classic. Retailing for $195, the umbrella features a polished, allwood shaft and handle, complete with the Burberry logo. Visit the Burberry store in Manhattan, or call 800-284-8480 for a location near you.
Price: $12 and up
Features: Totes is offering four new umbrellas. For women, consider the Wonderlight, which weighs 50% less than a regular umbrella, and the Nightlighter, featuring a built-in light for better visibility.
For the man on your list, consider the full-coverage Executive, which folds flat for storage in a briefcase. Also check out the Auto Open Close, which features touch-of-a-button handling. Visit Totes online at www.totes.com.
KEEPING THINGS IN ORDER
Advice for consumers: One key to success is the ability to manage time. Thus, an organizer is an essential tool for any professional. “A good organizer will be both sophisticated and sturdy. It must be able to endure the various rigors of everyday use,” advises Anna-Marie Lopez of New York’s John Stationery.
The cost of an organizer varies, based on size and quality of materials used. But, invest in leather–it will last for years and achieve an attractive, broken-in look. The organizer should include a clean layout and simple graphics.
“Extras are nice, but the most important features are the calendar, a telephone directory and a pen holder,” says Lopez.
Expensive Product: Filofax
Features: The most popular in this top-quality brand is the Personal Organizer, pictured her. Cost starts at $65 for basic leather, and soars to $1,095 for the more extravagant alligator, ostrich and lizard
leathers. Refills range between $5 and $26.50.
Several features include: Day- and week-at-a-glance calendars, printed personal expense forms, and a handy subject index. Also features a ruled note pad and an address book. To order, call 800-635-4321 or shop online at www.filofax.com.
Products: Day Runner
Features: A popular brand in office supply stores such as OfficeMax and Staples, the Classic Edition is a great economical organizer. The leather version is priced between $80 and $105. It is also available in vinyl for between $55 and $75.
Features include a built-in check register and credit card holder, sections for projects, contacts, finances and expenses, as well as a monthly calendar and day-at-a-glance scheduler. A notepad and telephone directory are also included. Call 800-232-9786 or visit their Web site
PEARLS OF WISDOM
Advice for consumers: Only 10%-20% of all pearls are even considered to be the highest quality. With proper care, cultured pearls will last
for years. “Do not store pearls in a dry place for long periods of
time,” warns Patrick Hopman, owner of Hopman Jewelers in Elkhart, Indiana. Pearls are composed of small traces of water; the lack of humidity may evaporate the pearls’ moisture and dull the luster.
Faux pearls are considerably lower in price and quality than their authentic counterparts. However, the untrained eye rarely will be able to tell the difference. For more information, contact the American Gem Trade Association at 800-972-1162.
Product: Tiffany cultured pearl necklace
Features: The idea pearl will be slightly pink in color, and the luster or shine quality is very high. It should be completely round unless