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Original Issue


The half-muffled grin on the pert face to the right does not belong to an Our Gang comedy kid but to Model Merola Witt, who here and on the following pages demonstrates the raffish look that's "in" for the outdoors this fall. A Barney Oldfield duster and a boy scout poncho are designed to hold back the chill or the rain of a Saturday afternoon in a football stadium. Ear-warming mufflers come with many of fall's new sports clothes. The new shiny vinyls are being made into protective garb for spectators, golfers, sailors and skiers. Calf-high boots not only complete the look but keep out the rain or snow. The muffler opposite is of handwoven Scottish wool, designed by Stella Sloat to match a tweed skirt.

This year top U.S. sportswear designers have taken a group of shiny coated fabrics of a kind once associated mainly with automobile seat covers and boosted them into a new and practical existence. These new fabrics often look like patent leather or old-fashioned oilskins but have the added advantage for contemporary sportswear of being soft, pliable, cleanable, washable and water-repellent. Their trade names add a whole new category to fashion. Vy-Paral in a winter weight has a layer of vinyl foam laminated to a layer of shiny coated fabric. This is the fabric used in the pea jacket shown on page 75. Comarra, a similar fabric, will be used in a ski suit from Christian Dior this winter. Nyldri and Nylcoat, both acrylic-coated nylon taffetas, are used mainly in rainwear (see the poncho to the left). Norpole is a neoprene-backed nylon found in the best of today's foul-weather sailing gear. Coated fabrics also protect foul-weather golfers (SI, April 30), and before the year is out even vinyl swimsuits will be shining on southern beaches.

Barney Oldfield inspired the suede duster shown above, Bonnie Cashin designed it for Sills, and Merola wears it, hands in pockets, buckles aflap, with spotted calf boots and a felt fedora. The vinyl pea jacket at right was designed by Frank Smith of Evan-Picone, with a bow to the U.S. Navy, to go with a turtleneck sweater and a pocketed tweed skirt.

Found on the back of a British boy scout: the look of this poncho. Monika of White Stag updated it for American women. It reverses from water-repellent Nyldri, a new lightweight coated nylon, to bright red sailcloth. When popped over stretch pants and high black rubber boots, it makes Merola as waterproof as a duck.