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Jeannine Stein FASHION POLICE

Son's Duster May Cost a Fistful of Dollars

January 18, 2002|Jeannine Stein

Dear Fashion Police: My son, who is 6-foot-2, wants a duster, a full-length, unlined raincoat or light coat. Does such a garment exist? If so, where might we look?

I have a vision of a Clint Eastwood-type coat, one he would have worn early in his career when he was making westerns.

--SADDLIN' UP TO

GO SHOPPIN'

Dear Saddlin': We found a few dusters that fit your description--some good, some bad, some ugly, and some will cost you a fistful of dollars (sorry, we couldn't resist).

The first is from J. Peterman, who was mentioned in this column just a couple of weeks ago. He started his catalog company with his famous duster, simply titled the J. Peterman Coat, described as a "classic horseman's duster [that] protects you, your rump, your saddle and your legs down to your ankles." Yee haw. It features a cotton canvas outer shell with a lightweight waterproof nylon lining, nine pockets, metal snaps and an inner waist drawstring. It's $184 through the catalog or online; go to www.jpeterman.com, or call (888) 647-2555.

Montana's Yellowstone Trail catalog offers a cotton canvas duster with leather piping and buttons, a wind flap and shoulder cape. But this one is handmade to order, and you'll pay for it: It's $540. Find it online at www.mon tanasyt.com, or call (877) 698-7245.

We found an oilskin duster at Adam Leathers Inc. that's made from a treated cotton canvas that renders it waterproof. Other features include a double-snap front, detachable cape, nubuck collar and double-stitched seams. It's $179.98 at www.adamleathers.com, or call (717) 737-1900.

Dear Fashion Police: I'm afraid I already know the answer, but perhaps you have more creative ideas than I do. Is there any way I can still get use out of those sort-of-dressy, wide-legged, just-above-the-knee shorts that were so popular a few years ago? My legs are my best feature, and I loved wearing the shorts (instead of skirts or dresses) and didn't even mind having to wear pantyhose with them. They worked well with jackets and low or mid-heel shoes. I'm cleaning out my closets and find I've got four pair of these shorts that still fit and look great. Are they just hopelessly outdated?

--SHORT ON ADVICE

Dear Short: Yes, they are! Honestly, we didn't like those shorts when they were in, and we sure don't like them now. They're the female equivalent of men's short-sleeve tailored shirts that look like the sleeves were chopped off above the elbow. These shorts look like someone took a pair of tailored pants and hacked them off at the knees. Add to that some pantyhose and, well, it's not a pretty picture. Is it casual? Is it formal? It's neither! It's just weird!

However, if those shorts are in a lightweight fabric such as linen or cotton, it's possible to go from the tailored realm into the casual realm by wearing them with informal tops such as cotton T-shirts, sweaters and linen tunics. For shoes, stick with flats or sandals, and no pantyhose. For places like the office, we'd prefer you show off your stunning gams in skirts that are knee-length or fall just above the knee.

For spring and summer, shorts will be loose and range in length from upper thigh to above the knee, in fabrics from denim to linen to cotton twill. If you want a more tailored look there are pleated shorts; less-tailored styles feature drawstring waists, elastic waists and flat fronts with waistbands that fall just below the bellybutton.

Write to Fashion Police, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, fax to (213) 237-4888, or send e-mail to jeannine.stein@latimes.com.

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