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CAFE SOCIETY / BACK ON THE BEACH

Keds, Cutoffs and Surf 'Dos

September 24, 1993|MICHELE SEIPP

In her new column, which will appear regularly in View, writer and illustrator Michele Seipp looks at the fashions that get us through the day.

The Place: Back on the Beach, a place to eat breakfast (omelets), lunch (veggie burgers) or dinner (fresh fish), 445 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica; (310) 393-8282.

Atmosphere: Ultra-casual. Outdoor diners sit in the sand--often after strenuous bouts of bicycling, Rollerblading, surfing, swimming, walking, running and volleyball-playing. Lots of married couples with children and/or dogs. Some European tourists.

Serving Up Style: Tan waitpersons wear burgundy aprons and optional fanny packs over sun-reflecting white T-shirts, shorts, socks and tennis shoes. The Gidget-like hostess could be mistaken for one of the customers, in her ribbed white T, cut-off denim shorts, green sweat shirt, Adidas and wind-blown hair.

Customer Themes: Athletic-wear everywhere: baggy shorts thrown over damp bathing suits, bicycle shorts and leggings, Hang 10 T-shirts, denim jackets wrapped around waists, polished toenails in strappy sandals, bare chests, Keds and deck shoes. Also, foggy-morning wear: oversize sweat shirts or parkas worn over denim cutoffs.

Accessories: Baseball caps, backward and forward, logoed and unlogoed; bicycle helmets, carried in the crook of the arm; visors; wedding rings; ubiquitous sunglasses, including many oval-lensed Armanis; knapsacks; fanny packs, yelping puppies and dogs.

Hair Apparent: Big, messy ponytails bound by stretchy holders; loose manes tucked into baseball caps or corralled by visors. Some short "surf" 'dos for men and clean, closely cropped 'dos for women.

Cardinal Rule: If thou carry a small child or dog in thy arms, all shalt stop and coo.

Observations: Waitpersons so relaxed they try to serve customers twice:

"Cheese omelet?"

"No, we've already eaten."

"Oh! So you have."

Overheard: "I told her fortune in French."

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