Archive for Sunday, June 30, 2002

Patriotism sparks colorful fashion trend

June 30, 2002

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Patriotism is in fashion this year.

Red, white and blue is the preferred color scheme. Stars and stripes are the favorite shapes.

Images of the American flag appear on everything from aprons to purses to necklaces, and sales associates in several Lawrence stories say the flags are flying quickly off the shelves.

"There have been a lot of flag T-shirts around since Sept. 11," said Christy Douglass, who has worked at Sugartown Traders, 918 Mass., for two years. "They were big sellers. Since then, people are still patriotic."

Douglass said Sugartown has sold dozens of hand fans with American flags printed on them. Sugartown also sells Star-Spangled tin lunch boxes.

Lori Jorgenson, a Kansas University senior and a sales associate at Britches Clothing Co., 843 Mass., said Britches ordered patriotic-themed shirts shortly after Sept. 11. She said the Zoompy flag-printed tank top and other patriotic clothing the store has in stock now is more in honor of the Fourth of July.

"Every store I walk by has flag stuff in it," she said.

Cinda Garrison, owner of Prairie Patches, 821 Mass., said she does not know if the large amount of flag gear is related to the events of Sept. 11.

"I vacillate about really doing very much with (the patriotic theme)," Garrison said. "I don't know what Americans are thinking."

Prairie Patches carries flag pins and a flag-splashed apron, and Garrison said sometimes customers order shirts and other items with American flags on them.

Most of the patriotic clothing Lawrence stores carry is for women, but Weaver's, 901 Mass., carries a few items for men, including flag-themed polo shirts and a men's Fossil watch with a red band and flag on its face.

Saffee's, 911 Mass., has an entire section dedicated to red, white and blue clothing. Steve Mercurio, the store's owner, said it has carried a substantial amount of patriotic clothing since Sept. 11.

"After Sept. 11, it was big for three or four months," Mercurio said. "Now that it's nearing the Fourth of July, people will be patriotic again."

Some of the store's biggest sellers have been red and blue Usinido flip flops adorned with silver star sequins and the Josephine Chaus clothing line, which incorporates a great deal of red, white and blue.

Mercurio said the store also has carried country singer Lee Greenwood's CD "God Bless America," and he has had to reorder it three times.

"I really, truly believe that people are more family-oriented since Sept. 11," Mercurio said. "They want to be closer to home. That day made a lot of people think, and I think this theme goes with it. That's why we've been selling this stuff."

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