Shirt cuffs disappearing

CLOTHESLINES

September 17, 1992|By Marylou Luther

Dear Marylou: I was always told that the cuff of a man's shirt should show about a quarter of an inch below the sleeve of his jacket. I note that more and more are no longer showing any shirt-cuff. Please comment. -- A.J.A., Montvale, N.J.

Dear A.J.A.: I took your question to Italian menswear designer Gianni Versace, who says he does not believe in rules in menswear. "What feels the best and looks the best for each individual is what matters," says the man who dresses stars such as Sylvester Stallone, Prince, Sting, Don Johnson, George Michael, Michael Jackson and Phil Collins. Versace avoided the question entirely in his recent menswear opening for spring 1993 by showing three-piece suits such as the one illustrated here with no shirt at all. Other designers, such as Giorgio Armani, let the formality of the suit dictate whether or not to show "linen" (the menswear expression for that quarter-inch of shirt cuff). His more casual sport jackets and suits are cut with longer-than-usual sleeves, thereby hiding the shirt cuff, or worn with T-shirts, and his chairman-of-the-board-looking pinstriped suits are worn with linen showing. As you can see, designers have many looks up their sleeves, so take your pick.

Dear Marylou: I ruined the left side of my favorite black velvet with wine. It's a button-front coatdress. Any suggestions for saving my dress? R.J.R., Denver, Colo.

Dear R.J.R.: You have either got to stop going to cocktail parties or follow the lead of Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons, who shields the jackets of her suits in see-through plastic. You could also take a leaf from Paris couturier Hubert de Givenchy's sketchbook and replace the left side of your dress by re-creating it in black satin, as illustrated here. While Givenchy's half-and-half dress of velvet and satin from his July haute couture collection is not a coatdress, the idea translates. The idea of bisecting a dress or jacket in two different fabrics of the same color is newer than bisecting in two different colors.

Dear Marylou: Now that knits are back, I need a taffeta slip so the skirts don't cling. I've looked in many places to no avail. Please don't tell me they're no longer available. -- L.T., Colorado Springs, Colo.

Dear L.T.: I won't. The Vermont Country Store, Mail Order Office, Box 3000, Manchester Center, Vt. 05255-3000, offers both slips and half-slips in cling-free, static-free taffeta woven of Antron III nylon. The full slip, available in bust sizes 34-52, is $19.95. It has a snip-it hem to be cut to desired length. The half-slip, priced at $11.95, comes in small (24-26 waist), medium (28-30), large (32-34), extra large (36-38), extra-extra large (40-42) and extra-extra-extra large (44-46). Both slips come in white only.

Marylou welcomes questions for use in this column. Write Clotheslines, Sun Features, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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