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The Bold Shoulder Deflates a Little for ‘90s

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In the big, significant ‘80s, women’s shoulder pads were thick pieces of foam that lifted a blouse or dress to new heights. In the scaled-down ‘90s, pads are a little thinner and less noticeable. So why are so many women still walking around looking like linebackers?

“They still like that ‘big shoulders’ look, but it’s hard to get the big pads nowadays,” says Lisa Valeriano of Twice the Style in Costa Mesa. “Most women who like that look enhance their pads with tissue paper.”

Most pad problems are caused by women who wear them the wrong way. They shouldn’t be sticking out beyond your shoulders, making them prominent enough to be noticed. The modern pad should give you just enough of a lift to make a difference, turning rounded shoulders into squared ones. And even though you may be accustomed to big pads, try a smaller one on for size and see if it makes enough of a difference.

The lowdown: Athletic shoes are supposed to be functional as well as fashionable, and while different brands wage wars over who has the coolest look, a different battle occurs among the store racks: Which is the hottest look for shoes, high-tops, lows or mid-highs?

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“Right now, among cross-training and basketball shoes, the mid-high is the most popular,” says Mike Coppin of Athletic X-Press in Buena Park. “The low-cut cross-trainer is also a good seller, but many people think the mid-high is more stylish.”

Don’t make the mistake of wearing the wrong shoe for an activity. Running in low-cut Avia tennies not only looks a little funny, but it can also hurt your feet. And playing tennis in the high-tops favored by Charles Barkley will not only get you some odd looks from purists, but you’ll also get tired from lugging a pair of heavy dogs around the court.

Stiffed: The question of how starched a blouse or shirt should be comes up periodically, especially in the heat of summer. Some women look uncomfortable walking around in a stiff cotton top during a heat wave.

“Most women I know don’t starch in summer,” says dry-cleaner Wendy Grabow of Placentia. “They want a more relaxed, comfortable look when it’s hot, even for the office.”

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If you enjoy that heavily starched look but want something a little more comfortable, have your dry cleaner use medium or low starch, then use spray starch when you get it home if you want to stiffen it up a bit.


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