Learning to live with lean looks

September 19, 1990|By N.Y. Times News Service

While the catsuit, or stretch bodysuit, is heralded as the base for the "easy" modern wardrobe, many women are discovering drawbacks to one-piece dressing.

Putting on a catsuit can be a struggle, women say, unless you're Baryshnikov. Taking one off is like peeling a salami. And on dress-up occasions away from home, in the powder room you have to ease them off over jewelry like bracelets.

And some thought must be given to the care of your catsuit. Should you hang it on a hanger? You wouldn't want stretch the straps, since many suits are scoop-necked and the whole point is fit. Also they tend to reach to the closet floor where they dirty.

Fortunately, many catsuits are washable blends of cotton and stretch fibers. Norma Kamali, who has been designing the species since 1970, recommends laying it flat on tissue paper and rolling it up as you would a sleeping bag.

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