Savvy shoppers are buying spring styles and money is no object

March 18, 1992|By Anne-Marie Schiro | Anne-Marie Schiro,New York Times News Service

Spring may be just around the corner, but spring clothes have been in the stores for several weeks. In some cases, in and out of the stores. Sales are picking up, several retailers say, at least among women who are interested in fashion.

These dedicated shoppers have been snapping up examples of the latest trends, things like long skirts, vests, skinny pants, menswear suits and shirts, poor-boy sweaters and anything that s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s.

"Ask me what's selling, and I'll tell you long skirts," said Kalman Ruttenstein, Bloomingdale's senior vice president for fashion direction.

"They quietly came into the store, and they quietly began to sell. No store, including us, really got behind long skirts in a big way, but what we have, have been selling."

Price doesn't seem to be a factor. The store's best sellers include $62 stretch cotton skirts by Tapemeasure (102 pieces sold out of 175), $225 wrap skirts from DKNY (90 sold out of 96), $415 sheer silk skirts by Calvin Klein (22 sold out of 24), and $550 back-wrap skirts by Isaac Mizrahi (9 out of 12 sold).

Other hot numbers include a $145 white vest from DKNY that sold out and has been reordered.

Both long and short pleated skirts are selling at Galleries Lafayette at Trump Tower, according to Eugenia Ulasewicz, the president.

"Our customers want both," she said. "They also want novelty. A new white blouse with a great collar or interesting neckline treatment. Mugler par Mugler novelty suits in bright colors with cutouts. And platform pumps by Karl Lagerfeld.

"They cost $345, and we sold six pairs the day we put them on the floor. We keep reordering."

You may not be ready for platform shoes, but chances are you'll be wearing pants this spring. How you wear them depends on your own style.

The most popular are cigarette slim, with stretch fibers for mobility, or are like a man's trousers, complete with pleats and cuffs.

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