REAL LIFE: DEAR ANNIE...

Send your fashion problems to: Dear Annie, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, or fax them on: 0171 293 2043. E-mail: annie@independent.co.uk

I have tried for some years to find driving shoes. Please, do you know a stockist?

P Garner, Eye, Suffolk

It depends on what you mean by driving shoes. The real thing was (and still is) originally made by the Car Shoe Company in Italy. Its driving shoe was made for professional racing drivers just after the war. They were light and supple and their studded soles were perfect for gripping the slippery metal car pedals. In the Fifties, Gianni Agnelli, then chairman of the Fiat group, started wearing his out and about, and a trend was born. Connolly, purveyors of luxury leather and the people responsible for that sumptuous leather in all the best top-of-the-range cars, was determined to trace the original car shoe designers and get them to make Connolly's. Which is what happened. You can still get them but they cost pounds 195, sizes 37-45, and they come in a variety of suedes and leathers (tel: 0171 235 3883). Other people do variations on these but, if you want a really proper driving shoe, remember that cheaper ones will be mere fashion items. They are not readily available anyway, as the "trend" for driving shoes as a fashion item was a few years ago.

I have longed to write in for ages and at last I have a pant's query. What should one wear with hipster or low-waisted trousers? I am allergic to the VPL and usually wear G-strings, but I find the waist bands are too high and show an unflattering bit of elastic. Please help, I hate the idea of going au naturel.

Natalie, Bristol

Many brands do hipster pants but very few bothered to return my calls. This includes Marks & Spencer, who saw fit to magnificently ignore two messages. Oh well, their loss. No matter, because Sloggi does suitable pants for pounds 5 in its Midi range. They are absolutely plain, made in core- spun 95 per cent cotton/5 per cent Lycra (the cotton is spun round the Lycra thread, so it is the cotton that is next to the skin, thus making for a more comfortable pant). What I also like about Sloggi is that, unlike lots of underwear containing synthetic fibres which you can't generally wash above 50 degrees, you can wash their white stuff at up to 90 degrees. The range comes in lots of other colours as well, in sizes 10-20, and is available in most department stores. Call 01793 720232 for your nearest stockist.

As we have recently moved to a wonderful house opposite some beautiful but boggy National Trust land, I am looking for some new wellies. My problem is that I want brown wellies. I love brown - it is my "black". All my clothes are brown, even my waxed jacket. So green, black or blue wellies won't do. I have found two pairs of brown wellies, both by Hunter, but at pounds 130 and pounds 199 a pair (the latter lined with kid leather apparently), I'm afraid they are too expensive, even for a brown fetishist like me. Do you know where I can get a pair at a more reasonable price?

Helen, Hampshire

As you have seen, you only tend to get brown wellingtons when they are the leather or neoprene-lined ones. This is pure aesthetics, as there is no reason why wellingtons could not be made in brown rubber. I spoke to Hunter, makers of fine wellies, and they said that they did once do wellies in colours other than blue and green but there wasn't a market for them. I rang round a few places that I thought might have them, but blue or green was all there was in your price range. Sorry Helen, all I can say is that if you wear wellingtons a lot then it might be worth spending that much on them as they really are worth it - lined wellies are tons warmer. But I appreciate that pounds 130 plus is an awful lot of money. If anyone knows of a source of cheaper brown wellingtons then please let me know.

I am unable to work at the moment but I do like to smell nice! I can't afford expensive scent, so how can I keep fragrant on a tight budget? I prefer fresh lemony perfumes like CK1 and dislike cheap scent so much that I would rather go without.

PS: Is it still possible to buy those little books of soap leaves that I remember from my childhood? They would be so useful when out and about using public lavatories that never seem to have soap. I haven't seen them in the shops for years.

Lesley Bairstow, London SW3

I have to say that I find your letter a paradox. If you don't like cheap scent, how can you like CK1? I find it awful - synthetic, always smelling the same on everyone and just too common for words. If you're really short of money, why not visit perfume halls and drench yourself for free? I realise this isn't exactly handy but this way you can pick up free samples and get to know various perfumes with no commitment. However, a good, expensive perfume is the best value for money in the long run. I always wear Creed (one of the oldest perfume houses and perfumiers to the house of Napoleon, prices from pounds 39.50) or Jo Malone (pounds 29.50). They are worth every penny. Your nearest Creed stockist is either The Library at 268 Brompton Road or Dinny Hall at 54 Fulham Road SW3 (tel: 0171 630 9400 for further stockists) and Jo Malone is at 154 Walton Street, SW3 (mail order, tel: 0171 720 0202, p&p is extra). As for soap leaves, what a nice idea. I couldn't find them anywhere though, despite being sure I've seen them around quite recently. Postcards please!

Suggested Topics
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

    £600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

    Commercial Litigation Associate

    Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

    Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

    £65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

    Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

    Day In a Page

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform