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June 16, 1985|MARYLOU LUTHER

Q: Now that my mother is in a convalescent hospital, I need to find suitable clothing for her in size 16. I'm especially interested in a dressy dress. Can you help? --B.K. A: The dress illustrated here is made of ecru polyester crepe de Chine with a yoke and sleeves in color-coordinated lace. It's from a company called Geri-Wear, P.O. Box 780, South Bend, Ind. 46624, and it features a reverse zipper. If, for example, your mother is confined to a wheelchair, the dress is put on like a hospital gown. You fasten the zipper at the neck and zip it to the waist. The lower part of the dress from the waist down can remain separated. The separation will not be noticeable to others, and your mother will appear to be fully dressed. If she is able to walk, simply zip the dress all the way down. Priced at $70, the dress is available in sizes small / medium (8 to 12) and medium / large (14 to 18). Geri-Wear offers quality clothes for elderly and / or handicapped people, including leisure suits with matching shirts for men. Stretch terry pants for men come complete with undershorts, and men's shirts also feature a back zipper. Many of the women's dresses are offered with color-coordinated sweaters.

Q: I have a grown, handicapped son in a wheelchair. Zipping the zippers on his pants while he's in a sitting position is almost impossible. Please help me find pants that close with those panels that stick to each other. I know they're available. Can you help me find them?--G.M. A: The pants you're looking for are illustrated on Page 17 of a catalogue published by the M & M Health Care Apparel Co., 1541 60th St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11219. Instead of having a front fly opening, these pants have two side openings that can be closed with those sticky panels called Velcro. The pants have a false fly front and two pockets, plus an elasticized, self-adjusting waist. They're made of cotton / polyester and come in assorted colors in waist sizes 30-48, and in lengths of 29 and 32 inches. Send $18.98 plus $2 for postage and handling. As a service, this company attaches to every garment shipped a non-removable tape imprinted with the wearer's name, so be sure to give them your son's full name.

Q: I love short skirts, but am uncertain about the kinds of tops to wear with them. If I wear them with skinny tank tops, I look like a leftover from the Swinging '60s. If I tuck one of the new, oversized shirts into a leather mini, it looks wrong. Any ideas?--M.R. A: Wear your shirt untucked; then tie it at the hips for the new top-heavy look. You're right to equate skinny tops with the '60s, but you can wear a tank and still look believably 1985 if you simply cover it with a big top--either a big jacket or a big shirt.

Q: I have a short, semi-fitted collarless jacket. What kind of skirt would look best with it? I am 5-foot-5 and weigh 115.--J.M.H. A: A dirndl skirt with a 1-inch or 1 1/2-inch waistband.

Q: I know that you can make a wide body look narrower by the style and color of clothes you select, but can you make wide feet look narrower?--E.F. A: Select shoes with openings that are cut to a V in front. That line is slenderizing. Avoid shoes with any line that cuts across the foot, as that will tend to make your feet look even wider than they are.

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