Bell bottoms and platform shoes came back. Polyester did too, only now it's called microfiber. And big hair is here again in a big way.
But some retro deserves to stay in the past. Case in point: Those cheesy catalog poseurs from the '70s whose chin rubbing, telephone talking and action poses gave that certain something to the big fat ties and double-knit dresses they were selling.
Remind yourself of the '70s and have a chuckle too with two sets of postcards that celebrate the camp and kitsch of disco style. Catalog Man: Mail-Order Fashion Hunks and Catalog Woman: Mail-Order Fashion Foxes, by Chronicle Books, are sets of 30 color postcards that highlight the bad, the hideous and the heinous highlights of '70s catalog clothing and models.
Think of each set as a wise $9 investment against ever idealizing some of the stuff you wore way back when.
Toss yesterday's specs
Looking cool has never been so easy with this year's new crop of sunglasses. From athletic, to techno to downright retro, there seems to be a sunglass style to suit any wardrobe and almost any mood. Some looks we like:
* Look like a glamorous, futuristic kind of gal in Chanel's supercool goggles with butterfly-shaped lenses. So hip. $310.
* Rose-colored glasses are so yesterday. Nike Hyperion III wrap sunglasses have interchangeable lenses so that one can pop in lavender, orange or gray, depending on the day. Available with either black or satin chrome frame for about $130.
* Those gigantic bug-eye frames from last year have been replaced with more petite styles. Gucci's rectangle specs look crisp and classic -- just perfect for this summer's preppy styles. Available in tortoise ($156) or black with Gucci stripes ($170).
You've waxed -- now what?
Before you zip up your weekend bag and take off for the beach, the good folks at Avon Salon & Spa want to make sure you are fully prepared. Bathing suit? Check. Bikini wax? Check. Eliza's Intimate Essentials Bikini Kit?
You see, according to Avon, getting a bikini wax is no longer enough. One must maintain it. The kit contains safety scissors, an exfoliating brush and Eliza's Soothing Blue Oil to ease the after effects of touch ups. It is named for Eliza Petrescu, the waxing director / eyebrow designer at Avon Salon & Spa, who is known as an expert in eyebrow shaping.
It seems like a good idea in theory. But for the price -- $110 -- we could get several more waxes. The Eliza Intimate Essentials Bikini Kit is available by calling 888-577-2866. For other Avon products, go to www.avonsalonandspa.com.
Gaultier corsets his scent
Jean Paul Gaultier's famous corset makes a shiny appearance as part of his Classique fragrance. Gaultier, is, you remember, the French-sailor-shirt-wearing designer who achieved pop culture prominence in 1990 when Madonna wore one of his underwear- as-outerwear dresses.
This Classique scent -- termed So Classique -- is a blend of rose, star anise, vanilla, woody amber and ylang-ylang. The shapely bottle is encased in a silver and copper-toned corset. It's autographed, of course, although the shape shouts Gaultier.
One ounce of So Classique costs $42 at www.sephora.com and Sephora stores.