For the Past 14 years I have been addicted to black pointed shoes. I used to buy them from a shop in Oxford Street called Shellys, but about three years ago they stopped selling them. They said there was no longer a market for them. I bought the last six pairs in my size - four in leather and two in suede. But now they are all gone. My wife and I must have checked every shoe shop in London but could not find anywhere that sold pointed shoes. In desperation, I called Shellys mail-order service. They searched their database and found they still had two pairs left - one in their shop in Carlisle and another, a size too small, in Leeds. These could be the last two pairs of pointed shoes I ever have. I bought them both. Now the last pair in my size has worn out. Ahead of me I have either days crippled in shoes too small to wear or a life without pointed shoes at all!!! Please, please, please tell me were I can find some more black, suede, pointed shoes.

Danny Bakhshi, Harrow

Shellys still stock these lovely shoes in black leather and black suede, they're slip ons with elastic at the side. The leather ones come in sizes 3-11, priced pounds 32.99 (style no 37023 if you need it), and the suede ones come in sizes 4-10 and cost pounds 29.99 (style no 37001). Stockist enquiries 0181 450 0066. Schuh stock a black leather or suede Chelsea boot with pointy toes and a block heel, if you're interested, priced pounds 39.99. Enquiries 0181 667 1230.

Do you know the address of the Mary Quant Cosmetics mail-order service? I'd like to replace a lipstick I bought several years ago.

Nina Ashby, Aberdeen

Call 0171 581 1811 for a catalogue, or to place orders.

I have been searching for a black, linen-mix skirt with a split up the back (long). I am 5'3", so the length needs to be such that I am not tripping over it. I did find a skirt like this, but the split was not long enough to enable me to walk properly! Can you help?

Rebecca Macnaughton, Edinburgh

Principals petites, Benetton, Jigsaw, M&S, Dorothy Perkins, Warehouse, Oasis, French Connection, Esprit, Hobbs, Monsoon, Gap, Next all have nowt. Lots of natural linen and wrap skirts - but absolutely nothing which fits the bill. Also linen is running down as it's nearing the end of the season.

As a Muslim male, I am not allowed to wear silk. This causes me a considerable amount of distress when I have to buy ties. The only place I currently go to is Liberty's, who do a range of cotton ties - the problem here is that they only seem to do flowery ones. I try to avoid most high-street shops for ties as I'm not keen on being on the tube with several people wearing the same tie. Also, most of the polyester ties I seem to find in the high street are of dubious quality. Can you help? Do you know of anybody who would make bespoke ties (at a reasonable price, of course)?

Saboor, via e-mail

Agnes B, 35/36 Floral Street, London WC2 (0171 379 1992), have a selection of cotton ties, including plain black, dark red, khaki or lime green, and some bird print or stripy ones. All priced at around pounds 48. Maurice Sedwell, 19 Savile Row, London W1 (0171 734 0824), has an enormous range of cotton fabrics from which they will happily make bespoke ties for around pounds 47. Paul Smith, 40 Floral Street, London WC2 (0171 379 7133), have 100 per cent cotton ties in red, green, black and navy, priced pounds 45. Next season, PS will stock green, red and yellow patterned ties made from 50 per cent polyester, 30 per cent acrylic, 10 per cent viscose and 10 per cent Lurex!!

Roll up, roll up... loads more people wrote in with useful gusset-free- tights advice (22 June). Here we go then:

A man who would like to remain anonymous has suggested the Index Extra Spring '97 catalogue. He particularly recommends the Suspender stocking, which, he tells me, goes up to a size 42in and comes in a pack of three for pounds 8.50 in black. Call 0345 552 211 (for a catalogue, not a chat with this nice young man). Thanks for the info secret man, and no, I'm not offended that you know so much about hosiery. Bless. Susannah from Bushey suggests cutting out the diamond-shaped gusset for some nice air-conditioning... HEB of Dunblane suggests Pretty Polly "Pretty Cool tights", as does Doris Stringer. Mrs Atkinson from St Albans favours Bhs Body-Free tights, pounds 5 for three. Finally, Jeanne Dennelly from Birmingham sent in lots of clippings: Priory Healthcare do some from pounds 6.45 for four pairs, plus p&p (01438 798206); as do Aldrex, from pounds 6.99 for three - write to Aldrex, Dept ALD 1021, Brandlesholme Road, Bury BL8 1BG. Thanks to everyone.

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