Fantasy shopping . . .

Sportmax, the more affordable baby in the MaxMara family, has carved up something rather splendid in soft suede : hipster trousers - a misnomer if there was one - which will instantly eliminate potential buyers with hips. And a cropped top will see away those with midriff podge. Those of you who are left will look simply gorgeous in this classy, clean-cut outfit. Unfair? Yes, but remember, fashion favours the very rich, the very thin or the very stupid. AB

Beige suede hipsters, pounds 313, and cropped top, pounds 153, both by Sportmax from MaxMara, 32 Sloane Street, London SW1 and 153 New Bond Street W1, in colour shown only, sizes 8-14. Enquiries: 0171 287 3434.

. . . BACK TO REALITY

When the plain but beautiful-without- glasses Miss Jones, in time-honoured tradition, whipped a pin out of her hair, she did it with one swift hand movement. Those of us who have tried to recreate this coquettishness, even if only in the privacy of our bedrooms, will know that to hold hair up successfully you need at least 400 very unattractive kirby grips. No longer - gather your hair up into a chignon, stick one of these in and you're away. AB

Hair pins by Johnny Loves Rosie, pounds 7.95 each at Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1 and branches of Fenwick. Enquiries: 0171 435 0089.

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