Rebecca Caroe, Maidenhead, Berkshire
Oh dear, readers. I am not feeling myself. In fact no one is feeling me as my husband has had to go abroad to write and won't be back until Christmas and I am very sad and lost without him. There are only remnants of his talcy footprints in the bathroom to remind me of him. Sniff. Anyway, I must press on to bring fashion order into the world. Well seamed tights do seem to be a bit thin on the ground, but here's who's done some: Couture (01455 272322), with point heel (that funny-looking thing in seamed tights that points up the ankle before becoming a seam), 15 denier with Lycra in black only, pounds 5; Oroblu (0181 743 4243) "Riga", 20 denier with 15 per cent Lycra in black, natural, American tan, blue/black. Both of these are available from branches nationwide, but I've put the inquiry number in so you can phone and get a stockist near you. John Lewis branches sell a make called Melas, which has a seam and pointed heel, pounds 3.45 in black, barely black, navy, ivory and natural.
Which is the nearest place to Cardiff where I can obtain made-to-measure shoes?
Chris Wilson, Cardiff
Well from my Footwear for Special Needs booklet (pounds 2.50, cheque made payable to British Footwear Association, don't forget to include your name and address and send to: British Footwear Manufacturers Federation, 5 Portland Place, London W1N 3AA, tel: 0171 580 8687) there is one place in Cardiff that does made-to-measure and it is called Dacey Ltd, Leckwith Place, Canton, Cardiff CF1 8HR, tel: 01222 225454.
I bought a minky brown suit in the summer. I'm very much an Eighties ex-gothy black-an- purple sort of girl with black hair, fair skin and blue eyes but was driven to buy the suit in question by hearing the constant mantra that "brown is the new black". Basically, I think I've made a huge mistake - every time I put it on I feel like some sort of mormon-type person. It could be that suits don't suit me, but I have sneaky suspicion that it's the brown-ness of it. Given my colouring, can you suggest any way of brightening up my brown folly? (I'm not keen on lime green as it seems to be everywhere I look.) Or could you perhaps suggest a way of "teaching" people like myself to wear this part of the spectrum?
Ruth Selwyn-Crome, Bungay, Suffolk
What a fantastic word: Bungay. Although it is most probably too late now, it is worth remembering that most stores will now let you take your purchase back if you are not happy with it. This is a good thing, because sometimes you have to get your new outfit home and look at it with your other clothes, or you find that the colour that looked great on you in the shop, doesn't at home. I would guess that, as you say, it is simply the brown-ness of it that is new to you. You can, of course, wear it with a black polo underneath as this may comfort you (I often wear brown with black. Otherwise I get withdrawal symptoms from my favourite colour.) To brighten it up, try gold - a gold organza or satin shirt. It looks great with brown. As does midnight or cobalt blue and some turquoises, which will also bring out the colour of your eyes stupendously.
I am a rather "large" person (20 stone) who would desperately like to find a tailor who has the desire to make a beautifully-cut suit for someone of my size. It has been my experience that however much one pays (and money is no object) tailors just do not give as much attention to big people. I do not expect them to make me look 10 stone, or want them to. I am very happy about being fat, but I would love to feel comfortable in a really good suit. I spend at least eight months in England every year and I am sure there must be a tailor somewhere who can help.
Mr J Ryan, Cashel, County Tipperary
You sound like a great chappie. So, calling all tailors in Co Tipperary and London: this man wants quality and is prepared to pay. Those who write in with the nicest letter will be awarded the job.
My daughter needs a boiler suit designed for women in women's sizes as part fashion item, part practical garment, as she is doing an industrial design course. Do you know where I can find a reasonably priced one in London? (Or offer her any alternative "cover-up" suggestions?)
A Spencer, Tunbridge Wells
My instant reaction is to go for protection over fashion, especially if she will be coming into contact with nasty spills. Most DIY shops sell all-in-ones, so check your local one. The workwear specialist shop Alexandra's most popular style is called the Special Coverall (style code W101) which is used in a range of industries and would, they tell me, be ideal for your daughter's course. It is in polyester/cotton and comes in a choice of 22 colours, in chest sizes 80cm (311/2 inches) to 40 cms (55 inches) and in two leg lengths: W101R (regular) which has a 76cm inside leg to fit up to 5ft 11in and W101T (tall), 84cm inside leg to fit over 5ft 11in people. Price including VAT and delivery is pounds 30.80 for the regular and pounds 32.55 for tall. A free catalogue, containing over 500 workwear garments, is available from the following, as is mail order: Thornbury, Bristol: 01454 416600; London, 0181 449 2580; Edinburgh, 0131 333 4455. There are also 32 shops nationwide. If you call the above numbers they will point you in the direction of a local stockist. Some high-street stores have sold groovy overall-type things, but they can cost (Whistles has a nylon one for pounds 175). Kookai has done a sweet one, which is far more fashion than function (it has capped sleeves) for pounds 64.99.
Tell Alexandra's uncle ("Clothes for big men", 17 Nov) to go to: Atlas Kingsize, 197 Cricklewood Broadway, London NW2. They have great clothes for big/tall men. I only wish I could get things there - any ideas for good sources of gear for me, down here at 5ft 5in?
Clive Vaisey, London SE11
Thank you for the tip, Clive. I promise that come the new year, when I have got things a bit more organised, I shall be focusing on "odd"-sized men. So watch this column.Reuse content