January 5, 1997 in Nation/World

Tips For Trendoids: Drink A Martini And Go To Cuba Glamor, Goatees, Goofy Glasses Also In Style Forecast For 1997

Associated Press

In 1997, the “in” crowd will socialize at cocktail parties, spend vacations on cruises or at spas, dress with a retro-‘50s look and send certified e-mail messages to keep in touch.

Only those behind the times will listen to country music or rap, camp out or go mountain biking.

That’s according to “The American Forecaster Almanac 1997,” Denver author Kim Long’s 14th annual compendium of trend predictions. Long’s predictions are based on his perusal of newspapers, magazines, trade journals, on-line databases, statistical data and public surveys.

Men will slick back their hair and grow sideburns, and goatees - a badge of grunge music devotees - will go mainstream. Two trends in women’s hairstyles will be big hair and short poufs, he says.

Generation Xers, who rediscovered the martini in recent years, are leading the revival of the cocktail party, the social centerpiece of the 1950s and 1960s, the almanac says.

Cake will be downsized by bakers to appeal to singles and consumers looking for smaller portions and bargains.

The U.S. Postal Service will introduce certified e-mail in 1997, with a time and date stamp to verify delivery. Initial cost: 22 cents per message.

Country and rap music will lose ground, with rap sales continuing the slide that started in 1996, according to the book.

In fashion, “Granny Glamour” will gain a firmer foothold as middle-age women begin showing off their figures more. Also, a return to femininity will take hold, as laces, ruffles and bows become more popular.

The forecaster says the nerd look has become accepted fashion - from the goofy glasses down to the shapeless shoes, but without the pocket protector. Other nerd accessories that are catching on: shirts buttoned to the neck, mismatched, loud patterns and skin-tight pants and shirts.

Fewer people will camp out in 1997, a result of Baby Boomers’ waning enthusiasm for roughing it. Mountain biking, in-line skating and sailboarding will also lose their appeal.

Look for a boom in ocean cruises and new interest in “wellness” vacations that emphasize weight loss and healthful relaxation, the book said.

Cuba will become a popular vacation destination as travel restrictions are relaxed and the communist country continues modernizing its hotels. And there appears to be no end in sight to Las Vegas’ luster, the book said.

Also on the hot list for 1997: pre-autographed books, poetry, parking meters that accept credit cards, watches that transfer data to computers, snowshoeing, backyard golf and professional miniature golf.

Long said he was proudest of his 1996 predictions about the decline of CD-ROM publishing and a trend among nontraditional professions to adopt certification standards.

But he fared about as well as economists in predicting the Dow Jones average - he was too low.

His solution for 1997 was not to guess about the stock market. “No one can do it,” he said.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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