Clotheslines by Marylou Luther


             Q Dear Marylou:  Can you really see “real men” wearing pajama pants in public as some
                         designers have shown?__
Y.L., New York, NY. 

       Stan Herman pajamas

       Dear Y.L.:  “Real men” might not eat quiche, but they are wearing designer pajamas.  Make that some are.
    While intended for women, the pajama pants illustrated here come in sizes extra small to 3XXX and if a man could fit into any of the larger sizes he could certainly wear them. So says their designer, fashion legend Stan Herman.  But with a caveat.
    “By nature, the pajama has a gender neutrality to it.  A guy could, indeed, wear my new ones for QVC if he likes and they fit, but I also make men’s pajamas, so…”
    Herman, who’s been on the buy-where-you-are network for 22 years (that means he sells a lot of whatever he’s showing), will bring the four pajama sets illustrated here to the network “some time after Thanksgiving—right now I’m scheduled for November 30”.  Herman’s “Pajama Party” is a great example of the boudoir becoming fashionable.  While Herman’s spun polyester micro fleece pj’s (Herman says the fabric has the soft touch of cashmere) are meant for “lounging around the house and into bed”, the pajama pants in your question are available in fabrics more familiar with public exposure—as in denim, chino, gabardine, cashmere, etc.
    The pajama sets illustrated here are priced at $37 (yes, $37 includes both the tops and bottoms) in four prints for the bottoms, four colors for the tops.  These are: plaids in grays and pinks, animal in leopard with black, snowflakes in winter blue and winter white and the cats, dogs and trees in berry and gray.  The V-neck tops have stitches that pick up the color of the bottom.  
    Asked if he would wear pajama pants for his QVC “Pajama Party”, Herman told me he would consider it.  Tune in to see his decision.

                                                                              Illustration by Stan Herman


       Q Dear Marylou:  In reading about the latest runway shows I keep seeing the words fil coupe. What does it mean?  How is it used?__ M.L.,Kent, OH.


          Dear M.L.:   Fil Coupe is French for cut thread.  It refers to floating wefts which can be cut to produce fringe-like or other surface interest on fabrics—a kind of 3D effect.     New York designer Michael Kors used the treatment to exceptional effect for his dimensional organza evening separates and dresses.  Kors’ topographic fabric innovations for spring also included washed failles and crushed cottons.



          Q  Dear Marylou:  Did the Chelsea boot start in the district of New York City known as Chelsea?__ A.T.P., Hogansville, GA.


       Dear A.T.P.:  No, the ankle-high boots with elastic side insets and 1-in (or thereabouts) heels originated in Victorian England but became famous during the 1960s, when the Beatles made them the go-to boot for the rock and rollers in London’s Chelsea district.



      Q  Dear Marylou:  Fashion notwithstanding, what is the usual life expectancy of a well-taken-care-of cloth coat?__ J.F., Iron Mountain, MI.


          Dear J.F.:   The Fair Claims Guide for drycleaners states that cloth or pile coats have a life expectancy of three years; leather, four years.  I believe coats can last much longer—check the vintage stores for proof—if they’re treated well.  To extend its life, do not store your coat in plastic.  Give it breathing room in your closet.  And don’t feel you have to dryclean it every year unless, of course, you stain it.


  (Marylou welcomes questions for use in this column, but regrets she cannot answer mail personally.  Send your questions to


 ©2015, International Fashion Syndicate


      Marylou Luther, editor of the International Fashion Syndicate, writes the  award-winning Clotheslines column, a question-and-answer fashion advice feature read weekly by more than 5 million.

   In addition to her syndicated newspaper column, Luther is the creative director of The Fashion Group International, a non-profit organization for the dissemination of information on fashion, beauty and related fields.  Her twice-yearly audio-visual overviews of the New York, London, Milan and Paris ready-to-wear shows are must-seeing/reading for industry leaders. Her coverage of the European collections appears in newspapers throughout the U.S.

   The former fashion editor of The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Des Moines Register is biographied in “Who’s Who in America.”  She won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s coveted Eugenia Sheppard  award for fashion journalism, the Women in Communications award and, in 2004, the Accessories Council’s Marylou Luther Award for Fashion Journalism, which will be given every year in her name.

  Her essays have appeared in “The Rudi Gernreich Book”, “Thierry Mugler: Fashion, Fetish, Fantasy”, “The Color of Fashion”, “Todd Oldham Without Boundaries” and “Yeohlee: Work.” A book with Geoffrey Beene was published in September, 2005. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, where she received the prestigious Alumni Achievement award, Luther is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Kappa Tau Alpha, Theta Sigma Phi and Gamma Phi Beta.