Fatal Fashion | Year In Review | Chicago Reader

Fatal Fashion 

The Maine event

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It's an old saying, but still true: Death isn't pretty. Some tips to keep your fashion sense alive on that New England vacation . . .

Silly people have long considered fashion a matter of life and death. Now, in the state of Maine, it really is. In October a Maine jury acquitted hunter Donald Rogerson of manslaughter in the death of Karen Ann Wood. Rogerson bagged Ms. Wood in 1988 with a single shot as she stood in her backyard, wearing a dark coat and white mittens. He thought she was a deer. Rogerson claimed he had no idea there were houses nearby, though he had parked his pickup truck on Ms. Wood's street, yards from her home. In the aftermath of the shooting, Maine residents pointed out that a white mitten could look an awful lot like a deer's tall; many agreed with the Bangor Daily News outdoors columnist, who noted that if Ms. Wood "had been wearing one piece of blaze-orange clothing, she'd be alive today." Under the circumstances, Maine-bound tourists could do with some serious fashion advice.

Dos & Don'ts

DON'T slip out in cute bear-cub slippers. They're warm and cozy on a winter night by the fire, but otherwise they belong on the endangered species list.

DON'T be caught dead in animal prints. A tacky zebra-skin pattern isn't just social suicide anymore.

DON'T fool around with feathers. Even a discreet feather in your cap can be overkill.

DON'T hop around in wacky animal costumes. Save it for Halloween, and save your life.*

DO brighten up any outfit with colorful accessories, like this perky blaze-orange bullet-proof vest. The strong yet light material lets you breathe.

* Cute bunny suit exclusively by Chicago Costume Company, 1120 W. Fullerton.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Charles Eshelman.

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