I know you do a wonderful job finding clothes for "normal" shape women, ie size 12 plus, but what about those of us who do resemble stick insects? In other words, where can I find trousers in size 8 with a 34in or longer leg? I am looking for jeans and casual trouser and I have a price limit of about pounds 30 (I do most of my clothes shopping in Miss Selfridge and Top Shop). I know there are no shops in Norwich where I might find anything to fit me, but I am willing to try mail order. I hope you can help me as I am fed up with draughty ankles. Also, is red lipstick and red nail varnish on long nails in or out at the moment? And does one wear tights under this season's see-through dresses? And if so, how? Yours in anticipation of warm ankles.

Emma King, Norwich

The easy bit first. Red lipstick and nail varnish are out. But this probably means it is very in or due for a comeback. Actually, I do remember reading somewhere that is was the height of trendiness. I've never been one for lipstick because I eat it all off. I think just a blob of lip gloss is plenty. And I've always thought that long red nails are a bit like a man driving a red sports car - a sign of someone trying too hard to be sexy. I believe those awful candy colours are still in, as is white nail varnish, and gold, and silver. Anything really. Goodness, just wear what you want. Tights: I would wear a slip under a see-through dress and bare legs. How to wear tights? On your legs, obviously. Ha ha. I guess you mean how, when the dress is sheer, eh? Well if the dress is so sheer that you can see the waistband of your tights, then you have bigger problems than whether you should be wearing tights or no. Now then, this long-legged business, you hateful girl. Long Tall Sally do a mail order catalogue (0181 649 9009) and their standard trouser length is a 36" inside leg, so you're positively a shorty by their standards. They do some nice hipsters for pounds 26.95. Oasis (01865 881986) do a longer length in nearly all their stuff - their slim-leg trousers have a longer length, outer-leg measurement of 106cm and the wide-leg trouser is 108cm. Prices start from around pounds 20. Marks and Spencer also do a wide range of trousers at a longer length, but despite promising to, no-one has bothered to get back to me with sizing, so you'll have to go to your local store.

As an old crinkly who still uses eyeliner (because it lasts longer than kohl), I feel I now need help and advice. The problem: I use No7 eyeliner to put a fine line along my top lids, but find that it now dries out so quickly by the time the brush reaches the end of the lid it is quite dry and I am using two or more strokes which makes an uneven, smudgy mess and I spend ages cleaning and correcting. Questions: which are the creamiest and more flowing eye liners? And are there kohl pencils that don't immediately rub off? Do you have any tips on the application of eye make-up? I am embarrassed to approach the beautiful creatures in cosmetic departments a) because of the price of their products and b) because I am in my 50s and feel a little intimidated by these ladies.

Mrs SH, Durham

I have used just your initials because I think you thought I wouldn't answer this in the column and I know you are slightly sensitive about this - although you shouldn't be!! You shouldn't be intimidated by these girlies on the cosmetic counters, although I can see how you would be. Remember, they sit on the loo like anybody else, although they might wipe their bottoms more carefully if they have very long fingernails. I rang an ever-so-helpful girl called Rosie in the beauty department at Elle magazine and she recommended (because I know nothing about make-up) the Revlon "Jetliner" (pounds 7.25). It's an inkwell and pen job, comes in black/brown/grey and costs pounds 7.25. You can get it at most Boots, or call 0171 491 5450. And L'Oreal's "Superliner", which comes in black only, is easy to apply and long-lasting, and costs pounds 5.49. As for kohl, Rimmel say that by its nature it is soft and likely to smudge/wear. So, stick to liquid liners.

I am returning to work after 10 months' maternity leave and am seeking a new look for work. I fancy trouser suits - something simple, smart, comfortable and washable! Mail order preferably.

Caroline, Preston

Next Directory (page12) have a wonderful navy, one-button, long jacket (M28898G19, pounds 59.99) and matching trousers (M2899G19, pounds 44.99). It is machine- washable. Matching tunic, too (M29431G19, pounds 29.99). Available in their shops (0116 284 9424) or mail order (0345 100 500). I think M&S have done machine-washable wool suits, around the pounds 120 mark, but, as I said, they seem to have boycotted me and never ring back. Oasis do some lovely stuff, but all dry-clean, which is what I found with a great many suits. It's not much, but Next and M&S should be able to furnish you with something... I hope.

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