dear annie

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Can you advise me where the best place to buy a black turtle-neck long-sleeved body stocking would be? I purchased one before but they don't stock them any more. It is a fundamental winter garment and I would now buy two were I to find any.

Eleanor Sims, London

I am not certain what you mean by a body-stocking. Strictly speaking this is an all-in-one that covers the whole body. I think you might mean a body, but anyway there is one company that does both - Dans-ez International Ltd, the dance clothing company founded by a dancer 15 years ago. The label is stocked in various department stores and they also have a mail order brochure, tel: 01843 866300.

I think there is something wrong with me. I wear cleavage bras but somehow my breasts don't seem to "meet" if you see what I mean. It's almost like the cups should be closer together. Any ideas?

Michaela Walker, St Ives

First, with bras such as these you have to wear them slightly differently. Adjust the straps so that they are shorter than you would normally wear them. Second, stuff the sides (ie where the outside of your breast is, and underneath so you prop them up and in) with something like old tights. This doesn't sound very attractive but if you cut up a pair of old tights (preferably in the same colour as your bra) these are ideal for "stuffing" as the fabric is pliable. Some bras also come with foam fillers which are useful but never big enough. Make sure whatever you stuff your bra with isn't too "solid" (which is why tights are so good) because not only is this uncomfortable it will also give you a lumpy silhouette, and oh, oh, we don't want that.

My wife and I saw the film A Month by the Lake recently. The film is set in the 1930s and in it Edward Fox wears a bathing costume, a one-piece shorts and vest combination with no sleeves. I thought he looked quite marvellous in it and I would like to know where, if possible, I could obtain a similar one.

Robert Freidus, London

My goodness, this week's column is difficult. Giorgio Armani does some lovely "retro" men's swimwear but it hasn't done an all-in-one. It has done "old fashioned" looking vests (pounds 29) and trunks (pounds 39) in its swimwear range under the Emporio Armani label, which is available from 191 Brompton Road, London SW3 (tel: 0171 823 8818). Put together, they look very much like what you're looking for. I also tried all the second-hand shops that I knew: Cornucopia (12 Upper Tachbrook St, London SW1, tel: 0171 828 5752) said it gets some in "but rarely". The problem is that the old ones used to be made of wool and tend to get a bit moth eaten. I also tried Samantha de Teran (0171 584 0902) which does wonderful swimwear for women and men, and as its women's range can incorporate retro pieces, I thought I'd try its shop, but unfortunately there was nothing similar to what you want. The other thing you can try is hiring one from Angels & Berman, costumiers to the film industry. It does exactly what you want, but you can't buy from them, only hire. Knitted bathing costumes cost pounds 40 plus VAT per week. Find them at 119 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2, tel: 0171 836 5678. If anyone else out there can help, let me know.

For two years I have been looking for a pair of gold leggings, shiny, Lycra, size 16-18, less than pounds 100. I've looked in France, Italy, UK, Spain and USA with no success. I have seen photos in magazines of dancers wearing them - where can I buy them? Please help me! Please!

Viv Hutcheson, Dorset

Steady on, love, some people don't have kidneys and don't get into such a flap. I have done extensive research into this and my findings are as follows: Ad Hoc (38a Kensington High St, London W8, tel: 0171 938 1664), has done a very shiny "sequin hologram" pair which cost pounds 44 and a gold velvet pair which most probably wouldn't be so shiny but cost pounds 18. They both come in one size only. Jonathan Aston does various gold leggings which start at pounds 27.50 and go up to pounds 65.99. They come in sizes S, M, L and are available from all leading department stores, tel: 0116 2862388. Wolford did do gold shiny tights, not leggings, but as I've found out about them so I might as well tell you, which might be of help. They may still be available in some department stores and cost pounds 15.99. I hope this helps. Although why anyone other than Tinkerbell would want to wear gold tights is beyond me.

In reply to a request from K Featherstone of Barrington (Dear Annie, 25 February) for places to have her wedding dress dyed, Dorothy from Manchester recommends looking in The Stage as this publication carries ads from companies which specialise in elaborate costume care. It is available from most newsagents or alternatively at your local library. No kind shop has yet come forward to offer to dye the dress, satisfactorily and free in return for a massive plug in this column, which, let's face it, money can't buy. (But if anyone from Aston Martin is reading, I wouldn't mind one of your cars please, the Vantage Volante Prince of Wales specification or the DB6 in a nice navy would be lovely.)

I'd also like to take this opportunity to make amends to Captain "Get Down" Moonlight who writes at the back of this section. Since I mentioned on 25 February that I have a basic mistrust of men who wear brown shoes, Moonie has been rather miffed. He wears brown shoes. He no longer asks me for fashion tips; he refuses to listen to requests for a fash bunny. I forgot to mention, of course, that anyone holding the rank of Captain can do what they please... Get Daaaan!

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