Before the week is out...

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THE FASHION pages may be lecturing us to get our toes out of those socks and into strappy sandals, but given the unpredictability of the temperature, it's no surprise that we're holding back. It's just not appealing to bare your legs when all you're showing is a clutch of goosebumps. Wearing tights with your tootsies poking out is definitely not an option, so what's a girl to do?

"Chop them off at the toe" is the blindingly obvious solution from the unlikely source of Brazil (your tights this is, not your legs - though why on earth they need to wear tights in their climate is quite beyond us). Brazilian toe-less tights have just been launched in the UK and are so perfectly suited to the British spring that it reflects badly on us as a nation of entrepreneurs that no one got the idea here first. They are rich in Lycra for a snug fit and have a little thong to go round your big toe. So simple yet so effortlessly effective.

pounds 6 from The Dispensary, 9 Newburgh Street, London W1; 200 Kensington Park Road, London W11 (tel: 0171 221 4101).

Say this

shuttle bunny

(n, ironic) term used by a male canoeist for a wife or girlfriend who waits by the river until he's finished, and then picks him up.

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Drink this

IF YOU'RE going to pay pots of money for designer water, you expect to get an attractive bottle, and preferably a re-usable one. What you don't expect is extra oxygen. This makes Liquid Oxygen, a new super-oxygenated water, a bit of a bargain. For 79p you get a cool silver plastic bottle with a sports cap, and still water containing 10 times more oxygen than your average paltry H2O. According to the marketing blurb, many of us can be "under-oxygenated for some of the activites that we ask of our bodies in everyday life and Liquid Oxygen may help provide our bodies with extra fuel". I'd have thought heavy breathing would do the trick, but there you go.

Available at Texaco garages and Selfridges.

MADONNA IN her Jean-Paul Gaultier phase? Unlikely, as this was taken in 1939. It's one of a range of 19th- and early 20th-century photographs to be auctioned at Sotheby's on 6 May. Also on sale is a collection of photos by Jacques Henri Lartigue, one of the first photographers to perfect the informal snapshot genre, inspired by the beauty of his girlfriend. The wealthy Lartigue was able to indulge in photography as a hobby and could afford to be experimental. Go along, and remind yourself that there really is nothing new - it's all been done before. And if you have a few thousand pounds to spare, you could even take one home.

Viewing: Sunday 12-4pm, Tuesday, Wednesday 9am-4.30pm. Sotheby's, 34- 35 New Bond Street, London W1.

Buy these

THE TREND for grown women to wear Kirby grips and hair combs rumbles on. But if you're confident you can get away with it, check out the Bumble & Bumble collection of hair accessories. The pack includes bands, bungees, combs and pins and comes wrapped in a pocket-sized pouch. For the uninitiated the bumble band is an updated version of the Alice and looks, quite frankly, like you've got a bra strap on your head. We're more impressed with the bungees, a modern take on the hair elastic which are easy to use and equally good on thick or thin hair. Tie it up and get it out of your face. Now that's hair-styling for grown-ups.

Price: pounds 19.95. Stockists and mail order: 01768 895 505.

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