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February 17, 1985|MARYLOU LUTHER

Q: I have a classic, black wool-crepe suit with notched lapels and two buttons placed horizontally at the waistline. The skirt ends just below the knees. I know that the suit is in fashion now, but I need ideas for accessories. What jewelry? What blouse? What shoes, stockings, hat? --E.H. A: You didn't mention your age or say whether you want the suit accessorized for day or night, so my suggestions will have to be edited for your needs. For a dressy dinner-suit look, make frothy epaulets of white-chiffon petals and wear your suit without a blouse, as shown in our illustration. That idea comes directly from Karl Lagerfeld, who offers the look in his spring ready-to-wear collection for Chanel. Lagerfeld gives his models face veils; short, black-leather gloves, and classic black pumps. No jewelry. If you'd like a younger look, wear your suit with blue-leather French gloves and buttercup-yellow high heels, and lavish your neckline with tons of stone chokers. For a more sedate look that's suitable for business luncheons, wear your suit with a big medallion pinned to the lapel and a white cotton-broadcloth shirt. Jeweler Kenneth Jay Lane says that colored gems are newer than rhinestones or pearls and that pins are newer than necklaces. Q: Please help me find 100% cotton men's socks in black, navy and brown. My husband is allergic to nylon. In the past, we have purchased his socks from J. C. Penney, but we can't find them there now. Can you help? --H.M. A: Pima cotton dress socks and ribbed cotton sport socks are available in the current catalogue published by Garnet Hill, Franconia, N.H. 03580. The Pima socks, which have 2% nylon reinforcements at the heel and toe, come in white, black, gray, navy and brown. Over-the-calf styles are priced at $5, and mid-lengths cost $3.75. Sizes include 10, 10 1/2, 11, 11 1/2, 12 and 13. The sport socks--one size fits all--sell for $3.50 in red, camel, navy, olive and brown. Q: For my son's wedding, I would like to wear a long, black skirt with a sequin top in amethyst. My future daughter-in-law says that it is not correct to wear black to a wedding. Can you please help me convince her that it would be OK? --H.K. A: In the newly published "Bride's Book of Etiquette" by the editors of Bride's magazine ($16.95: Putnam Publishing), mothers of the bride and groom are instructed to consult first with the bride, then with each other, before selecting their gowns. As stated on Page 107: "Almost any flattering color, except all-black or all-white, is appropriate, but rather than match the wedding party, the color should be one that blends with that of the bride's attendants. The mothers may wear small hats or veils, simple shoes and gloves, and carry or wear flowers, as long as their looks are similarly accessorized." The authors go on to say that the bride's dress sets the style for the wedding, and everyone else is outfitted accordingly. Technically, your black skirt is acceptable, but realistically, your son's bride-to-be obviously does not want you to wear it. Why not save the skirt for another occasion and ask your future daughter-in-law whether she would like to go with you to shop for a new gown. It's more important for you to safeguard your relationship with her than safeguard your black skirt. Q: I'm 44 and size 44 and cannot find an evening outfit suitable for my age and size. You have written in the past about the practicality of a long, black skirt to be worn with festive blouses or sweaters. I can find the blouses and sweaters but not the skirt. Where should I look? --B.L. A: If you'll accept a very dark gray instead of black, the perfect long evening skirt is illustrated on Page 31 of the current catalogue published by Spiegel. It's by Los Angeles designer Dennis Goldsmith and is made of rayon velvet. In dark gray only, for $74, it's styled with an elasticized waist and a back slit, in sizes 4 through 14. If you're in the market for a top, the skirt has a matching, oversized sweat shirt blouson for $136. (Yes, the top costs more than the skirt.) To order toll free, telephone (800) 345-4500. Q: Please help me find an old-fashioned cotton-knit union suit for my mother. She wants the style with the open seat. --G.K. A: It's called a "snuggy" in the current catalogue published by the Vermont Country Store, Weston, Vt. 05161, where it's available for $7 plus shipping charges. This one-piece union suit is made of 100% fine-combed cotton in a narrow ribbed-knit construction. It's knee length and has a scoop neck, open seat and double underarm shields, in white only. Order by bust size, 34-46. Marylou Luther welcomes questions for use in this column. She regrets she cannot answer mail personally. Send your questions to Clotheslines, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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