Stretching credibility

ready to wear

JERSEY was extremely trendy in the 1920s, although it first originated from the Channel Island of the same name at the end of the 19th century, when it was used mostly for sportswear. It was also jolly popular with that old floozy Lillie Langtry, who would wear something called a "jersey costume" for sporting activities. Jersey then was made of silk or cotton, today it can be made of anything - it is basically a fluid, stretchy, fine-gauge knitted fabric. I find that some cheap synthetic jersey tends to shine and bobble on "high impact" areas after a while. Not nice. If you can afford it, stick to silk or wool mixes or the more refined synthetics (Tactel, Tencel etc). Although jersey can be a most forgiving fabric if worn cleverly, it can get charged up with static and cling to your beloved bulges, so make sure you are equipped with a well-behaved slip. ANNALISA BARBIERI

Navy knit ballet top, pounds 165, Press & Bastyan, available from Clusaz, 156 Cross Street, Islington, London N1, 0171 359 5596. Silver-grey wide crepe trousers, pounds 195, John Rocha, Liberty, Regent Street, London W1. Harvey Nichols, Leeds. Enquiries: 0171 734 0123. Black satin strappy sandals, pounds 30, Dolcis, 333 Oxford Street, London W1 and branches nationwide. Enquiries: 0500 192192

Beige knit belted cardigan, pounds 249, Armando Pollini, 35 Brook Street, London W1, 0171 629 7606. Cream pique wide-leg trousers, pounds 49.99, W by Wallis, 217 Oxford Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0181 910 1333. Beige suede strappy sandals, pounds 69, Pied a Terre, 29 James Street, Covent Garden London WC2, 0171 240 7640; Princes Square, Glasgow, 0141 221 0463

Tan suedette belted jacket, pounds 380, Marina Spadafora, available from Larizia, 74 St Johns Wood High Street, London NW8, 0171 722 5999. Nicholas Edlington, Eygpt Lane, Farnham Common, Bucks, 01753 840233. Nude stretch dress, pounds 55, Warehouse, 19-21 Argyll Street, London W1. 30 King Street, Manchester M2. Enquiries: 0171 278 3491

Navy jersey halterneck top, pounds 25, and matching trousers, pounds 50, both French Connection, 249 Regent Street, London W1 and branches nationwide. Enquiries: 0171 580 2507. Black suede mules, pounds 39.99, Office, 57 Neal Street, London WC2. Enquiries: 0181 838 4447

Black jersey dress, pounds 170, Future Ozbek, available from Harvey Nichols, Knightsbride, London SW1, 0171 235 5000 or Leeds 0113 2048888. Black leather sandals, pounds 65, Bertie, 36 South Molton Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 935 2002. Silver arm bangle, pounds 4.99, Accessorize, 123a Kensington High Street, London W8 and branches nationwide. Enquiries: 0171 313 3000

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