Originally created 09/19/00

In the know

FALL FASHION: According to the September issue of McCall's magazine, the five hottest looks for fall 2000 are:

Suits with skirts: Try a polished look with a chic and slim skirt.

Traditional tartan plaids: But what's new is the long, lean kilt, which is more flattering than a shorter one. (Tip: For a dressier look, opt for sleek thin-platform pumps.)

A flirty blouse that's made with sheer, silky fabric and details like a self-bow. (Tip: The right top can update your favorite suit.)

Jean jackets in rust-colored leather.

Wide-leg pants in easy fabrics that move. For the right proportion, wear something narrow on top, such as a sleeveless shirt.

HAIRCUTS FOR KIDS: Hair Cuttery reports that its back-to-school Share-A-Haircut promotion will provide 300 haircuts for underprivileged children in Augusta. The salon chain is donating one free haircut for every child's haircut paid for at salons Aug. 1-15. Certificates for the haircuts are being distributed by local social service agencies.

The winner of the My Big Guy contest will receive a $2,500 wardrobe from Big & Tall retailers.

CONTEST OF THE WEEK: Big & Tall retailers - who specialize in clothing for men 6 feet 3 inches and taller or those with a waist of 44 inches or more - are looking for a man with a big heart. The My Big Guy contest seeks a man who is "head and shoulders above the rest" when it comes to his career, volunteering in his community or overcoming desperate odds. The winner will receive a $2,500 wardrobe and other prizes. For more information or an application, see the Web site (thinkbig.com) or call (800) 690-7377. The deadline for entries is Jan. 15.

DON'T BUY THIS: Bogus letters claiming that some senior citizens are eligible for slavery reparations or higher Social Security payments are circulating in black churches. The letters claim that blacks born before 1928 are eligible for $5,000 due to a "Slave Reparation Act" and that people born between 1911 and 1926 may be entitled to higher Social Security payments. They ask for the reader's name, address, phone number and Social Security number.

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