Originally created 01/18/00

In the know


Every so often, fashion goes wild. Right now it's a jungle out there, with faux leopard, cheetah, zebra and pony prints showing their spots -- and stripes -- on hats and boots and everything in between. Not since the 1950s has fur been so hot.

June Rau, Nordstrom fashion director for California and Arizona, says that one reason is a "return to luxuriousness," reflected in the renewed popularity of such fabrics as mohair, cashmere and taffeta. Another reason the fur's flying is that fashion has taken an abrupt turn from simple chic toward embellishment and froufrou.


It feels more like spring than winter these days. No wonder it's a great time to get big discounts on cashmere sweaters!

But how can you tell if a $39 sweater in a wholesale club or discount store has as much quality as one that costs $100 or more in a top-of-the-line department store? Consumer Reports magazine says a well-made sweater has a tight gauge, doesn't feel coarse and isn't very fuzzy. Seams and buttonholes should be well-finished, or the sweater, no matter how much you paid for it, could unravel.


On That '70s Show Kitty persuades Red to take the boys hunting. But male bonding goes awry when Eric decides shooting a deer is not so groovy after all (WXFG-TV, Channel 54, at 8).


What's a healthful lifestyle worth? Maybe six to 10 extra years of life, new research suggests. Dramatic benefits are shown for people who don't smoke and who keep cholesterol and blood pressure low. The research, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found life-extending benefits for adults of all ages who have low heart-disease-risk factors.


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