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iPods cinch a place on the 'in' list

By Emilie Le Beau
January 4, 2005

A rope for a belt. Jeans so tight they're called "stove pipes." Get your closet ready, because 2005 has some piping-hot new trends for fashion, as well as culture and music.

Rope trim is likely to pop up on clothes and accessories in the spring, says Rob Callender of Teenage Research Unlimited. And denim still will dominate with new additions like stove-pipe jeans.

But goth and punk looks won't be as big as they were in 2004. "The whole goth thing is not doing so well," Callender says.

Not everyone follows trends, and Callender says some kids ignore the end of an obsession. "What's over for one individual might not be over for another," he says. "There are still a lot of mainstream kids out there still taken with goth and punk."

Kids at Laura W.'s school are big into blazers and hoodies. She says she's not a sweatshirt person and doesn't always pay too much attention to the trends, especially when it comes to music.

"I'm not really into the type of music everybody else is into," says Laura, 12, of Mt. Prospect. "But rap is really in, they play rap all the time at our school dances."

Rap is in and songstresses like Britney are out. Mrs. Federline probably started her decline about three years ago, Callender says.

Hilary Duff also seems to be on her way out. Adam M., 15, of Libertyville thinks Duff is done. "As soon as Lindsay Lohan came out, she [was] just upstaged," he says.

Instead of pure pop, music inspired by social issues is likely to be big in 2005, Callender says. "We wouldn't be surprised if there is angsty or protest music," he says. "Green Day has 'American Idiot,' Eminem just released an anti-Bush song."

Music lyrics are changing in 2005 and so is slang. Adam says phrases like "radical" and "sweet" are done. "Saying 'word' really doesn't work anymore," Adam says. "It became overused and lost its meaning."

Just as you suspected, when slang gets picked up by grown-ups, it's off the cool list. And a professor at the University of Pittsburgh recently announced his plans to study the use of the word "dude." So that guarantees it's on its way out, right?

Maybe not in the Midwest, where Callender says it takes a while for trends to have an impact. "People tend to take their time with new fashions and not go off the deep end," he says.

And some trends hit harder than others. MP3 players are cool but iPods rule. "There is something in particular about that device," Callender says. "The iPod has captured the teen imagination better than anything else."

Maybe it's the hip commercials, which is how Laura says she keeps up with what's current. "I usually get it from kids at school and commercials," she says. "Usually when they are advertising for the same things, you know it's a trend."

Copyright 2005 Chicago Tribune

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