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FASHION BRIEFS QUIZ TIME

Which clothing retailers moved the most merchandise last year?

Ranked by sales of women's, men's and children's apparel, Wal-Mart came out on top, with $14.96 billion in estimated revenue for 2001. The rest of Women's Wear Daily's toppermost of the shoppermost:

Target -- $8.85 billion

J.C. Penney Co. -- $8.29 billion

May Department Stores Co. (includes Lord &; Taylor) -- $8.15 billion

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Gap Inc. (includes Banana Republic) -- $7.78 billion

Rounding out the top 10 are Kmart, Federated Department Stores (parent company of Macy's), Sears, The Limited stores (including Victoria's Secret and Express) and Dillard's.

HAULING STRAW

An oversize straw bag is a fashionable solution for hauling sunblock and towels to the pool. This summer, you'll also see the trendy totes hanging from the arms of working women and party girls.

Designers are dressing up this classic beach bag. Smart wooden handles lend a sleek look to straw, making it suitable for both work and casual wear. Even the Coach label has created a subtle straw version of its signature bag.

Floral prints, beadwork and stripes give straw a fresh look. Embellishments include seashells, applique, bamboo handles and fringe. Straw isn't strictly natural this summer; bags in bold colors -- from lime green to red -- coordinate with any color scheme.

SLEEK TECH

Technology developed for NASA astronauts by Silhouette Optical has been adapted for consumers to help protect their eyes from the sun's rays.

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The frames of the Titan Minimal Art sunglasses weigh less than an ounce. The sleek designs also have no screws or hinges. The trademarked Voyager Lens protects eyes from ultraviolet and infrared light and excessive blue light.

Dr. Keith Manuel, a consultant to NASA and chief optometrist to NASA's astronaut corps, says protection from the sun's rays is important every day -- whether it's sunny or cloudy.

"Ultraviolet rays are implicated in the development of cataracts, macular degeneration and other diseases of the eye," Manuel says. "Wearing sunglasses is as important as protecting your skin every day with SPF 15."

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