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FASHION IS always credited as being an accurate barometer of social change. But Ready To Wear, a six-part BBC2 series on postwar clothing, aims to prove that it is. Dry fashion treatise coming up? Hardly. People from all walks of life reveal, via quirky anecdotes how, as teen rebels, they stopped being squeaky-clean clones of their parents and dreamt up their own style. Women recall ditching excruciating corsets for tights and mini skirts. Men reminisce about shrugging off constricting Fifties suits and Brilliantined barnets for flamboyant Teddy Boy drapes and cockatoo- like quiffs. Interwoven with footage of clubs and dance crazes, these memories kick home how much fashion's informality mirrors the democratic spirit of the postwar years. A must for fashion buffs and cultural studies boffins alike. DL

Ready to Wear is on BBC 2, starting this Tuesday, at 9pm.

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(n) the latest plastic surgery treatment for women with too much time and money

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I AM almost giddy as I write to inform you that a new type of Kit-Kat has been just been launched and it is bloody fantastic: the Chunky Kit-Kat. It's the same as before - the same chocolate, the same wafer middle - but in one giant finger. No one will be satisfied with the normal size Kit-Kats ever again now that the voluptuous, addictive titanic version has arrived. I have been eating them all week, so the 47 KKs eaten per second in this country will have risen considerably. AB

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HERBAL ALTERNATIVES to nasty synthetic tranquillisers are progressing so fast that there are now herbal alternatives to the herbal alternatives. Latest of these is kava, aka kava-kava. Kava is a root originally used by South Sea islanders intent on chilling-out; now it's being feted by Vogue as the chic alternative to Prozac. Traditionally prepared by chewing, spitting out and fermenting with saliva (mmm!) it is now available in capsules, root form, as a liquid tincture or a tea. It is available from Holland & Barrett and other stockists and is hailed as the "next big thing" by a spokeswoman for H&B, who reports soaring sales over the past two months. Users report a state of gentle contentment and enhanced mental acuity. It is also supposed to help insomnia and migraines, stimulate conversation and act as an aphrodisiac. CB