Top 5 of 5 - June 2000
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Written and illustrated by Kathryn Martinez
Banana Republic CLICK HERE
The Disney Store CLICK HERE
Sunglass Hut CLICK HERE
We're right on the cusp of summer, toes hanging over the edge of the pool, ready to jump into summer and revel in all its glory! So hand me the sunscreen, and let me drown in the soda-pop summer songs that will fill the air until they go flat. Our Top 5 stores are riding the same wave. It's evident in their bright, pretty clothes...clothes to rock and rock out in!
Ann Taylor
1. Our first item is a 100% cotton pareo available in  patterns of pink, purple, or green flowers. Pareos were big on the French and Italian Rivieras back in the 1970's. Pareos can be worn in a variety of styles, and Ann supplies  instructions, so you can wear yours any way you like, and dream yourself back to the days when people could actually park their cars at a French beach and frolic in one of the world's great playgrounds. $35.00.
2. Next up, a dark green, 100% silk knit tank top that's supple yet not mushy, like a plump, ripe olive. $58.00.

3. I've paired the tank top with Ann Taylor's take on the bohemian-hippy peasant skirts that are everywhere these days. This one in particular is quite fetching -- it's got fuschia embroidered designs at the hemline that look really striking against the white linen. $78.00.

4. Now we've got a chenille-like sleeveless knit top in the color cantaloupe. It's a bit clingy, yet a bit bulky, too, thanks to the half-cotton half-acrylic blend. Also available in white. $48.00.

5. What's summer without linen pants? These are ultra soft, and would definitely look great billowing in the light breezes (whether it's a breeze from the ocean or the air conditioner, it doesn't matter, it still looks good billowing). Available in green, baby pink, fuschia, white or black. $48.00.

Banana Republic
1. First up, I've chosen this delicate tank top that has thin spaghetti straps, a tie in the front, and light crochet detailings that are subtle and not at all grandma-doily-like. It's made of 92% rayon, 1% spandex, and 7% "other." $58.00.

2. Next, a knee-length skirt of 100% linen, coated in polyester, which reminded me of the infomercial for that machine that vacuum seals everything -- KEEP IT FRESH, FRESH, FRESH! Available in gray, white, or khaki $68.00.

3. This halter-tunic top crosses the sophistication and interest of silk with the fruity flavor of a roll of Tropical-flavored Life Savers, bursting with the fruit flavors of papaya, plum and raspberry. $68.00.
4. NEWS FLASH! A breakthrough in the summer staple that is the tank top: BR is offering one with a shelf bra built in, to help prevent, er, other kinds of flashes, if you know what I mean. Available in maroon, dusty orange, saffron, dusty green, dusty pink, red, or white. $24.00.

5. Our last BR item is this skinny, suede belt that ties closed. I thought it looked interesting when paired with the tank top, because it kind of removes the idea of the belt as just a piece of leather to hold your pants up. Comes in either lavender or tan. $20.00.

1. When the well-pruned garden world of Martha Stewart collides with the bubble gum pop world of Christina Aguillera, I'd imagine that you get something pretty close to our first Gap pick. It's a cotton tank that closes with buttons down the back, and has printed flowers blossoming with a butterfly, and sequins scattered for flash -- all encased in a printed lattice of green leaves -- oh, what a world this can be! Available in brown with pink flowers or white with blue flowers. $34.00

2. Now we have a linen knee-length skirt with a ruffle trim and a tie in the front. This style has already been around for the last couple of months, but I like this one, because it's made of 100% linen, so the human-natural factor is covered, making it look less machine made. Available in lavender or olive green. $44.00.

3. Probably ignited by the pop-art edge of their When You're A Khaki ad, Gap's thinner, softer version of the button-down comes in Rubic's Cube-type of colors, with contrasting colored cuffs. It comes in brown with turquoise cuffs, red-orange with vibrant orange cuffs, turquoise with lavender cuffs, and lavender with yellow cuffs. $42.00.

4. I have been yearning for a short skirt. With all the knee-length and longer styles of the last couple of years, our next item, which is made of a stretchy blend of cotton, nylon, and Spandex, is very well received by yours truly. Available in yellow, turquoise, brown, olive, khaki, red/orange, or black. $38.00.

5. Finally, I chose these thin, flat, small rectangular bags, which come in an assortment of colors and fabrics like denim, snakeskin, suede, and even beads. Like I said, they're rather small, and probably only have enough room for some cash  and your driver's license, which gives a friend a special opportunity -- you know, the only one with pockets, who gets stuck holding your stuff at the clubs. Available in denim; orange, tan, or red suede with fringe; turquoise blue sequins; white, orange, and blue beads; or a snakeskin leather pattern in hot pink, brown, or blue. $12.50.
The Disney Store
1.  I never understood why anyone would use a clear plastic hand bag. But I do suppose it is an interesting question from a philosophical point of view: Why would someone want everyone in their subway car to know what kind of lip balm they use, brand of tampon, or what kind of gum they chew? In any case, this plastic beach tote, from Disney's Aloha Mickey line, is a frosty plastic and has white and pink opaque flowers and Mickey icons peppered all over the bag to camouflage your bag's contents, with the exception for maybe those more muscular Marvel Comic heroes with X-ray vision. There's a removable pocket on the inside that can be used as a wallet. $18.00.
2. Our second Disney choice also comes from the big island of the Aloha Mickey line: a pair of hot pink thong flip flops with frosty straps. The white flower-and-Mickey designs are also on these. $12.00.
3. The Disney store has always offered watches. The one I liked best was this Tigger watch. It has green leather straps, gold trim, and a white face with Tigger bouncing on his tail (he doesn't really bounce, you have to use your imagination or maybe wish upon a star). $29.99.
4. and 5. Beware of Mickey Pox! These yellow cotton pajama pants have brown Mickey Mouse icons all over them! And it must be infectious, because the accompanying light brown cotton tank is showing the first sign -- one lone Mickey icon.  Actually, these PJ bottoms ($24.00) and tank top ($12.00) are cute soft and quite comfortable.
Sunglass Hut
It's only been the past couple of years that I have enjoyed wearing sunglasses, but now, I love them. They're the closest things to masks we've got. You can put on a pair, and instantly change character. Who knew metal, glass, and plastic could do so much and be so fun for fashion and role playing?
1. Our first pair are these matte  metal ones from CODE in brushed copper metal. They curve a bit to wrap around your face and have light brown lenses. Great for when you feel like being a slickster. $79.99.
2. Next, a narrow, rectangular, cat-eye style by Arnette, for when you feel like pretending you're one of Young Hollywood's new "It" girls. Available in tortoise shell or sea grass gray. $69.99.
3. These Ray Ban-inspired glasses by Code give you that bad ass attitude, but they're modernized to minimize the Chips Patrol factor. Available in silver metal or gold metal with light brown lenses. $69.99.
4. Next, we've got big black rectangular glasses with a glamorous-sporty edge by Carena. Think Whitney Houston on an airplane. $89.99.
5. Last, from cK, a pair of apple-flavored-Jolly Rancher-colored plastic frames in a 1940's shape with brown lenses. For the bubbly bombshell in everyone. $74.99.
OK, well, that's what I've come up with for June. Enjoy hot fun in the summertime!

Until next month.

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