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FAUX PAS REPORT

Levi's Blues? Try a Belt on for Size

July 21, 1994|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The people at Levi's know what they're doing. The traditional Levi's men's jean has that leather tab on the back with the waist and length sizes prominently displayed. The women's version of the same jean has the sizes omitted. They probably assume that women don't want to publicize the girth of their waist the way men do.

But many women buy the men's jeans to wear because they like the fit, leaving their sizes visible.

"They may not think about it; then when they get home they might cut the part about sizes out," says Pat Leuras of the Army Navy Store in Orange. "That leaves an ugly cut on the back of the jean."

Women have also been known to use a black marker to block out the size, going the sneaky route by using a fine pen to alter the numbers to make them a few inches smaller or just leaving them alone and letting the world see their waist size. A good alternative is to use a wide belt and pull the tab up to hide it.

Unsafe at any speed: They've been worn on beaches from Cannes to Rio. They're the tight-fitting nylon Speedo-type briefs, the kind that, like the women's thong bathing suit, leave little to the imagination.

"Those types of suits are popular in Europe, but they've never caught on here," says Yvette Perdue of Yvette's Bikinis and Kinetic Kites in Seal Beach.

Now's the time to see guys wear these little things (many are tourists from the Old World). Unfortunately for us all, most men who wear them don't have the bodies for them.

"Get a good look at yourself in the mirror in one before taking it to the beach," Perdue says.

So, guys, if you feel a little uncomfortable in the dressing room with a tight swimsuit, imagine how you'd feel being eyed on the beach. But if you plan to mainly wear it around a private pool, go ahead.

Roll-ups: Want a hot look for a sweltering summer? Take your cotton tanks and T-shirts and cut away the bottom to reveal your midriff.

You can usually tell which women bought their cut-away shirts off the rack and which ones did the deed at home.

"The shirt begins to roll up along the edges of the cut," says fashion designer Sara D'alessandro of Yorba Linda. "And the more you wash it, the worse the rolling up gets."

To avoid rolling, try sewing a hem into the bottom after you cut, and don't make your cut too short. Be conservative, and after your initial scissor work, try it on. You can always cut more; you can't add on.

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