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JEANINE STEIN / Fashion Police

T-Shirt Look Is Out for a Couple of Reasons

July 16, 1998|JEANNINE STEIN

Dear Fashion Police: Like most men in L.A. I wear nothing but sport coats over black T-shirts. (Well, I wear pants and shoes too.)

However, I must be unique in my problems with the sport coat collar because, I admit, I sweat. Consequently, either my neck gets a rash from the sport coat material or the coat gets stained from perspiration and I have to get it dry cleaned, costing me a fortune.

What I need is a mock turtleneck, short-sleeve shirt. Cotton would be great, silk too. Heck, anything.

But nobody sells such a garment. Do you know what I'm talking about? Does anybody make these for troubled dressers like me?

--HOT AND SWEATY UNDER THE COLLAR

Dear Hot: We so appreciate the fact that you chose to share your sartorial challenges with us. But, to be honest, imagining jackets yellowed with sweat stains and necks mottled with red rashes almost sent us over the edge. Yet you did come to us for help, so we'll try to erase those images from our mind.

We actually did find exactly what you're looking for in the Lands' End catalog. The company offers short-sleeve mock turtlenecks in an interlock cotton knit in solids and stripes for men and women for $15.50. Sizes range from small to extra-large for men, and extra-small to extra-large for women. Call Lands' End at (800) 356-4444 or contact the company on the Web at http://www.landsend.com.

One more thing: That T-shirt and sport coat thing is a little past its prime, and we beg to differ with your claim that this dated ensemble is the choice of "most men in L.A." Why not try a tailored shirt--there are lots of hip ones that don't look conservative. Live a little! Expand your horizons! Don't risk a fashion arrest!

Dear Fashion Police: I am a senior citizen who goes out to dances and the theater on a weekly basis.

I have only been able to buy two short evening dresses this year because most short dresses come three inches above the knee. I think this is great for all the young people, but I have had to resort to long dresses. I like them, but I would like to wear short dresses also. I wear a size 6 to 8 and would like to buy dresses that come just to the top of the knee.

-- SOCIAL SENIOR

Dear Social: Whenever we get letters from women unable to find specific dress lengths, we become a bit perplexed. Based on logic alone it would be impossible to make all short dresses exactly the same length. That aside, designers and manufacturers have their own ideas of what constitutes a short hem length, so it's a given that there is going to be some variation.

We discovered this ourselves when we went shopping recently for a short dress. Hems ranged from mid-thigh to just below the knee, and it was impossible to tell where the dress would fall unless we tried it on--so don't just hold a dress up to you in front of the mirror and deem it suitable or unsuitable.

Also, we found that stores catering to a more mature customer (Ann Taylor, for instance) offered dresses with hems on the longer side, while shops with a somewhat younger clientele (such as Bisou-Bisou) had the shortest dresses and skirts.

So what have we learned today? Know what kind of store you're in, and try everything on. Also, if you can, try on the dress and the shoes with which you plan to wear it. Heel height can affect the look of an outfit.

Stalking the Stocking: Last week we chastised all of you knee-high stocking wearers for committing a serious fashion crime. Soon after we heard from a number of women offering a solution: thigh-high stockings, which stay up sans garter belt via little rubbery treads at the top that help the stocking cling to the leg. Some touted garter belts as well, although not every woman is thrilled with the notion of fiddling with those little tabs. Another reader swears by cotton-blend pantyhose. Although they tend to be heavier than nylons, she claims the breathability is vastly superior.

*

From the Fashion Police Blotter: The pictures are out! Barbra Streisand's "Wedding Album" is featured in the July 20 issue of People magazine, with numerous photos of The Dress. The 56-year-old singer-actress-director-manicure queen, who recently took the plunge with actor James Brolin, walked down the aisle in a long, white, off-the-shoulder beaded Donna Karan gown with a 15-foot veil. The very low-cut dress was accented with a floral headpiece and what appears to be a vintage diamond-and-pearl choker.

So, what do you think? Did Streisand look like "a vision from a dream time," as one guest put it? Should a divorcee in her 50s be married in a long white gown? Should there be a limit on how much cleavage a bride should expose? Let's hear what you think. Write or fax us with your most riveting revelations and cattiest comments.

* When reporting or preventing a fashion crime, write to Fashion Police, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or fax to (213) 237-0732. Submissions cannot be returned. No telephone inquiries, please.

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