The weather is warming up, and so is the color palette of tops, skirts and dresses. While buds are just beginning to make their appearance in the ground, flowers are blooming in the spring fashions at Carly’z Craze in Teaneck. “People need to feel like things are changing,” said owner Alene Brodsky Bloom. “They want to feel springy and get an uplift for the holidays.”
Since opening in 2011, Carly’z Craze has been the address for girls, teens, young adults and women who want stylish, moderately priced, modest casual clothing—the mix most in demand now. “People want to dress up a little and get something new, but still be comfy,” said Brodsky Bloom. “That’s what we specialize in; that’s us in a nutshell.”
Carly’z Craze has tiered floral skirts that can be paired with light sweaters, tees or tunics. Taupe and beige are popular neutrals, with blues, mints and pinks splashed on lightweight fabric in muted or bright hues. Skirt sets, with mix and match capability, are great for freshening up and expanding wardrobes. Brodsky Bloom said flare skirts are outselling pencil skirts, which tend to be constricting, especially if you’re sitting much of the day in a classroom or in front of a screen. Dresses never go out of style. Lots of fun dresses have arrived that are easy to wear and comfortable.
Much of the fashions at Carly’z Craze are good for more than one season, adding to their value. The day schools in this area have dress codes, not uniforms, so black skirts have a preeminent place in wardrobes, even as closets welcome fresh, seasonal pieces. Brodsky Bloom said her staples are available all year. She gets two big deliveries of seasonal styles: spring/summer and fall/winter, and “spices up the stock with new fashion items regularly.” She buys from trusted sources, including Kosher Casual, KMW, KikiRiki and Junee, and tests out new vendors frequently.
Brodsky Bloom is very excited about Mia Mod, a company she learned about recently, known for its particular style of knit flare skirt, the MM, in a variety of lengths. “One of my young adult customers told me about it; I tested it and it was great. That’s how I find out about a number of companies—customers will tell me about brands and I try a few things to test.”
Carly’z Craze still has some Reflex sweatshirts, a mainstay during the pandemic. Lockdown at home was cozy in a Reflex tie dye or burnout sweatshirt, brightened up with stars and other designs.
Brodsky Bloom weathered the pandemic crisis by developing an ecommerce platform and opening with COVID precautions in June. But just this week, she reopened the dressing room. “I feel like a cement block has been lifted off my shoulders,” she exclaimed. “We can help people again!”
Brodsky Bloom gets to know her regular customers and helps them find what they’re looking for. Ecommerce helped the store stay afloat, but it’s the personal connection that means the most. Trying on clothing in the store is also better for business. During the pandemic, Carly’z Craze instituted a very liberal return policy, which creates some havoc with revenue and inventory. When customers try on clothes in the dressing room, they know what fits and make fewer returns.
Accessories is another category at Carly’z Craze. Jewelry adds sparkle to an outfit, and makes a great bat mitzvah gift. Bloom is about to get a collection from Bara Boheme, which makes designs like hamsas and hearts in fun colors with adjustable chains.
Winter is leaving us (yay!) but head coverings are always in demand for style and for married women who cover their hair. TUK, for Tie Ur Knot, makes triangles with grips on the ends, perfect for wearing with wigs. All Made Up, a Teaneck-based company, has a line of beanies, berets and headbands that are fashionable and comfortable for indoor wear.
Shop in person for spring at Carly’z Craze, 472 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, or online at https://www.carlyzcraze.com.
By Bracha Schwartz