In the air:

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 22, 2001

Grass is peeking from the ground, the sun seems to be shining more and all around are little reminders of spring.

Sunday, April 22, 2001

Grass is peeking from the ground, the sun seems to be shining more and all around are little reminders of spring. Yet local clothing stores prepared for this season six to eight months ago. Last fall and early winter, fashion folks introduced the colors and trends for this season. And the winners are … two words: bright and comfortable.

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"Bright colors are staying," Mike Ott, executive logistics and one of several store managers at Austin’s Target store, said.

A recent addition to Target is the Mossimo line, which features upscale clothing at a reasonable price.

"Mossimo is a step up in style and quality," Betty Schewe, Target shoe supervisor, said. Mossimo is featured throughout the store, from the shoe section to the kids’ section to the men’s and women’s clothing sections.

"There really isn’t a big trend this year," he added. Instead, a variety of styles, from the tried and true to the retro are found on Target racks. Capri pants and Bermuda shorts are found among bikinis and Hawaiian shirts. Bucket hats and large-heeled shoes still are popular from last spring and summer.

Echoing Ott’s earlier statement, Schewe said this spring’s colors are "splashy," consisting of oranges, golds and greens.

Individual Target stores do not choose the clothing they display. Instead, Target’s marketing group in the Twin Cities researches fashion and purchases the clothing to be featured in the stores. Each store is sent items based on what traditionally sells in their city.

"We stay fashion-friendly," Ott said.

"From underwear to outerwear, everything is pretty preppie and nice," Schewe said.

Linen is popular this spring, according to Suzanne Bross, owner of Ego in Austin. Ego sells apparel for young and young-at-heart women. Her clientele ranges in age from teens to the 70s and 80s. Sizes available in the store range from two to 16.

Funky and yet classic styles from many designers line the racks around the Fourth Avenue NE shop.

"It’s kind of a comfortable look," she said. Less structured designs, including oversized shirts, bib overalls and denim, are popular in her store, she said.

As far as colors, black and white standards seem just as popular as other colors, like orange, purple and green. "Kiwi is very strong," as are the tangerine and coral oranges, Bross said of sales of certain colors she stocks.

"I definitely have a much more conservative look," Bross said. Yet, "most women who come into my store are very much wanting to remain updated," she said. "Hopefully something appeals to everyone."

Like Target’s buyers, Bross went shopping last fall for what she is offering this spring. Now she is buying items for this year’s end-of-the-year holiday season.

"I have to figure out what has an appeal," she said. The fact items sell out in her store is proof she is closer to finding the key to Austin’s fashion-minded population.

Tammy Fischer of Fashion Bug in Austin said the clothing available in her store is purchased through the corporate office, at buying shows in California and New York in November and December of last year. Fashion Bug sells clothing to teens and women.

"Neon colors, like oranges, limes and fuchsia are popular," Fischer said. She said attitude tees, which include sayings across the chest, and Capri pants are hot with Fashion Bog customers.

Harriet’s Dres-Wel in Blooming Prairie stocks many denim items, which include embroidery and updated styling. Once again, bright colors are selling well at that store.

Of course, if you must surf the Web for your fashion ideas, several sites can offer your options. The Vogue Magazine trends site at provides a fashion show of 40 pictures when you go to the "This season’s trends" and the "Best of 2001" options on the pull-down menus. If your body is more womanly than a super model’s and more in keeping with the average American woman, Mode Magazine offers a site at Links from the home page can take you to several article and pictures of spring fashions.

This year’s spring fashions practically scream with the colors of nature’s most powerful shades, reminding all of us that spring does come to Austin, even if for the time being it is displayed more in our clothing than in the weather that surrounds us.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge, happy shopping!

Call Kevira Mertha at 434-2233 or e-mail her at