The ups and downs of fashion forecastingStylists...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The ups and downs of fashion forecasting

Stylists live under the pressure of keeping up with the latest looks. It's the unknown quality of fashion that keeps things exciting. It is interesting to note, then, that poll-takers try to measure something that's as changeable as Dennis Rodman's hair color.

The folks at Maricopa Research Inc. surveyed adult Americans on their skirt-length preferences, assuming, we suppose, that fashionistas want to know, or care. Here's what they found:

Men favor the revival of miniskirts by a 3-to-1 margin (67 percent to 23 percent), but most women (53 percent) think they are bad news.

Women under 30, however, are nearly as enthusiastic about miniskirts as men.

Men's opinions vary less by age, but men under 50 are more interested in miniskirts than those over 50.

In fashionland, these are not considerations. Here's what we find:

The miniskirt is out of favor this summer, but nearly all men under 80 approve of the few that are being worn by women under 50.

The miniskirt will be in favor by all this fall, regardless of gender opinions, because long is in this season, midknee was hot two seasons ago, and it's time for another mini moment. Fashion has come of age for stylish women who are squinting at their latest issue of Vogue as they loll at poolside. The Reading Glass Co. stores specialize in magnifier lenses for the baby boomers who need some close-up focus.

Boomers who have shopped the drugstore for those generic granny numbers will welcome the Reading Glass' collection of upscale and trendy frames, which include designer lines such as Nicole Miller, Ellen Tracy, Polo, Private Eye and Matsuda. The stores also carry accessories such as magnifiers for makeup application, glass cases, chains and reading sunglasses. Prices are higher than the drugstore varieties, but so is the styling. The company guarantees their products to be of top ophthalmic quality. Selections of nearly 600 styles are now available at kiosks in the Annapolis Mall and Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Unusual mail crosses the fashion desk, and it was with wonder that we received the Bugchaser without explanation. The first instinct was to pass the insect repellent on to the garden editor. Whoa! The Bugchaser guys must know they have a major fashion statement going here. The plastic strips are meant to be worn as bracelets and their taxi-yellow tint would work fabulously with classic summer whites, bright pastel prints and the ever-popular navy. Worn on the ankle, Bugchaser bands are a natural with sarong-inspired beachwear. They are FDA- and fashion-approved.

Pub Date: 6/22/97

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