RETAIL TRADE: Fizz & Finery

It was all somewhat giddy. Said one Manhattan storeman: "This is the most uninhibited Easter business I've ever seen. The ladies shop as if they'd been drinking champagne cocktails."

In this first spring of the new peace, with millions of soldiers back home to dress for, U.S. women were indeed spending with the grand air of drunken sailors. Result: U.S. retail sales were up a whopping 50% over 1945, appeared headed last week for a record Easter total of $1.5 billion in women's clothing alone.

Top items on all shopping lists were hats. This year they were big, beflowered, befeathered...

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