Primitive and practicalIt's summer's take-anywhere bag and...

STYLE FILE

July 14, 1996|By VIDA ROBERTS | VIDA ROBERTS,SUN FASHION EDITOR

Primitive and practical

It's summer's take-anywhere bag and works equally well for the granola crowd and city slickers. The simple straw crochet design can be produced in any country that has skilled hands, so the shape is showing up everywhere in designer versions, one-price shops and street stalls. Shown here, the look by Kaminski, at That Handbag Place in Pikesville.

From fun shades from the discount store to designer-logo styles that cost in the hundreds, sunglasses are a hot-weather must.

So there they sit, the fortysomethings, in the piazza sipping imported waters. They look cool and sophisticated in their designer shades until the waiter presents the menu for perusal. Glamour gets in the way as they juggle their fashion shades in the scramble for reading specs.

New on the market are removable corrective lenses that convert sunglasses into readers. Optx 20/20 are peel-and-stick reusable magnifiers that come in strengths from +1.00 to +3.00 in .25 diopter steps. They adhere to the inside of glasses, so only you and your designer know you have aging eyes.

The stick-ons may be the cool solution for some of America's 76 million baby boomers who want to be able to read even when traveling fashion's fast track.

They cost $25. For information, call (800) 344-2020. Sweater pilling? Rayon blouse spotted? Is it dry-clean or spin-dry? A new Web site helps consumers answer fabric-care questions, although one wonders about the sort of person who would surf the Internet for detergent data.

There's lingo, care and wear, label language and opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions.

Fabric University is a "cyberschool" on the nature of fibers, how they are made and how they perform. Check out FabricLink on the World Wide Web at http: //www.Fabriclink.com.

Not your father's chinos

We're experiencing a renaissance of le style Americain. When Karl Lagerfeld, the Kaiser of Chic, put superdivas into chinos for the Chanel spring collection, he may have started a run on preppy catalogs and purveyors of boring but basic classics.

The difference between fashion khakis and father's khakis, however, is in the cut. Fashionistas like Linda Evangelista wear them double-belted and showing a sliver of midriff. Their cut is skinny, pegged or tapered at the ankle, hugging the fanny and riding the hip. No pleats; plain fronts only.

Because traditional all-cotton khaki has a starchy and hard finish until it is washed into submission, today's versions may be woven with a touch of stretch fiber.

Khakis are meant to be worn with a tailored belt, so borrow and shorten his old-man version with the squared buckle.

Pub Date: 7/14/96

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