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Dressing the Part 

Part of the enjoyment of shopping at Humbug/Brides by Liz (2707 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-3339) is not only great prices but also the diversity of customers you'll meet there on any given day.

"The thing that makes my store so much more fun than going to the malls Š is the atmosphere," says Liz LaMartina, who has owned the shop for 34 years. "You have one person looking for a Mardi Gras costume, another who's in a marching band and looking for boots, another guy who wants to be Elvis Presley and is singing to you, a girl who wants a ball gown and a guy who wants a tuxedo."

The store is filled with costumes -- some can be rented -- as well as outfits for tap, ballet and jazz dancing, gymnastics, cheerleading and more. There also is a bridal shop where wedding gowns start at under $100, designer bridesmaid dresses start at $79.99, and tuxedoes can be rented for as little as $39.99. Plus, there's a seamstress on-site to help make everything fit perfectly; most alterations are free. The seamstress also can custom-design outfits if a customer doesn't find what he or she needs in stock.

Customers who mention this article receive 10 percent off anything in the store, including special orders.

The staff doesn't just try to push what is hanging in the store. They will show customers how to put on special makeup or use the many accessories available to make costumes with items they have at home. "I think what has kept us in business so long is we take our time and try to help them," LaMartina says. "We're very creative and helpful, and we'll help them stay within their budget."

Luther's Reformation Perhaps one of the best ways to explore Germany is with Tulane educators who have planed a 12-day tour that follows reformer Martin Luther from his birth to his death. Tulane Edutour will take participants to Berlin, Wittenberg, Worlitz, Eisleben, Mansfield, Erfurt, Eisenach, Torgau, Leipzig, Dresden and Potsdam, and will include monasteries, castles, museums, markets and more. Price of the tour, which starts May 11, is $2,950 per person and includes round-trip air fare, hotel accommodations, meals, tours and an autographed copy of Dr. Martin Marty's book, Martin Luther. For more information, call Frederick Koenig at 899-7753 or log onto www.reformationpath.net.

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