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Published: Thursday, 3/21/2002

Low riders want space in men's closets

FROM BLADE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

It was inevitable. With so many women, including a pack of celebrities, strutting out in pants riding low on their hips, sooner or later the look was going to be appropriated by the male contingent.

Low riders have shown up on designer runways featuring young men's fall fashion. And already the idea is floating well into the mainstream. The Dungaree division of Lee Co. in Merriam, Kan., is moving low-rise blue denim jeans for men into stores now. They are available in a variety of colored denim washes.

Lee says market research indicates men have long bought larger-size jeans to have the hip slung look. It started during the last decade when they wanted to expose a tip (or more) of underwear. Now men's focus groups tell Lee the low rise is more comfortable and easier to wear.

But will they wear them in public?

A disco beat thumps. A forehead glistens. Light, what little there is, reflects off a sequined bodice. A man in a retro track suit makes time in the corner with ...

An exercise bike.

Yep. It's a gym. But turn the clock forward a few hours, and you're likely to see the same scene in a nightclub. Sans exercise bike, of course.

“The concept this season is to make workout apparel more applicable to everyday life,” says Katie Yturri, a fitness buyer for Athleta, an online California company (www.athleta.com) that specializes in fitness fashions for women.

“So, hypothetically, you could run your errands, stand in line for coffee, whatever, and not be gawked at,” Ms. Yturri says.

If you're dreaming of a wardrobe update but need to get rid of some old clothes to make room in your closet, Keep Toledo-Lucas County Beautiful, Inc., has a program for you. The Great American Cleanup Clothes Collection, which starts April 2, will take old clothes, shoes, and fabric off your hands.

Usable clothing will be donated to charities, while other textiles will be recycled into roofing material, bond paper, and industrial wiping cloths.

The drive ends April 30. Collection hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in the Erie Street Market, 237 Erie St., downtown. For details, call Keep Toledo-Lucas County Beautiful, Inc., at 419-213-6455.



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