dear annie

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
I adore coloured stockings: greens, blues, purples, pinks, yellows and rusts. Dior used to do a wide range of colours but now I can't find them anywhere. They were such fun, can you help?

Jo Haxby, Newarket, Suffolk

Dior still does 20 colours of Diorella 15-denier stockings which retail at about pounds 1.70 a pair. It may just be that your local department store has narrowed down the range of colours it stocks. What you can do is either ask your local store to order the colours you want or contact Christian Dior hosiery direct on 01455 272322.

Can Eileen Fisher designs be found anywhere in the London or South-east? I came across the Eileen Fisher shop in Boston, on my recent holiday in America. It had stylish/casual fashion for ''larger'' figures - the sort of thing that's so difficult to find over here. I believe the designs are also stocked in Bloomingdales, NY.

Raelene Smith, London

I don't know if I spelt your name right but I couldn't read your postcard very well. Eileen Fisher (it does bigger sizes, but doesn't specialise in them) isn't sold here but it is talking to a couple of potential stockists for spring 1997. I have asked to be kept informed, so please write back in December and I'll see if I can give you any more information.

My student daughter recently bought a lined white linen shift dress. Inevitably someone spilt a drink on it when she wore it to a club. As the care label said ''dry clean only'', I took it to two dry cleaners, both of whom said they coldn't do anything about the stain because their stain removers couldn't be used on linen, and they wouldn't recommend washing. Is there anything we can do? And isn't it time manufacturers started making clothes that could be worn and washed without major trauma? Or at least provided clear and prominent warnings on their more vulnerable garments? Over the last few months I've had to return at least three things that have either shrunk or whose colours have run, and the assistants look at me as if I'm beneath contempt for even bothering to return items that they seem to think should be worn once and thrown away.

Jeannette King, Aberdeen

I agree it is frustrating, but I am not sure what you mean about providing ''clear and prominent warnings on their more vulnerable garments''. Anything in white fabric is vulnerable and accidents do happen. I am astonished that two dry cleaners said they couldn't help, as linen is hardly difficult. And I have never heard that stain removers cannot be used on linen. I spoke to the woman who owns the store your daughter's dress is from and she in turn spoke to the Dry Cleaning Technology Centre which is strictly for the trade and does not deal with enquiries from the public. It suggested finding a dry cleaner who uses Aquatex as a stain remover. I rang the DCTC to see if it knew of a dry cleaner using Aquatex in your area. The person on the end of the phone was uninterested, saying the DCTC was ''rather busy'' and putting the receiver down without so much as a ''I'm a rude pig and no mistake''. Good manners are so important. What hope is there? I have had a few letters about the great dry cleaning debate and there are certain things that we have to understand. One is that anything with an acetate lining, no matter what the outer fabric is, will have to be dry cleaned. As we strive for newer, more versatile fabrics we have to accept that they need a different level of care. But if you have cleaned any clothes according to the label instructions and they have shrunk or whatever, complain and don't stop at the assistants. Write to the head office or manager (not to me!) and demand justice.

My teenage daughter, aged 14, has started wearing mini skirts. We have started to do battle over this because I just don't think it is right that she is baring so much flesh at such a young age. I worry that she will give out the wrong signals and make herself vunerable to attentions from boys, but the more I protest, the more she wears them. Is there not another type of skirt that is ''fashionable'' that she could get into?

Mrs H, London

What can I say that would persuade a teenage girl to stop wearing a mini skirt? Although maxi-length clothes will abound this autumn, it will be mostly in coats. Your daughter will want to wear mini skirts, she'll see all her friends wearing them, she sees supermodels and pop stars wearing them. Banning them will solve nothing, as teenagers are ingenious things, she may go out of the house wearing a knee-length skirt but you can bet your PG Tips as soon as she turns the corner she will extract from her bag a skirt of pelmet proportions. She will argue that only the young can get away with skirts so short and she won't be able to wear them when she's ''your age''. And in a way, she is right. But this doesn't detract from the fact that you don't like it. What can you do? Compromise and say they have to be at least a certain length, or insist she can wear short skirts as long as she wears them with flat heels (this shouldn't be too difficult as clumpy shoes are popular with youngsters). A mini worn with a low cut top and stilettoes gives one impression, a mini worn with a simple top and loafers gives another.

Comments