"If I could have gotten to Las Vegas for the real fight, then you would have seen me dressed up," said Arva Whittaker, a secretary with Norrell Temporary Services, at the Convention Center for the screening of the Hearns-Hagler fight last night. She was wearing a gray-and-white mini-dress and gray hat. "For the real fight I would have dressed up in sequins. But here I kept it to a low flash."
It was mostly no flash for the largely male crowd that started to show up at 8 p.m., an hour before the warm-up fights, almost three hours before the main event. There were plenty of young men and women in jeans, especially the skin-tight variety, and several of the multipocket European variety, and there was lots of leather. The most popular jacket was a leather blouson style that several wore with matching leather trousers or skirts.
Darrnell McGhee, a business manager, was in black leather jacket, black leather gloves, white wool trousers, a tennis cap, black-and-white shoes and a gold chain. "People should dress up whenever they get the occasion. It gives them a different personality and makes them act better," he said. His friend, Angela Marshall, a business service agent for Federal Express, was in a similar outfit -- a black leather suit with miniskirt, off-white sweater and brown snakeskin pumps.
The warm evening undoubtedly affected what others chose for the evening. Many were casually dressed in T-shirts and warm-up suits. A couple showed up in running shorts and one young man was in Bermuda shorts.
But not even the warm weather or the remote viewing could curb the dress-up mood of Barbara Blakeney, a club singer, who was wearing a sleeveless fur jacket with fox tails. "If it's a fight, it's like a showplace and I have to dress up," said Blakeney. "Besides, wearing fur makes me feel good."
Reginald Bunting, a Metrobus driver, admired his wife, Bernice, a secretary at the Voice of America, who was wearing a white maribou hat and neckpiece, a red glitter dress with ruffles and a mink stole with tails. "All going-out occasions for us are dress-up occasions," said Reginald Bunting.