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The Definite Dozen

When it comes to building a suitable wardrobe, men should build a core of 12 fashion basics, according to Janet Racy, fashion forecaster for Bert Pulitzer, a manufacturer of tailored and casual apparel.

"I call them the Definite Dozen. These are the things you like well enough to replace year after year. They're like best friends -- dependable, reliable and long-lasting. Accessories, like ties and belts, will help you create an enormous number of different looks with these basics," she said in a fashion release.

The definite dozen includes:

Navy blazer

Striped button-down shirt

White dress shirt

Chambray shirt

Gray flannel slacks

Khaki pants

Classic denim jeans

Traditional tie

Navy or charcoal suit

Trench coat

Gray heather sweat suit

Patterned socks.

Gardening glove gab

Reason No. 21 why you don't have to weed the garden today: You don't have the right gardening gloves.

Did you know, for example, that in order to fit properly, a glove's fingertips should have just a little space left over in order to prevent seams from tearing under stress? And that people with long fingers may find that American-made gloves often run longer than gloves manufactured in other countries?

These are just a few facts from the glove experts at Dickies, the popular manufacturer of rugged work wear.

A few other tips for selecting the right gloves:

Gloves should be neither too restrictive nor too loose. Gloves that are too tight will increase hand fatigue on the job and wear out faster. A loose fit provides less protection.

Cloth gloves should have a smooth texture. A coarse weave rips easier and wears out faster.

Good-quality suede gloves also have a smooth nap, not a fuzzy one.

Examine leather gloves closely before buying. The best are not very porous.

When working with tools, you should look for a glove with a safety cuff that protects wrists from flying splinters and sparks.

Don't wear bulky winter gloves instead of gloves geared specifically for garden chores. They can prevent the wearer from feeling hazardous blades or equipment.

Do they bite?

"Bedbugs" is the theme of textile design major Amy Stangler's award-winning sheets, comforter, bed skirt, shams and pillows.

The recent Buffalo State College graduate was named a finalist in "Bedscapes," an international textile design competition for college students coordinated by George Little Management Inc., of New York.

Her work was one of 10 designs selected from 124 entries from five countries and was recently displayed at a trade show in New York.

Ms. Stangler plans to continue her studies at Winchester School of Fine Art in England.

Here comes Oprah

Oprah Winfrey, reports the Chicago Tribune, is considering Oscar de la Renta for a prime fashion assignment: designing her wedding gown.

Oprah's office contacted Oscar's office and set up a meeting, so the two haven't met yet. But de la Renta told the Tribune that, from seeing Winfrey on TV, "she is an exciting personality and I will be very happy to work with her."

So far, de la Renta's the only designer under consideration, according to Winfrey's people.

And finally . . .

"I didn't know I had secondhand clothes; I just thought my mother had bad taste."

Actress Rosie Perez, in Vogue

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