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FASHION Q & amp;A



Published: Thu, February 13, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Q. I know the notion of giving ties on Father's Day is a cliche, but it's something that's become a tradition in our family. I actually think Dad would be disappointed if he didn't get a tie. We'd like our selection to be fashionable. What colors and designs should we be looking for?

A. President Bush isn't the most stylish dresser, but his penchant for bright blue neckwear has had an impact on men's fashion choices. "Bush blue" is likely to be the best-selling color for ties this Father's Day, says Gerald Andersen, executive director of the Neckwear Association of America.

In general, colors and designs are livelier this year. Classic paisleys and diagonal stripes are being offered in brighter colors, as are whimsical floral, wildlife and tropical designs. Also popular are patriotic and historical themes.

Oh, and bow ties are making a comeback, fueled by the interest in all things preppy. Think Dad would go for a bow tie?

Q. My boyfriend and I disagree about what he should wear to job interviews. He has just graduated with a business degree and has several interviews scheduled. He has selected what he calls his "business-casual outfit": khaki pants, blue button-down shirt, striped tie and brown loafers. He says he doesn't need to wear a suit, or even a jacket, because this is Florida, the lifestyle is casual, the weather is hot, and it's not like he's applying for the CEO job. I disagree. I think he should wear a suit. Who's right?

A. There's nothing casual about an interview with a business organization -- no matter how lowly the desired position or how hot the weather.

In other words, you're right. Your boyfriend needs to project a competent, confident, businesslike image during his job interviews, which means wearing traditional business attire.

This would include a two- or three-button wool suit in navy, medium-gray or charcoal; a cotton shirt with a point, spread or tab collar (not a casual button-down) in white, light blue or French blue; a geometric-pattern tie that matches the suit; and lace-up, cap-toe shoes in black leather. Plus a watch and, if needed, a simple portfolio or briefcase.

Needless to say, everything should be clean, pressed and polished.

Suggest to your boyfriend that he save his preppy khakis until he's landed a job and is sure that business-casual attire is acceptable in his new workplace.

Until then, his sartorial role model should be the CEO -- not the janitor.

XJean Patteson is the fashion writer for the Orlando Sentinel. Fashion questions of general interest should be sent to Patteson at the Orlando Sentinel, 633 North Orange Ave., Orlando, Fla. 32801. Or send e-mail to jpatteson@orlandosentinel.com. Individual replies are not possible.

Knight Ridder Newspapers




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