SPRING IN ATLANTA: SHORT AND SKIMPY

Byline: Georgia Lee / with contributions from Sheila Jefferson

ATLANTA — Freaknik — the annual rite of spring that draws thousands of African-American college students to Atlanta — is a time to bare all, or almost all, in anything short, tight and skimpy.
Despite unseasonably cool temperatures, little stretch cotton summer dresses with bare legs and strappy, clunky sandals called “stacks” were the weekend uniform. Baggy jeans and shorts over men’s underwear with the label showing, paired with halters or cropped midriff knit tops were also popular choices.
And if all that skin wasn’t enough to attract attention, lime green and other neon brights brought the point home, with the all-important matching sunglasses, worn outdoors and in. In contrast to the women, dressed bare enough to withstand the hottest Georgia summers, the men preferred the layered look, with T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, baggy pants, hats and athletic shoes, all sporting an essential logo, such as Nike or Polo.
All weekend, students tied up traffic on interstates and surface streets, partied, hung out of cars and gawked at or videotaped one another.
Lenox Square, Atlanta’s largest mall, has become a popular hangout, but it often has to close early, when the sheer number of students violates fire codes. While students come more to cruise the malls than to spend money, some did buy more clothes to wear during the weekend.
A salesperson at Rich’s reported heavy sales of prestige brands, such as DKNY and Lauren.
Best-selling items? “Anything tight and short,” she said.

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