Shauna Northrup & Tara Harris

HOOTERS waitresses

SHORTS AND T-SHIRTS by Hooters (901 Fairview N, 625-0555), not available to the general public.

If you want to dress like a Hooters girl, you have to be a Hooters girl. Diners can buy look-alike T-shirts, but you cannot have the authentic articles unless you have been initiated into the sanctum sanctorum of Hooterdom—the employees-only storage closet. You get one uniform for free and then, like Tijuana firemen, soldiers in the Iraqi army, and cops in New Orleans, you have to start buying them. The shorts and T-shirts come as a pair for $10 (the look-alikes go for $16.99).

WHITE TENNIS SHOES by Cross Trekkers, $20 at the downtown Payless (1529 Third Ave, 622-9557), fat laces optional but they have to be white.

Can you dance in the shoes? "Yes," Northrup said. "We're supposed to dance. We multitask."

'80s-STYLE SLOUCH SOCKS, $6 at Hooters, "unless you win a contest." Contest?

"Like if you sell the most merchandise or go above and beyond the call of duty—then you get a card and at staff meetings they draw cards from a hat and you get socks or another part of your uniform for free."

PANTYHOSE, $4, also restricted to Hooters employees and, oddly, end at the ankle, which is already covered by the enormous slouch socks.

The rest of the Hooters uniform is designed to reveal—the curve of the breast, the hang of the butt—but the ankles are guarded from leering eyes. This prudishness about ankles but licentiousness about the rest of the body reminds one of Victorian ankle fetishism—or an inverted burqa. The burqa, of course, is an Islamic garment that conceals a woman's entire body save for her ankles. There are no Hooters outlets in Saudi Arabia.

BURQA (not shown), $60 at Al Sundus, a Bothell-based online Islamic-clothing store (