Question: My favorite polo shirt is so stretched out of shape and faded that my friends say I should throw it away. What can I do to make it look respectable again?--C.B.
Answer: Wear it as is, secure in the knowledge that Ralph Lauren is now selling brand-new Polo shirts that have been pre-faded and frayed on purpose. Or follow your friends' advice and trash it. Then you'll be ready for the really new look in polos illustrated here. It's the roomier, more relaxed polo in the same square shape most polos attain when they reach old age. This young, unworn, unfaded, unfrayed polo with deep five-button placket and side vents is available at the Gap, all stores, for $19.50. It's all cotton, and it comes in fuchsia, white, pink, red, jade, black, gold and royal blue; sizes small, medium, large.
Q: The machine buttonholes in my Ultrasuede jacket look terrible. They ripple and stretch. What should I do about it?--S.V.
A: I took your question to Clotilde, a home-sewing expert and lecturer, who says you should begin by removing the offending buttonholes. Next, solve your problem by using Amazing Solvy, a water-soluble stabilizer that looks something like surgical glove material. Place the product on the right side of the jacket, over the buttonholes. Machine-stitch the buttonhole. Remove the Amazing Solvy by sprinkling it with water. The product disappears, leaving a smooth, flat buttonhole. Clotilde explains that the plastic stabilizes the crosswise stretch of Ultrasuede as well as knitted fabrics, eliminating ripply, stretched buttonholes. If you can't find the product at your local fabric shop, you can buy directly from Clotilde, 237 Southwest 28th St., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33315. A piece of Amazing Solvy measuring one yard by 40 inches costs $3.