Wall Street Sizes Up Spring Fashion

The holidays are over, for better or for worse, and as plans commence for the spring buying season, it's once again time to analyze fashion's trends. While the runways and consumer magazines may be a little too outlandish or urban for your customer base, forecasters at Merrill Lynch have tamed down the trends to a sleek few that can be adapted almost universally. "The biggest trends for spring 2001 at this point look to be the continued feminine trend in women's [fashions], bare looks inspired by '70s styles, and, in men's [wear], cleaner looks," according to a retail forecast prepared by Mark A. Friedman, first vice president of Merrill Lynch. Soft fabrics, prints, blouses, shirt-dresses, and color should remain key ingredients of the season. As did winter, spring will bring a continued love of plaid, along with florals. In color, look for the continued strength of blue, the freshne

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