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Men's Fashion And Looks

October 28, 1990

The fashion business, in my opinion--both women's and men's--is a self-perpetuating, put-on world that relies on hype and snootiness and the "right" designer label from the "right" store to get people to buy clothing and accessories they probably don't need, sometimes don't look good in, often can't afford and maybe would never purchase if they hadn't seen it being worn on TV or in magazines by celebrities and models and actors and athletes--who get paid very well, of course, for serving as living mannequins for the manufacturers. If designer labels were not as important as they seem to be, maybe envious kids wouldn't be killing each other in the streets over Nikes and Reeboks.

Your photo feature helps to make my point. Excluding the red pajamas and robe outfit (do men still wear pj's to bed these days?), which can be acquired for the measly sum of $360, the average cost of the remaining six ensembles is $1,660 each. Any one of these outfits--presumably thrown together for the casual activities pictured--leaning against walls and windows, walking your dog or lounging around at home--would cost most workers most of their monthly take-home pay.

Not to be disrespectful to any of the successful men shown in your feature, but do any "real people" actually wear these things? Who could afford it, even if they appreciated how the end result might look?

SHEL ERLICH

Van Nuys

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