dear annie

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In a recent article "The Insider's Guide to Travelling in Style and Comfort" there was a reference to JP Tod's booties, which were purchased in New York. Could you please tell me if it is possible to buy them in this country. Many thanks.

Jean M Morrell, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Tod's are famous as ``driving shoes'' and are now not only extremely fashionable but also very comfy. I have been trying to get hold of the company to find out if they are stocked anywhere near you and have had no luck. All I can tell you is that Joseph sells them at 26 Sloane Street, London SW1 (0171 235 5470) and 77 Fulham Road, London SW3 (0171 823 9500). They stock 3 styles in sizes 35-39 (half sizes too), these are as follows: a) flat loafer in brown or black patent - pounds 165; b) thick soled shoe in black matt or patent - pounds 169; c) ankle boot in matt black only - pounds 185. Joseph sometimes does mail order (you need to pay by credit card), it is at the manager's discretion and they don't give refunds on mail order goods so you must know exactly what size/colour you want.

For almost 10 years I have been wearing the same brand of denim, "Et Vous Jazzy", finding them the best fitting and most comfortable. Now after three-and- a-half-years working in Saudi Arabia I have returned home to Leeds in dire need of new jeans to find the shop that sold them (the wonderful Erika Harris) has closed and, worse, that Et Vous are no longer in business. Is this true? Or can I still buy these truly great jeans, if so from where? Yours in desperation.

Paul Johnson, Farsley, Leeds

I have followed every lead I have on Et Vous to no avail, so while I cannot say for definite that they are no longer in business, it does appear that what you were told is true. Although this won't be any good for you, women who find off the peg jeans don't quite fit may be interested to know about a new service (which has been three years in the development) launched 10 days ago by Levis, called the "Personal Pair" - jeans designed to fit the individual female body. Over 300 fit options can be explored in-store, with 6,000 size combinations available in production. The fitting process takes about 15-20 minutes and you can specify button or zip fly, your measurements are taken, including the all important "rise" (basically the bit from the front waistband to the back waistband, via between your legs). The made to measure jeans will then be ready in 21 days when they can be collected or delivered for an extra cost. Personal Pair jeans will cost approx pounds 65, in nine waist sizes 26"-34", initially just in stone washed indigo denim. The service will be on trial in London's Flagship store at 174/176 Regent St, W1 (0171 287 4559) and Sheffield's Meadowhall Original Levi's Stores (tel: 0114 256 8471).

I bought a jacket and skirt in Monsoon's January sale. The jacket is fitted, hip length and it is in a rough silk (slub?) in a deep wine-pink colour. The skirt is velvet and it is straight, ankle-length, with a slit at the back. It is a shade darker than the jacket. I like both garments but find they don't really go together as a suit. Perhaps the two different fabrics don't mix. Also I find I need to wear something under the jacket as the neckline is too low. I wondered about getting a shift dress in silk to go with the jacket. I have little opportunity to shop but could find a dressmaker. And what colour? I would never find the same shade of pink? Any ideas?

C. Burns, Loughgall, Armagh

It will be extremely hard for you to find an exact match, either in a dress or the fabric. Dylon do, however, provide a service whereby they will tell you how to recreate the shade you want, what you need to do is send them a snippet of the garment whose colour you wish to copy - in your case the jacket (you can usually get enough from the hem of a bit of seam) with details of the material you're intending to dye (eg white silk shift dress - dying white will give the best result). This service is free, although they cannot dye the garment for you, you should send the swatch of fabric to Annette Stevens, Consumer Advice, Dylon International Ltd, London SE26 5HD, tel: 0181 663 4296. If you do find a good dressmaker with lots of fabric supplier contacts, this will also help. Unfortunately I don't know of any near you (once again I appeal for any that can help Ms Burns to get in contact). You are absolutely right about the fabrics not going together - and sometimes even things of exactly the same colour will appear different, for example the velvet absorbs light and the slub (yes) silk will reflect it slightly, hence the colours will seem different. Few things look worse than not quite matched up colours. So I would go for contrast. Your shift dress idea is perfect for the jacket, how about white for day or gold for evening? Depending on your colouring yellow might also be a good choice. I would avoid black as I think this will not work. As for the skirt, team it will something in satin or maybe metallic knits - any high street store will be aflood with these soon as they prepare for Christmas (scarey thought). Oasis, Principles, Morgan, Kookai are the ones to look in.

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