I bought a wrinkly viscose dress and was wearing it when I used some bleach to clean a sink. Oh horrors! Some bleach splashed on to the front of the dress, and I now have two or three small white spots on an otherwise green dress. Would any form of dye or textile paint hide the damage? That dress was going to be perfect to take on holiday, and I didn't even buy it in a sale. Any ideas?

S Joyce, Shropshire

Hello, I hope you've all missed me. I'm still grappling with inputting all the data and whatnot for Big Shoes but as soon as that's done the directories will go out to you all. But you know what it's like getting back from holiday, it's taken me two days to unpack and Leonardo, my eldest, is sulking in a most unappealing fashion at having to be back in England, and getting him to eat his dinner is a battle and a half, as he stamps his little fist on the table as he saw all those nice Italian men do. Anyway, on to the problem. Oh poor you. I have exactly the same problem. I had a wonderful pink voile dress that I bought and wore to death last summer. Somehow, somewhere, I must have sat on something that had bleach on it (probably the edge of my bath) and ended up with weird bleached out lines all across my bottom. It has ruined the dress, so it was with more than the usual amount of interest that I researched your problem. I contacted the Dylon advice line (0181 663 4296), and it told me that when bleach is splashed on a garment, whatever the fabric is, it is impossible to dye over the bleach. This is because the bleach has already burnt the fabric, and you won't be able to hide the damage, or overdye it completely, the white spots will still be noticeable. Sorry, but it looks like both our dresses have had it.

Do you know how I can get hold of Japanese tatami sandals? These are thick-soled, rush-lined, flip-flop-style open sandals which I used to buy from a Japanese shop in Covent Garden (now closed). They were so comfortable and hard wearing that I wore them for years. Now I've just worn out my last pair. I'm desperate to find another source. Any ideas much appreciated.

Sue Taylor, Bristol

Oooh, there was a woman called Genevieve Steadman who did them, my renowned colleague Ms Barbieri featured them in her Back To Reality slot in July. But the number we had for her now seems to be unavailable (Genevieve, where are you? This is your chance to make pots of money.) Anna also tried Neal Street East for you in London's Covent Garden, which doesn't do them, but they advised we try a Japanese shop called Yaohan Plaza on 0181 202 8095, but it doesn't do them either. So roll up everyone with those helpful ''I know'' letters and lets bump up the Japanese economy.

Can I have your opinion on biker boots? I love wearing mine and find them really versatile, but a stylist friend of mine said they are really out. Are they?

Barbara Peterson, Frome, Somerset

Oh and what exactly does your friend call style? I wear biker boots all the time, without them half my wardrobe would fall apart. They're perfect for late night dashes to the pigs when I can't find my galoshes, and perfect for when I clamp on my studded bracelets to go and wave my head in accompaniment to my husband's attempts at guitar playing (a man cannot live by pigs alone). So, they're in until I say so.

I had a baby by Caesarean six months ago and have seen my skirt size go from 12 to 16. I have a number of outfits which still fit my top half, but not at the bottom. I don't like exercise or dieting, so a friend suggested a panty girdle or control top tights. I have tried control briefs and they are some help. I don't mind a bit of discomfort in the pursuit of fashion and have had a look at a girdle but am not sure which one is best to flatter my tummy. Can you make any suggestions? (Playtex 18-hour?)

J Morgan

You didn't put an address so I have no idea where you are. Yes well, who does like exercise or dieting, eh? But I do have to say that sit ups do help, and one can do these while watching telly, or even eating crisps, or even smoking (''Smoke and Stretch'', my new video, out soon). I do think a girdle would be best for you, I hate them as I feel well constricted in them, but if you don't mind a bit of discomfort then these will give the best results. Good old Playtex of those famous 18-hour promise ads do have a good selection of panty girdles with high waists or lower waists. They really strap you in and provide firm control on the tummy. Prices start at pounds 20.99 ranging up to pounds 30; call 01483 291450 for your nearest stockist. And Markles & Sparkles also has a wide selection of control underwear, from thigh slimmers and waist slimmers (which claim to take 2" off the waist) to tummy slimmers in their "Smooth Line" range. Prices start at pounds 6.50 from branches nationwide (0171 935 4422). Damart also has a selection of pantie girdles from pounds 14.99 (which my mum swears by, she won't have any others). To order a catalogue call 01274 510000. Control-top tights are okay (and just about everyone does a pair, though I've yet to find one make radically better than another) but they won't really hold you in the way you seem to want.

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