Q: I have inherited a mink stole--a natural ranch-mink stole that was first worn back in the 1950 s. What should I do with it? I've thought of using it as a jacket lining, but Southern California never gets that cold. You once offered directions for converting a fur stole into a vest, but that idea leaves me cold. Any other suggestions?
--N.G. A: How about converting your stole into big gauntlet-like cuffs to be worn on your favorite cloth coat or raincoat? The Fendis of Rome have endorsed this idea for fall and are using such removable fur cuffs on everything from fabric trench coats to jackets and coats made of contrasting fur. If you happen to have a fur coat in your closet, simply pull your new cuffs on over the existing sleeves for a novel fur-on-fur look.
Q: I have a carpetbag coat, circa 1967. It is a three-quarter length and has a rolled collar and three-quarter sleeves. The fabric is in shades of gold and beige. I love th e coat, but what can I do to update it? -- M.M. A: Rugs are the new inspiration for Paris designer Jean Paul Gaultier, who uses them as wrap skirts and boleros. If you want to follow his lead, cut your jacket off to just above the waistline and wear it over a pinstriped pantsuit. The two items don't have to be related, either in fabric or color. In fact, that's exactly the point--one has nothing to do with the other, and it's the surprise coupling that makes the look fashionable.
Q: I recently purchased a white jump suit labeled "100% Silesta polyester; hand-wash, exclusive of trim." The catch is the trim, which consists of two rows of rhinestones sewn along each shoulder. I hesitate to wash the jump suit, not wanting to rust the metal backing on the rhinestones. What would you advise?--C.G. A: Remove one row of rhinestones from one shoulder and wash the stones in the same detergent or soap that you'd use if you were washing the jump suit. Allow the rhinestones to dry on a white rag. If the rhinestones leave rust marks, either send the jump suit to the dry cleaner or remove the rhinestones before washing it.
Q: In your opinion, what style of pants would best hide my protruding stomach?--J.L. A: Koret Impressions has come up with new "Flatter Fit" trousers with a spandex panel that functions like a girdle to control protruding stomachs. It's available in a machine-washable polyester twill, waist sizes 30-40, for $33.95. Colors include creme, taupe, lilac, gray, navy and black. To order, write to Regalia, Palo Verde at 33rd St., P.O. Box 27800, Tucson, Ariz. 85726. These trousers have a pleated front, and the pleats themselves are good for hiding unwanted bulges.
Q: I love the comfort of 100% cotton, and I recently purchased a Ton Sur Ton shirt dyed a bright turquoise. After wearing it once, I discovered that I had spilled cooking oil down the front. Because of the dye I am afraid to treat the spot with an over-the-counter spot remover. Is my $45 shirt ruined after one wearing? What can you suggest?
--D.C.T. A: Take your shirt to your favorite dry cleaner, and there should be no problem. If the spot cannot be removed, cover it with nailheads, sequins or rhinestones. You can sew them on at random or make them into a design, such as the letters of the alphabet./ Continued on Page 12 Q: Can I dye my white silk blouse fuchsia?--C.K. A: Yes. Natural fiber fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk will give the greatest depth of color when they're dyed in very hot water. If you question the use of hot water on silk, test a tiny swatch from the hem, pocket or seam allowance of your blouse. Mix some dye and hot water in a jar. Place the sample into the mixture for about 10 minutes to determine whether it absorbs the color. Rinse, press dry, and then decide whether you want to dye your blouse.
Q: Where can I possibly find V-neck T-shirts, size 44, made of Pima cotton?
--A.R.F. A: Supima cotton T-shirts, made from Pima cotton, are available with V-necks in the current Sears catalogue (Page 493). A package of three is priced at $14.99, in sizes small through extra-large. Tall sizes medium through extra, extra-large cost $16.99 for a package of three.