The luxe of a tux -- for women

STYLE FILE

October 21, 2001|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,Sun Staff

Sure, we women love our full skirts, strapless bustiers and beaded blouses, but secretly we're jealous of men and their penguin suits. Guys never have to worry about finding a new look for every function; they just throw on a tux and go.

Well, the fashion gods have smiled on us, ladies, because the trend in evening wear this season is the women's tuxedo. Fabrics are shimmery -- satin and silk -- and the jacket cuts follow a woman's silhouette with lean lines accenting the curves. The pants are slim and the colors classic: blacks and creams or silvers.

The look is simple and sophisticated, and, best of all, one in which we can actually eat without fear of busting a seam. Find it at most department stores and formal-wear retailers. Pictured right are a jacket and pants from the Worth Collection; 800-967-8465.

Enigma in a bottle, or just perfume

Yves Saint Laurent reinvents itself and its target customer every time it launches a new fragrance. The latest, called "nu," was created by clothing designer Tom Ford, formerly of Gucci fame. It's touted as being for complex, mysterious women who leave their secrets unspoken (whereas 1977's Opium was aimed at those taken over by disco excess, and 1997's Yvresse was for the vibrantly radiant woman, whatever that means). Whether or not you meet the criteria for mysterious women, you'll find nu to be a fragrance layered with wood and spice notes and a bit of floral musk. If that says enigmatic and deep to you, great. If not, who cares? It still smells good.

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue and (after Nov. 13) at Fields of Pikesville (1401 Reisterstown Road; 410-486-3300) and Nordstrom. The perfume sells for $55 to $95, depending on size.

-- T. B.

The fuss-less face

Nars Artist Palettes ($67) are makeup made easy. Each of the slim compacts comes with everything you need for a no-fuss, flawless face: four lip shades, four eyeshadows and two blushes all in complementary colors, so any combination works. And they're small enough to pack in your purse for later touch-ups or a night out after work.

The new fall collections include American Beauty (warm suedes, pinks and peaches), Honey Rider (metallic apricots, browns and reds) and Touch of Evil (vibrant blue and green for the eyes and peaches, pinks and reds for the lips and cheeks). The Artist Palettes are available online at sephora.com.

-- T.B.

Trend doubleheader

Liz Palacios' Austrian crystal jewelry knocks off two trends with one buy: Choose either the drop earrings ($50) or the Moulin Rouge-inspired tiered choker ($150), and you'll cover both the newly ubiquitous purple fad and the equally popular turn-of-the-century thing. Or, go crazy and buy both; they're available at Nordstrom. -- T. B.

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