Dear Annie

Could you please help me locate a navy blue Chinese Maoist workers suit, in denim or quilted. A Chinese girl recently told me she had seen one in a mini catalogue which came with an Independent supplement (it had the word 'world' on the cover or maybe it was 'world clothing' or something similar). If you could find this catalogue or know of any other sources of chinese workers suits (authentic if possible) I will be very grateful. Thanks

Andrew Blabey, Devon

I don't know which catalogue you mean, there are always hundreds of catalogues around and I can't keep track of all of them, sadly. I though Wealth of Nations might do them, but they don't. I couldn't find a stockist near you (although of course this sort of thing might be available in a little shop somewhere in which case, as always, I invite people to get in touch...but Neal Street East (0171 240 0135) in London's Covent Garden (and yes they do do mail order) have an indigo cotton suit like this, sizes s,m, l- the jacket costs pounds 54 and the trousers pounds 41. They also do a padded/quilted jacket in indigo or black which costs pounds 106 but there are no trousers to match. They do tend to sell out quickly however, so make sure you ring before making a trip especially.

Can you tell me where I can buy fake fur by the metre to cover a coat collar? Thank you

E. Scott, Edinburgh

For goodness sake, have you looked anywhere? I do think some of you just use me as some sort of servant! Come on now. Fake fur is sold just about anywhere and everywhere you lazy sod. But, because it's Christmas and as I write I am munching on a boozy mince pie (my husband makes them far too alcoholic, hic) I shall help you. Johnny Loulou's have have three types of fake fur sold by the metre: black, bottle green, purple, tiger printed and a grey leopard print. Prices range from pounds 29.50 per metre to pounds 59 per metre. The branch in the St James Centre, Edinburgh (0131 556 9121) also does them although not as many colours (brown, black, brown leopard print and grey leopard print). If you are too lazy to get there, and by the sound of it you might be, there is a postal order service available from the London branch, if you write to John Lewis plc, Dress Fabrics, Oxford Street, London, W1A 1EX. They accept cheques and in non-seasonal times you usually get the fabric in 7-10 days (if you pay extra you can get it sooner).

My six year old daughter longs for a grown up full length nightie with ribbons and lace, preferably pink. I have searched all the children's clothes shops and department stores in Dublin to no avail. Can you suggest anywhere I might try, perhaps on a mail order basis or in Central London, which I visit from time to time on business. With thanks

Aisling Kennedy, Dublin

This was another item that I thought I'd find everywhere but didn't. I got a bit stuck actually. I know waht you mean as I used to have one of these myself but where does them now? I tried all the places I could think of and the only thing I found was by the mail order catalogue Mini Boden (0181 453 1535). It isn't pink as such, it has pink rose buds on a white background (it also comes in blue rosebud formation) and it doesn't have any ribbons, but it is (italics) very pretty and I think your daughter might like it. In sizes 5-6yrs it costs pounds 26 and you can machine wash it (it's brushed cotton). However, because Dublin is classed as Europe the postal charge is pounds 15, so if you have any friends in Northern Ireland or mainland UK, get them to buy it for you because then the postal charge is only pounds 3. Please get in touch anyone else who can knows where you can get these nighties.

I'm currently looking for someone who is willing to cut me a pair of jeans to my own specifications. I last had a pair made in Nottingham in 1986, unfortunately the designer concerned is no longer trading. I would be grateful for your assistance as you proved rather helpful some 18 months ago in my quest for a Russian bear skin hat.

Mr Richard Dekard, London

Levi's do a made to measure service, called Personal Pair, but that's for women only. I'm glad you liked my help with the Russian hat (although I'd like to point out that I guided you to fake fur hats not the actual thing...), gosh, that was only the second or third week of Dear Annie...sigh. Well I don't know who does Richard, so I throw this open to the general public.....

I was really pleased with myself when I found a Christian Dior suit in a second hand shop at a third of its price new. However, I now find that it picks up stains so easily that I'm spending a fortune on dry cleaning. It is bright red and made of pure new wool. Even a splash of water leaves a brownish stain that looks like coffee has been spilt on it. Can you suggest anything? Please keep me anonymous as I don't think anyone in my office knows I buy second hand clothes!

D, Wiltshire

Oh really! What shame is there in buying second hand clothes? Rather canny and clever I think! There is nothing I can suggest, tant pis (that's French) but what a pain eh? Probably why someone bunged it in the second hand shop in the first place. Teflon is now used as a fibre coating to aid in resisting stains but there's not very much you can do with it now...sorry. Donate it back to the charity shop and let someone else have the problem. Tee hee.

Some useful reader replies to Juliet Parkinson's (Dear Annie 30 Nov) requst for size 6 mens' shoes for her husband.

Hawkshead do all their mens shoes in a size 6. Call 0990 434000 for a catalogue.

Joan, Bridport, Dorset

Thank you Joan. You have a fine fish restaurant there if my memory serves me correctly.

I too have a husband with small feet! And we too trudge the streets and malls looking for size 6 shoes. In his case, he actually needs a continental size 39 (same as me) which is a ladies size 6, a mens' size 6 is a 40 and often too big. Try Ravel, who occasionally do size 39 and 40 in certain styles (usually made in Italy where, as you observed, me are smaller). Plain shoes will be the hardest to find because 6 is regarded as a 'youth' size and will often only be available in trendy styles. Fortunately my husband likes trainers as many sports shoe shops have a range which runs through from size 3-11 as does the Hawkshead catalogue. In summer, my delicately footed other half wears deck shoes, unisex and available from boaty shops or he wears trendy strapy sandals (without socks thank heaven) which are also unisex and come in all sizes. As to having them made, at those prices wouldt it be mroe fun to go on holiday to Milan and go shopping? Bet you could buy lovely shoes there...matter of fact why don't we?

S Herbert, Ilford Essex

Thank you Mrs H. You have a fine point about spending the money it would cost to have a pair made, on going somewhere where smaller sized mens' shoes are not so hard to find. I presume, however that you mean you and your husband go shopping and not you and I??? Anyway, Happy New Year everyone and see you in 1998. Da da da da da da da da, na na na na na na na....

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

    £16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

    Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

    £7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

    Tribal gathering

    Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

    Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
    Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

    Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

    No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
    How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

    Power of the geek Gods

    Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

    Perfect match

    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
    10 best trays

    Get carried away with 10 best trays

    Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
    Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

    Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

    Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
    Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

    Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

    He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high