Not just a brown bagOnce the marker of the perfect '50s...


November 10, 1996|By Janice D'Arcy | Janice D'Arcy,SUN STAFF

Not just a brown bag

Once the marker of the perfect '50s female, cocktail bags have replaced the bulky shoulder bags and sleek backpacks of last season. They don't hold as much, and they demand at least one hand's attention -- but their worth is in their elegance. They add a retro look to suits and grace to evening wear. And unlike the basic black or brown of last year's bags, they come in plaids (like the Kate Spade design shown here), leopard prints and iridescent shades.

Two accessories that some women can't get enough of have now inspired books -- two weighty, photo-filled, borderline-obsessive tomes, in fact. "Shoes: A Celebration of Footwear Through the Ages," by Linda O'Keeffe (Workman Publishing, $10.95) will be in bookstores this month. The full-color portraits follow shoe innovations from the 2-foot-high 16th-century wooden chopines through platform pumps, showing styles by Vivier, Manolo Blahnik and Vivienne Westwood.

"Unmentionables: A Brief History of Underwear," by Elaine Benson and John Esten (Simon and Schuster, $30 ) is also being released this month. It's slimmer than the shoe book, but more information-dense. Tracing the history of garters, bras, briefs, corsets and their kin, the authors use their forum to describe our country's psychological history as well. Hmmm.

Always misplacing earrings? With Vanitylamp your worries may be over. Designed by a father whose daughters were constantly losing their earrings, this $30 ceramic lamp holds earring backs, rings and necklaces in its base; its lampshade has enough holes to hold 60 pairs of earrings, whether hoops, studs or shoulder dusters. The lamp, available in black or ivory, can be shipped anywhere in the country. For more information, call (800) 526-7463.

Finding funky fashions geared for senior citizens is as easy as going online these days. A just-released clothes and accessories line called Geezer Gear is marketing hats, T-shirts, sweat shirts and aprons emblazoned with the slogan "Outta my way kid!" through the World Wide Web. Geezer Gear, a Silicon Valley, Calif.-based company, has just created a home page at http: // where seniors can type up an order. Those who are not part of the cyberset can always revert to the phone and call (800) 835-2400 to buy the products, which range from $12 to $30.

Pub Date: 11/10/96

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