The trend, of course, started way before last week's election, but because Nancy Reagan epitomizes the new/old way of fashion, it's tempting to call it conservative chic. Wealthy, big-city-California variety.
Because Mrs. Reagan and her friends -- particularly Betsy Bloomingdale and Lee Annenberg -- are so style-conscious, so aware of designers and current fashions, their approach is going to be noticed. And because we're getting a little bored with the anything-goes-anytime-look anyway, watch for a return to the old (and safe) rules of establishment dressing.
Here are some things to start your list of mark-ups (earning high marks from the California crowd); markdowns (the reverse) and lame duck (on hold): Mark-Ups Standing hair appointments. Basic black and pearls. Bare shoulders. Special-occasion clothes. Silk. Strong colors. Chanel-like jackets. Pincurls and rollers. Good jewelry. Bras. Makeup and manicures. Snob appeal. Ruffles and bows. Wing tips. Pajamas. Starch. Designers. Velvet. Pumps. Big price tags. Jax slacks. Status classics. Wool. Hair parts. Fur liners. Caring about clothes. Markdowns Unkempt hair. Go-anywhere clothes. Bra-lessness. Fake jewels. Blazers. Anonymous clothes. Wishy-washy colors. Chiffon. Wrinkles. Minimal makeup. Baggy fit. Mixed and unmatched. Egalitarian dressing. Wash and dry hair. Poly knits. The ubiquitous shoe. Clothing budgets. Disdain for fashion. Lame Duck
Jeans. (But not in the White House.)
Old clothes. (But depending on what old clothes.)
It's hard to imagine President-elect Ronald Reagan huddling in a sweater for a fireside chat. (It's also unlikely that he, like President Nixon, will stroll the beach in a navy-blue suit.)
If you have a sense of deja vu about all of this, you're probably right. Nancy Reagan reschedules appointments to get to the hairdresser, and has bags made to match her suits.
And, although we may be retrenching, no one's predicting the return of Mamie's bangs or Pat Nixon's pastels.
And should you want, of course, to go back to these new/old ways of fashion, Nancy Reagan's husband has to help. He'll have to figure out the economy, so if you want to play California Conservative Chic, you can afford it.