The big Afro gave way to the small Afro and the "personalized look." Now is it the wet Alfo? Winfred Cook in San Franciso calls the style the "Wet Look," says he created it for convenience, versatility, a healty way to keep the hair "and smashing good looks." Among his client9 wearing the "Wet Look" is political revolutionary Angela Davis. The secret is in the cut and a water-based setting gel that gives the wet appearance.

You'll need your dictionary to recognize some of the fabrics around this fall, unless you are over 40. Try these: chenille, eloque, charmeuse. Actually charmeuse, which is the softest silk satin, was revived last year by Halston and Calvin Klein, but now its appeal is much broader. Cloque is a puckered silk or silk-like fabric that was a Balenciaga favorite. Oscar de la Renta and others use a modern version, far softer than Balenciaga (one of the most influential designers of the post World War II period) was able to use in his collections.

Chenille, a fuzzy favorite for bathrobes and bedspreads, is back for sweaters. "I feel like I'm wrapped up in a big pipe cleaner," laughed Karen Hanish, exhibit specialist at the Smithsonian Institution, who modeled the chenille sweater and hat from the Anne Klein collection by Donna Karan and Louis Dell'Olio (available at Saks Fifth Avenue in late August).

The link between all these new and renewed fabrics? They all feel good to the touch, an essential quality in many of the best new clothes around.

Even if you look like Joan Crawford in your broad-shouldered Adrian suit, could you part with ti for two weeks this October, or permanently? The costume division of the original creations to round out a nostalgic tribute to a man who was best known as a designer for MGM studio, where he dressed such glittering stars as Crawfor, Katherine Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow. Later, he designed aline of clothing which Garfinckel's carried locally in the 1940s.

The exhibit is linked to a fund-raising effort for the Smithsonian's costume collection of couture clothing, and the museum hopes it will forcus attention on the needs of its growing costume collection. The Adrian acquisitions will help round out an exhibit of Adrian designer originals from the costume collection of Cheltenham "Township High School in Wyncote, Pa. "Adrian is a symbol for us, as an American designer whose film designs were picked up by the masses and as an American couturiere, he can remind people that we are interested in all kinds of American clothing," says Claudia Kidwell, associate curator of costumes at the Smithsonian's Museum of History and Technology.

According to Kidwell, the real prize would be to find the black dressa (style number 346) created originally in 1942 for Carole Landis that became a popular style that thousands of women owned. (Adrian got so tired of it, he forbade his wife Janet Gaynor to wear it.) But Kidwell would be delighted to have other daytime or evening designs as well. (Call her at 381-6652.)

The Navy is finally updating its uniform for women sailors and officers to replace the one introduced in 1943. A major change is the addition of pants as optional attire.

It could be a Henri Bendel's slice-of-life window, but in truth the mannequin flopped in a hammock is not in New York, but in the window of the Junior League thrift shop in Georgetown, indicating that they were closed for vacation the month of July and will reopen tomorrow.