigan or blazer, are perfect for spring, when mornings are cool and temps rise but not too high. The brand YAL has a great white lightweight sweater with butterflies in black or with metallic colors. YAL has a ribbed, fitted top with a variety of base colors and contrasting seams up the side and arms.

If you’re wearing a printed top, you want a nice, solid color skirt. Pleats have been popular for several seasons now. For spring, Carly’z Craze has a great textured, lightweight skirt in four colors, with a panel so it has a loose fit but doesn’t stick out.

And you can do the reverse. Wear a skirt in a dazzling display of colors and pair with a solid top, either black, white or a neon color that picks up a hue in the skirt. Two looks for layered outfits are both in vogue: the cropped cardigan and longer blazer. Pair a solid color cropped sweater cardigan over a print skirt with swirling neon colors. The solid black cardigan is just right for a black and white contrasting skirt. Go for a satin midi skirt that will make you feel like a perpetual spring day, with its pastel flowers. Pair it with a soft top by KMW that’s roomy on top for freedom of movement but fitted on the bottom for a sleeker look. The tops come in delicious shades of hot pink, melon, green and blue.

Blazers and jackets add a layer for warmth and style. Make a statement with a hot pink blazer. Or go basic with black—but not too basic. This blazer has rhinestone fringe embellishment for a little added fun. For every day, there’s cool casual denim.

For girls, summer camp is around the corner and Carly’z Craze is ready. There are plenty of fun tops with three quarter sleeves in stripes, prints, hearts, stars and smiley faces on waffle fabric. And plenty of short sleeve basic tees for summer activities. Lightweight hoodies with butterflies or smiley faces are great for chill evenings in the country.

Cargo pockets are the newest style for girls and women. Junee has a girls’ white cargo skirt with black stripes, and the reverse. Brodsky-Bloom says more cargo skirt styles are coming.

Jodi Mead, the merchandising manager at Carly’z Craze who was there during my visit, gave me some insight into how she puts together the outfits in the windows at Carly’z Craze, and groups collections together. “It comes to me as I walk the store,” she said, trying to explain what comes naturally to her. “I try to put things together that make sense. You can take basic and funky and put them together. It’s a continuous process. Things sell and something new comes in. And Alene will say, ‘Jodi, we need a place for this!’” She also pointed out the accessories that go with any outfit. There are lots of bracelets that you can group together. Earrings are bold—the bigger the better, she says. For your head, there are pre tied scarves, baseball hats and beanies in many colors and patterns. Girls have a large selection of headbands, barrettes and scrunchies to explore.

Carly’z Craze gets new merchandise in continuously. Visit the store at 472 Cedar Lane, www.carlyzcraze.com, and on Facebook and Instagram.

By Bracha Schwartz

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