Cargo rules. The military-style, deep pocketed shorts are big sellers this season, rating high among those eager for comfort and style.
Look around - in Gap stores, L.L. Bean catalogs, Guess ads - and you'll see them nearly everywhere. Although cargo shorts are defined by their side pockets, variations abound. At Ocean Pacific, where the style is the best-selling bottom of the season, choices include shorts or skirts, twill or corduroy, and pockets that zip, press or button shut.
The cargo look origin-ated with the military, where extra storage space was a necessity. But pockets today aren't just for show.
"They're replacing fanny packs," says Nat Norfleet, creative director for Ocean Pacific.
And with Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior and Gucci showing cargo pants for fall, the look, it seems, has signed up for an additional tour of duty.
The skinny on tops
It's not enough that designers brought back platform shoes, wrap dresses and halters. Now they've re-discovered the tube top.
In its original form, this strapless garment was an unforgiving thing, squeezing women in all the wrong places. During the '70s, only Cher seemed long and lean enough to look fashionable in one.
Twenty years later, designers and discount retailers are touting the skinny top as a summer essential. And it's no longer just for the back yard.
The versions on the runways for spring were elegant evening pieces in shimmery fabrics. Best of all, thanks to Lycra and spandex, tube tops now actually stay where you put them.
Mosquitoes, gnats and fleas, beware. The beauty field is geared up to help humans avoid the itch and sting of insect bites. Here's what's new:
* Avon's Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Mosquito Repellent Moisturizing Towelettes are individually packaged wipes designed to ward off annoying bites. They're handy for picnics, sporting events and other activities when carrying less is key. A box of 10 is $7.95. Call 800-FOR-AVON.
* Sun Swat sets out to zap bugs and the sun with one spray, a combination natural insect repellent and SPF 15 sun block from the Kiss My Face Corp. Suggested retail: $9.95. Available at area health food stores such as Village Market in Pikesville.
Shoes by Tommy
Women who love Tommy Hilfiger will soon have a new way to pledge their allegiance to the patriotic designer: They can wear his shoes.
The boyish entrepreneur, whose name is synonymous with red, white and blue, is branching out into women's footwear. His dress and athletic lines offer twists on classic styles: penny loafers are made of iridescent leather, ankle boots feature embossed logos and sneakers come in candy hues.
Hilfiger is working with the Stride Rite Corporation and expects to have shoes in stores by August. Prices range from $50 to $165.
Pub Date: 6/07/98