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Faux Pas Report

Hair-Raising Straw Hats Poke Around Where They're Not Wanted


Few accessories do as much as the stylish summer hat. Usually woven of straw and decorated with brightly colored fabric or flowers, the hat not only keeps the sun off your face, it can dress up an outfit.


But in situations where a woman needs to remove her hat, let's hope she remembered her hairbrush. Hats, especially those made of straw, have a tendency to flatten and ruin even the best hairstyle.

"You could attach a linen lining to the inside of your hat," says Lisa Burke of Burkewear Fashion Apparel in Orange. "This will keep the rough straw from your hair, and it will allow a smooth surface to sit between your hair and hat, which should keep your hairstyle intact."

Another solution to the straw hat blues is to punch a couple of small holes close to the crown and run a scarf through the top to protect the hair, then pull down the ends and tie them around the chin.

A poorly made straw hat will have all kinds of protrusions that will send your hair every which way. If your hair and straw don't mix, try a smooth felt hat.

Flim flannel: Late summer's a changing time. The weather may be hot one afternoon and cool the same evening. This is the time of year that men start itching for football, and they start pulling flannel shirts from the closet.

If you're seeing guys in flannel before the autumnal equinox, don't scorn them; flannel shirts can be worn at other times of the year.

"It's especially OK near the beach, which can get chilly on summer nights," says Colleen Blumberg at Burberrys Ltd. at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa. "Flannel's a great alternative to wearing a sweater."

If you're ready to pull your flannels out early, make sure you wash them or have them cleaned first. Cottons and wools tend to get a musty smell after sitting in the closet too long.

Cough, cough: Almost every time we turn around, someone has dug another fashion dinosaur from the grave and put it on. If you don't believe it, take a look at the number of women wearing chokers.

Fitting in with the '60s/'70s clothing revival, the choker was developed to make the neck look longer. Women are wearing them in metal or gold chain, suede or other fabrics.

"You don't have to be dressed in '70s clothing to wear a choker," says Monika Stauffer of Lucky Elephant Boutique in Fullerton. "The look is to wear it with Levi's and a stretchy shirt."

While chokers of the past were formal and dressy, today's versions are definitely casual.

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