By Jenny B. Davis
McClatchy Newspapers
Need a new outfit? Don’t worry about driving to a crowded mall.
Just call up a friend, schedule a time to meet and swing by her house to shop at your leisure.
That’s the idea behind Etcetera, a line of women’s clothing sold exclusively through private appointments in private homes.
It’s a preferred way of shopping for LaDonna Ross, an on-the-go Dallas mom who recently picked up three pairs of pants and four tops from Etcetera wardrobe consultant Laurie Gillespie. Etcetera has “something for everyone,” says Ross, who also appreciates the line’s versatility.
“I bought this top in the fall that I wore with jeans and it looked great, but it also worked with a pair of olive pants and with a denim skirt.”
Ross has been shopping with Gillespie for more than five years, and she says Gillespie not only keeps a record of prior purchases – making refreshing her wardrobe easier because Gillespie knows which new pieces will work with existing pieces – but also understands which cuts will be especially flattering on Ross’ figure.
“I have bought things that I never would have looked at because she says, ‘Oh, this will look good on you!’ and it always does,” Ross says.
Ross’ style, which tends toward J. Crew-style American chic, definitely fits within Etcetera’s aesthetic – its design teams come from figure-friendly and fashionforward labels like Tahari, Anne Klein and Burberry. Because of the direct sales model, the line boasts prices that can be more reasonable than similar brands. Although all Etcetera garments must be ordered, Ross says the wait is often less than a week, and returns are never a problem. And there’s simply no match for the convenience, says Jennifer Hughens, who has been selling the line from her home in southwest Fort Worth for nearly a decade.
“It’s great for women who don’t have time to shop – they can come over, we help them put their wardrobe together, and we take care of them on their timetable – in the evenings, on weekends, whatever fits with their schedule,” she says.
Hughens, who co-hosts sales four times a year along with Liz Brannon, says the new summer collection is full of pretty and colorful dresses and separates. But there’s one piece in particular she admits has already caught her fancy – a silk dress in a brightly colored pattern.
“But I love all the clothes,” she says. “I wear them all the time. It’s easy to sell something that you love.”
For information or to find a show near you, e-mail Read more about the company and see more of the lines at

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