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Styles to remember . . . and forget

From cone-shaped bras to B-3s, 1990 saw its share of memorable styles and style-makers.

The bomber jacket took off again with the release of "Memphis Belle." Two styles of bomber jackets were shown in the movie: the A-2, the original World War II jacket, without front pockets; and the B-3, a shearling-lined jacket.

Other trendy outerwear reached the mainstream this year: Toggle coats for men were among the highlights of the men's fall and winter '90 collections. Actor William Hurt popularized the look in the 1989 movie "The Accidental Tourist."

And while professional women gained plenty of pointers from Candice Bergen, who flashed her superb sense of designer style on the CBS comedy series "Murphy Brown," they may not be so eager to emulate Madonna's contribution to the style world this year.

The pop singer's brassy bra became her trademark during the Blond Ambition Tour, which concluded late last summer. Credit Parisian designer Jean Paul Gaultier for creating the raunchy look.

An aromatic trend

American women spend more than $2.5 million annually on fragrances, and more than 80 percent of women polled recently by Opinion Research Corp. reported that they regularly use perfume or cologne, and apply it more than once daily.

The research found that the average woman owns five scents, and that the most potent reason women use fragrance is to please themselves rather than to attract men.

The ecologically friendly diaper

Parents ringing in the new year with the resolution to be more environmentally sensitive may be interested in Cottontails, a new reusable cotton diaper.

The diaper, which can be washed, dried and reused at least 100 times, features an all-cotton shell next to baby's skin; a fluffy fiber fill to absorb moisture; hook and loop gripper tabs; elastic at legs and rear waist, and an optional built-in plastic pant, which may be recycled later by plastics recycling plants.

Although the diapers are more expensive initially, Cottontails will save parents money in the long run because they're reusable, says Karen Sebastian, who with her husband, Michael, founded Austin, Texas-based Cottontails International Inc.

According to the company's calculations, Cottontails cost only one-third as much as disposable diapers, based on two dozen reusable Cottontails at $200 per year (including energy cost to launder) compared to 2,555 disposable diapers at $600 per year.

Cottontails, which come in three sizes in pink, blue or white, retail for about $6.50 each and are available as singles, three to a pack or by the dozen, sold in a reusable canvas tote bag.

They are sold locally at Jenss, at Boulevard and Eastern Hills malls.

Tux talk

What would New Year's Eve be without a tuxedo? Here are few last-minute pointers for those dressing up in a big way Monday night.

Black and midnight blue are formal; powder blue is not. White dinner jackets are for summer.

The classic tuxedo shirt has crisp vertical pleats on the chest. Avoid ruffled, pastel dress shirts.

The correct bow tie is black satin or silk, although velvet is nice this time of year, too.

Pocket squares and boutonnieres are nice, but never together.

Black shoes -- kid leather or patent leather -- traditionally complete the formal look. You can get by with a simple pair of well-shined black shoes. Sneakers are childish.

Black socks -- particularly sheer black silk ones -- are traditional, but something patterned can be fun. Avoid visible calves.

And finally . . .

"I never was a fashion person. I loathe the fashion trap of declaring something 'in' just for the sake of reinventing something. That, to me, is not style."

-- Grace Mirabella
Publication director, Mirabella magazine
Former editor, Vogue

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