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Romance in the air for summer fashion

May 25, 2002

called an espadrille. They come as little loafers, little loafers with

heels, with laces that crisscross up the ankle or with an open back.

"It's that kind of Bohemian beach look," Dobrott said.

Colors this summer aim to deflect heat, with white tanks and shirts

and button-down shirts rapidly ousting prints (have you seen the Gap

ads?) and darker colors.

But when it comes to bright apparel, Dobrott predicts a rainbow of sea

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glass hues, tangerines and lime greens to dot the beaches and parks this

summer.

"Sea glass is the color of broken bottles at the sea -- kind of a pale

blue, pale green, pale turquoises," she said.

Berry said much of Gary's Island's women's wear will include colorful

solids -- even some knitwear that they didn't have a year ago -- that

accent their traditional tropical prints.

"Our emphasis has always been on the best prints, but we are bringing

in more solid pieces that would work into everyday wear," the buyer said.

Men's fashion colors will match women's this summer as bright and

crisp is in -- because they enhance tans the best -- as is subtlety.

Along with the button-down aloha shirts are more solids and even plaids,

done in everything from silk to cotton.

"We're trying to give our customers other options," Berry said.

Men's swimsuits will also follow the bright-color trend, but prints

are calming down.

"Really, the light colors are in," said Nicole Nard, floor supervisor

at Tommy Bahamas. "Oranges and reds -- a lot of guys like to go a little

more brave with the swim trunks."

Women's swimsuits are also more subtle, print-wise, as the majority of

Tommy's beach gear involves a single print -- like a single flower

running through an entire suit, orchids and bamboo leaves.

But their colors are surprisingly dark, including dark brown and dark

blue (although lime green is also popular).

The ruling shape is what Nard calls a tank-tini -- a two-piece suit

with a tank top instead of the traditional bikini top.

And to cover up, before and after a swim, is the current favorite

see-through pant.

"We carry the sarong -- we always do -- but the matching pants are

sheer and they have a print in them. . . . They tie in the front, and

they're really cute. We've been doing well with those," Nard said.

What about the kids? Well, not to relegate them to followers instead

of leaders, but they'll likely match the rest of the family's look.

"Believe it or not, a lot of families come in wanting to match the

whole family," Berry said. "Again, just bright, whimsical fun."

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