Updating a Beatles Look for the 1980s

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Question: You seem to get a lot of mail from women who have just discovered or rediscovered something from the ‘60s. The questions seem to center on how to wear a mini in the ‘80s without looking like a ‘60s reject. My question concerns men’s clothes from the ‘60s. As you may recall, the Beatles used to wear rather long jackets with velvet collars. I recently purchased two such jackets, and my question is: How do I wear them without looking like a ‘60s reject?--A.B.

Answer: Your timing is perfect. Paris designer Claude Montana recently reintroduced a Beatles look in his menswear collection for fall. He showed the John-Paul-George-and-Ringo jackets with narrow, velvet trousers, as illustrated here. If you feel “All Things Must Pass” and that tight pants are “ . . . All Too Much,” you can “Get Back” to the ‘80s by wearing your jackets with plain old velvet slacks.

Q: For more than a year, I’ve been trying to find full-length wool stockings for my 90-year-old mother. Her knees are constantly cold and she finds life without wool stockings a real pain. The place where she used to get the stockings has vanished, like a lot of good things. I may need them too, as my knees are also getting cold. Can you help?--E.C.


A: If you would accept either wool tights or wool leg warmers, there’s help in sight. But, alas, my source for wool stockings also has vanished. Wool tights knitted with a cable pattern are available for $16, sizes Small, Medium and Large, at Garnet Hill, Franconia, N.Y. 03580. They come in navy, gray, fawn, burgundy and cocoa. Wool leg warmers from England are $9.50, one size fits all. These are made of a heavy-gauge soft wool with a wide rib knit at the cuff and thigh. The catalogue states: “The special machines that are used to knit these allow us to use pure wool, without any nylon, but lots of stretch.” Colors include black, camel, navy, blue mix, Loden green and red.

The Garnet Hill people also offer Fogal’s Merino wool tights with a gusseted panel at the crotch. They come in Sizes Small, Medium and Large. Hand washing is recommended. The price: $54. Colors include black, navy, winter white, gray, lapis blue, mauve, burgundy, brown, camel and olive.