Diana Pasek-Atkinson, Nottingham
Thank you for the drawings of your feet, side view and top view, and all your compliments which modesty has made me edit out of your letter. Much as your sweet words gladdened my heart it did not help you jump the queue and I must apologise for having just got round to replying to your letter from June. I have picked your problem to publish but I have had hundreds of letters from people with the same dilemma, so this is obviously one that is wide-spread. Such is the level of research I have done into this subject that I cannot possibly print all I have found here, not without turning this week's column into a big shoe special, which would be a bit boring for some people. What I am doing is compiling a bit of a directory, with lots of helpful addresses (thank you to all those who have written in telling me where you buy your bigger-than-average shoes) which is free to any of my readers who wish to send in an A4-size stamped envelope. This directory will be updated quite regularly so please keep the information coming in, and any manufacturers that make shoes in a size 8-plus, or in lots of width fittings, this is your big chance! Free advertising! Write in, write in, write in. There is also a Footwear for Special Needs booklet from the British Footwear Manufacturers Federation, which costs pounds 2.50 (0171 580 8687).
After reading your column for months, I am wondering if you can help my other half who purchased an off-the-peg three-piece suit from Tommy Nutter's shop just before Mr Nutter passed away. The bum's gone in the trousers and we'd like another pair made but don't know where to obtain the material - it's such a brilliant suit, everyone always comments on it. Can you help?
Carolle Connolly, London E3
You gave me lots of useful info on the fabric, and while I can't tell you who does it, why not try a tailor called Nick Tentis, on 0171 434 2749, who says that if you contact him about making them, he has lots of fabric contacts and may well be able to help. Good luck.
Where can I buy a pair of men's cotton trousers with a zip front fly in a beautiful shade of blue, red or purple (size 32 waist, 32 length)? All the best pairs that I've ever seen along London's King's Road and elsewhere always have button flies, which I really don't like. I have a purple pair of Versace trousers that I like a lot but they are beginning to wear out and they were just a bit too expensive. Please help!
Well, William, quite why one would want zip rather than button fastening rather sends the brain spinning. You foxy little chappie. I am rather busy with the pigs at the moment, plus my husband has been in a foul mood recently ("You spend more time answering those reader's letters than you do with me. Maybe I should write in and request you pay me some attention!"). Men. Hence I got my assistant, Anna, to do some ringing round London for you so I could spend some time with my beloved. Not all of what she found may be to your liking; as you correctly pointed out, either the colour is there but with a button fly, or vice versa. From what I can tell of your style (tight, probably, and flat-fronted?) I think the Squire or Paul Smith ones are best. But anyway, this is what she has found, so trawl through: Jigsaw (0171 240 5651): lightweight cotton corduroy trousers in red, blue (and yellow, green or beige) with zip fly, pounds 49; Burton Menswear - available from all branches (tel: 0800 521601) - 100 per cent cotton chinos in navy or thunder (a purply blue), pounds 19.99 (but these tend to be muted tones, not bright); Principles for Men (tel: 0171 927 1443), navy blue jeans with zip fly, pounds 35; Nicole Farhi (55-56 Long Acre, Covent Garden, WC2, tel: 0171 240 9772) has a great selection, but with a button fly, for those not so particular - bright orange, carmine, arctic blue, navy, pounds 89; Squire (17 Clifford St, London W1, tel: 0171 287 5020), pounds 85 in French navy; Paul Smith (Floral St, WC2), has moleskin trousers with zip fly in purple or blue, pounds 129.
I have a boyfriend who has appalling dress sense. His actual choice of garment isn't bad, but because of his line of work, he gets quite a lot of "promotional" stuff: logo-ed baseball jackets advertising some new film, that sort of thing. You seem level-headed: how can I get him to wear normal clothes, without hurting his feelings?
Gosh, it sounds like you are going out with the modern equivalent of a sandwich-board man. I could advise you to go shopping with him, leave copies of L'Uomo Vogue lying around, that sort of thing. But I won't. Try this: "You're really nice, but your misguided dress sense upsets me so much I've written to a national newspaper for advice. I can't see past the clothes you wear so please do something about it and fast." You sound like a woman of hidden shallows, Catherine. So let's not be too deep about it.Reuse content