I make a lot of my own clothes, but have difficulty finding zips of matching colours or appropriate sizes, weights etc. Does anyone sell a wide range of zips by mail order?

Barbara Johnson, Durham

There are a couple of places where you can get zips by mail order but generally there is a minimum order or they only deal with trade. I contacted YKK for example and its (very speedy) response was that it doesn't deal with individuals but one of its wholesalers or retailers might. YKK suggested you call its UK branch (tel: 0171 253 2077) which will provide you with a list of wholesalers near to you. There's also M. Courts & Son (tel: 0171 247 6888) but it is based in London and has a pounds 30 minimum order by post (that's a lot of zips!). Call your local John Lewis branch - if you explain what you want, it will post the zip to you. Good old Johnny Loulous (tel: 0171 629 7711 for your nearest one).

Where can I get a new collar and cuffs for my shirts? I'm a slightly old-fashioned male (but still read your advice) and don't like to throw things away.

David Egee, London SW11

Seymours Shirts does them, as well as made-to-measure shirts (tel: 01274 726520; email: seymour@eagle.co.uk; website: www.eagle.co.uk/cos/seymour).

Do you know of any reasonably priced support tights with a realistic waistline? I'm obliged to wear them for medical reasons but they all have 18 inch waists and they're uncomfortable after a couple of hours, even though I cut the waistband. I'd much appreciate any advice.

Linda, London

This isn't very helpful is it Linda? All I know is that you don't have an 18 inch waist. Most tights will fit hips (and usually waists) of up to 44 inches. Selfridges on Oxford Street in London is the place to go - it has a great hosiery department that stocks, amongst many others, Wolford and Oroblu, both of which have excellent support tights in their ranges. If none of this is any help, then write back with your actual measurements and I can try to assist you further (no promises mind, it's the summer holidays and I am a mother of five!).

I was dismayed to read two weeks ago that one of your readers thought her acquisition of a new bra had made her hitherto "unremarkable chest" prompt comments from her husband, colleagues and "strange men". Has the women's movement meant nothing to her, or you for printing it?

W. Forbes, London

Oh do shut up. The women's movement - for anyone that pays more than lip service to it - was about giving women choice. And if my correspondent chooses to be pleased that her chest prompts comments then good for her. And anyway, where's your sisterly spirit? Now get out of my column.

I have just, rather belatedly, read your column of 30 May in which a reader was in search of plain flip-flops for her daughter. She can get them from The Lambourn Universal Stores, High Street, Lambourn, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 8XL (tel: 01488 72353). The smallest ones are 80p a pair, and pounds 1.10 for the larger sizes.

Mrs Tessa Rushforth, Hungerford

What a bargain! Thanks for that, Mrs R.

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