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SCREEN STYLE

The Scoop on CBS Anchors' Clothes

July 16, 1993|BETTY GOODWIN

The Show: "CBS Evening News" (Monday through Friday, 6:30 p.m.)

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The Setup: Veteran news anchor Dan Rather (pictured) started sharing a desk with Connie Chung (pictured) in June. That makes her the first woman to break into the old boy's club as a network anchor since ABC's failed pairing of Barbara Walters and Harry Reasoner in 1976.

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The Costume Designer: None.

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The Look: Chung has the look for serious delivery thanks to her firm grasp of sober style. With only the occasional gaffe (the striped T-shirt nights are real losers, even if it is 100 degrees in New York), Chung has chairman of the network written all over her.

Unfortunately, fashionwise, she's a better match for always stylish network newscast competitors Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw than for Rather. For all the talk about his sweaters (he doesn't wear them in the summer), Rather bobs all around the sartorial map, refusing to stick to the traditional clothing mold that flatters him. Natural-shoulder navy blazers are his best friends. He just doesn't know it.

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Hit: In spite of her heavy black eyeliner and pervasive brown eye shadow, Chung is no news babe (for that tune into your local female anchors who love their big fake jewels as much as their Malibu Beach hair colors). Nor is Chung a Seventh Avenue fashion plate like Walters or a wind-swept Diane Sawyer, who favors intense golf-course colors on the nights she fills in for Jennings.

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Try This at Work: Chung's fashion mastery lies in "invisible" jewelry (a thin gold chain and half-hidden small earrings) and shirts and blazers in non-colors. She favors jackets in tans, ecrus and soft grays (featuring perfectly simple notches or slight peaks), pairing them with open-neck shirts of the same tone or in white. That's the formula.

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Miss: Rather often appears in an unfortunate grouping of Italianate broad-shouldered suit, "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" rep stripe tie and stiff-collared shirt that whispers synthetic blend. Rather's square haircut is further magnified on his big shoulder nights. He could take fashion tips from his traditionalist colleague, CBS money correspondent Ray Brady, whose spread-collar white shirts, contemporary striped ties and simple notch collar navy blazers have solemnity and snap.

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Prediction: A fashion consultant or stylist will be hired lickety-split to coordinate the news pair. After all, news and entertainment are the same business these days.

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