Capes, Bags, Boots Are 'In' at 'Cliffe

Not to be outdone by the slicker publications, Women's Wear Daily has discovered Radcliffe. In two photo features last week, the clothes retailers' daily newspaper bubbled with excitement over Radcliffe's Young Naturals--their capes, high boots, textured stockings, and Greek bags.

"If you're a Radcliffe girl, you're a Radcliffe girl in a cape," the paper declares in a bold headline. "No one, absolutely no one wears them without textured stockings and boots." "You simply must have long straight hair," Women's Wear Daily adds.

The Nov. 27 issue of the paper devotes more than a full page and a half to photos and sketches of "Cliff Dwellers" (sic). Reporter Marian Christy notes the prevalence of dark knee skimming shifts, turtleneck jerseys, ponchos, and capes. "Sunny colors and sprightly plaids rate," she writes, and "yellow, orange, purple, butterscotch are In."

"Classic sportswear?" asks the Women's Wear Daily rhetorically. "That's dull--left to the Wellesley Conservatives."

"Hats are taboo," it also states, "except for Oliver caps and deer stalkers," items apparently familiar to clothes retailers.


Perhaps the most weighty assertion in the articles is that the capes are emblems of summer travels, to such countries as Mexico, England, Austria, Peru, and Sweden. "Non-travelers descend on masse on their favorite Harvard Square shops to mimic their globetrotting classmates," the story adds.

In the Nov. 29 issue Miss Christy makes the same claim about Greek pocketbooks, "the new status symbol on the Radcliffe campus.... The accessory sported by those who are 'really in.'" The bags are "proof of travels to Greece or Mexico or Rumania," she contends. 'Cliffies buy them in expensive local shops, but not at Jordan Marsh for $2.98.

The slangy ebullience of the article, as well as its sweeping generalizations, ("Everyone who is anyone"..."if you're with it"..."Dressy Dresses Are Out,") may make. 'Cliffies take a quick dislike to it. But unfortunately its assertion of a trend in clothing is quite well-founded. Just wait until Spring when Women's Wear Daily discovers Marimekko.