Easy on the stylingRalph Lauren, who knows how to tweak a...


March 09, 1997|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,SUN FASHION EDITOR

Easy on the styling

Ralph Lauren, who knows how to tweak a predictable menswear formula in an interesting way. At his spring show, instead of belting models in traditional webbing, he ran preppy ties through belt loops and called it fashion.

The look is unstudied and relaxed, with a hint of white ducks and Madras jackets and the easy life of summer cottages that Ralph suggests so well. It's an idea to borrow, and a way to recycle the old Frank Leonard ties that linger in grandad's closet. The shell necklace is more problematic.

Steve Madden, designer and merchandiser of totally hip footwear, is now packaging clothes to go. Tee's Take-outs are slick basics that pop out of Chinese food containers. "Feel Like Butta," the tagline, is an apt description for the rayon and Lycra knits, which have a sensuous finish. The tops, priced around $25, come in long, short and sleeveless styles in black and white. They're just hitting New York stores, but can be phone ordered from (888) SMADDEN.

If you have to ask what a "onesie" is or break out in hives at the prospect of shopping in baby boutiques, here's news. Lands' End Kids catalog has introduced a layette collection of cute cuddlies for newborns. The pieces are priced from $12 to $26 or $120 for the 6-piece package all gift-boxed and delivered. This is the answer for bachelor uncles or friends who can't seem to get past the stuffed animal zoo or T-shirts that say Lil Slugger. The quality and design are up to smart career mom standards. Call (800) 734-5437 for a catalog.

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