It isn't easy to strike a stylish attitude in a a baseball uniform. Other than flipping colors for home and away games, team wear is pretty much based on oldie designs great-grandpa wore -- goofy socks, cleats and serviceable shirts. Nothing to Ooooooo about.
At the Orioles spring training camp in Sarasota, however, there are glimmers of coolness. Oakley sunglasses, those wraparound, other-worldly specs in glowing sci-fi colors, are the shades of choice.
They're all over the field and off, and seen on many players including Glen Davis, Mike Devereaux and female fan heart-throb Brady Anderson. Ooooooo.
The near-weightless glasses are touted for sun-screening and vision-enhancing design, but we suspect fashion plays a major role in their popularity.
Thom Walters, manager at the Sunglass Hut in Hunt Valley, says Gregg Olson came in to try on the newest Sub-Zero model a
while back, but didn't like the way he looked in them. Gregg stayed with his Mumbos.
The glasses come at a price, from about $100 to $140, with the option of adding interchangeable lenses and nose pieces at extra cost.
In spite of the price, Oakleys are the status street shades. "We sell Oakley car and bumper stickers for $4 and $8," says Mr. Walters. "Kids who can't afford the glasses will come in and buy just the stickers to display."
* Speaking of baseball, caps have become a must-have accessory for small-fry players and fashion's heavy hitters. Some people even have a wardrobe of baseball caps. But favorites get a lot of wear and need frequent sudsing. The new Ball Cap Buddy, a plastic framework that locks the hat into shape, allows you to run it through the dishwasher cycle without mangling it. The gadget, priced around $5, is coming to discount stores in a few weeks.
* The premiere issue of Esquire Gentleman will knock your Sulka socks off. It's an all-fashion magazine produced by Esquire, the grand old patriarch of men's mags. It's all about dressing -- historic, current, and future -- and it's intelligent, funny and gutsy. The editors are banking on what they perceive is a renewed, but repressed, male interest in fashion. Not enough interest to sustain a monthly, but enough for seasonal spring and fall issues.
Younger men may take a lesson from articles such as "The 25 Best-Dressed Men (Living or Dead)," which is convincing proof that there was style before anybody ever thought of stitching a polo player on every bit of a gentleman's attire.
The historical perspective addresses decades of black elegance. the forward edge, there are photo essays on hippies, dandies and corporate movers.
This is one male magazine you can peruse for the articles. The pictures are great, too.
* Young women between the ages of 14 and 24 are eligible to enter the "Supermodel of the World Contest" sponsored by Ford Models and Cover Girl Cosmetics. Entry forms are available at Cover Girl counters and must be postmarked by April 30.
Entry particulars such as age, size and school must be accompanied by two snapshots; one head shot and a full-length shot in a bathing suit. Professional photos are not required.
The winners of six regional contests will then compete for the title and a $250,000 three-year contract with Ford Models. Good luck!