The Chic Is in The Mail

Spanning tastes from traditional to trendy, three catalogs thrive by selling sportswear to baby boomers who have no time to go to the mall

A well-tanned, fine-boned man lounges on a wicker chair in the middle of a vast lawn, the picture of leisure in his long-sleeve polo shirt and cotton twill trousers. A fresh-faced young woman walks barefoot on the beach, smartly / turned out in white cotton shorts and a sleeveless blouse. A square-jawed baby boomer clad in a classic linen shirt and cotton pants gazes serenely along a shoreline as if he is planning a bright future.

The people in these scenes, which evoke the studied relaxation of a Ralph Lauren ad, look like the sort of folks who would hate to...

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