Q: When I was a child, I was severely burned, and the scars are above the knee. I have never felt "right" in a swimsuit. Although I am almost 52 years old now, I still enjoy the water and would love to swim in public. Can you help me find a suit that would cover my scars? The ideal suit would, of course, be one of those worn by the Mack Sennett bathing beauties. --F.T. A: Gilda Marx has solved the problem for you with her new Triathatard, which is illustrated here. While the mid-calf-length suit was meant to take the athlete from the water to the bicycle, you don't have to be a biker to wear it. The fabric is 85% nylon and 15% Lycra and is chlorine-resistant. It is black from the waist down and a multi-print above. Priced at about $50, it comes in sizes small, medium and large. For retail outlets, write to Lori Genovese, Gilda Marx Swimwear, 11755 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles 90064.
Q: My daughter has been named head cheerleader at her high school, and I've been selected to supervise the purchase of new uniforms. Can you direct me to any sources? -- M.B. A: Your one-stop shop for everything rah-rah is the Cheerleader Supply Co., P.O. Box 80175, Dallas, Tex. 75230.
Q: In response to J.J., who asked how to remove the tattletale gray in her once-white garments, may I make another suggestion? I've found that soaking dingy whites in a warm or cool solution of water softener--I use Calgon--will usually refresh tired, gray lingerie. Bleach alone cannot remove gray, which is caused by a combination of soap--or detergent--and calcium deposits. Synthetics or blends retain such undesirables after repeated washings. The water softener frees such deposits, leaving the fabric clean and soft. If J.J. does dye her whites, such treatment with water softener, before she starts the dyeing process, will help the color take. --H.F. A: You're right; it works--as does an Amway product called Redu. The latter will also help B.W., who says that the dye from the collars on her husband's rugby shirts has bled onto the body of the shirt. Redu is also effective in removing yellow stains caused by iron or manganese in the water. Check the Yellow Pages for an Amway dealer near where you reside.
Q: My favorite zipper shop is out of business. Where can I now find the greatest variety in zippers? --J.W. A: Try the Oregon Tailor Supply Co., 2123-A S.E. Division St., Portland, Ore. 97202. The minimum order is $5. They will send you a printed list of current offerings at no charge.
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.