New Generra Shirt Fits Teens To A 'T' Hypercolor Is Mood-ring Of The '90s

Posted: September 11, 1991

Just when you thought the look kids were taking back to school this year was all a throwback to yesterday, along comes the revolutionary Generra T- shirt.

Called Hypercolor, the T-shirt, a type of mood-ring for the '90s, changes color with the temperature of your body and the environment.

It's been somewhat of a blessing for retailers, whose back-to-school sales have been lagging.

Richard Ameisen, Strawbridge & Clothier division merchandise manager, estimated that the retailer's young men's departments have sold between 5,000 and 10,000 of the Generra shirts in the past six months.

"We didn't realize how big it was going to be," he said.

The shirts sell for about $20.

Aside from Hypercolor, retailers this year peddled students' styles popularized in the '50s and '60s, or something brought back from last year.

These items include pegged pants, a look whose popularity is credited originally to James Dean, according to Mercia Grassi, Drexel University marketing professor and retail expert.

"It was all the rage in the '50s," she says. "The leg was pinched at the ankle. You make a tuck with a thread, so it's pegged. That made it droopy in the knee. When you walked along, it kind of blew in the wind."

Oversized shirts are still hot, a carry-over from Giorgio Armani's slouch look, Grassi says. Girls continue to sport leggings and flair-bottomed tops. Students are also wearing denim-jumpers, popularized last year.

Surging stronger than ever, Grassi observes, are licensed T-shirts sporting the names of powerhouse college athletic teams, like UNLV, Villanova, Notre Dame and Georgetown.

The younger children have stuck with Disney characters. While Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are still around, Disney's Little Mermaid is sizzling this year, plastered on everything from hairbows to shoelaces.

Grassi also exclaims, "I can't believe Barbie's back."

Spandex, popular for the last few years, is still a strong-seller.

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