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July 14, 1985|MARYLOU LUTHER

Q: I love the new frock coats that the designers are showing for fall, but where could I get one now? Do I have to wait until August? - E.M.

A: Not if you invest in a man's formal evening tail coat (tails, for short--as in white tie and tails). If you shorten the tails, you can effect the look of Claude Montana's design for Complice that's shown in our illustration. Men's formal tail coats are never closed at the waist, but the new frock coats for women are; so be sure that you buy the tails large enough to close at the waist, thereby providing that little dimpled drape in the front. Technically, frock coats do not have to be cutaways, but like those that were popular at the turn of the century, most of today's frock coats dip in the back.

Q: How can I remove candle-wax spots from clothing? I'm a priest, with many vestments now spotted from candle drippings. I've sent them to the dry cleaner, but the spots remain. --G.P. A: Take one of your vestments to a dry cleaner that's a member of the International Fabricare Institute. Ask the proprietor to send it to the institute's headquarteres in Silver Spring, Md., where it will be analyzed for a $15 fee. Pray that your vestment will come back spot-free, and you will know exactly how to treat the rest of your wax-spotted garments. A spokesman for the institute asked whether the culprit candles were white or colored. I told him that I didn't know, so when you go to your dry cleaner, take along one of the candles so it can be sent to the institute. That's assuming that all of the offending candles are made of the same wax. According to this representative, Filoy's in Beverly Hills is an IFI dry cleaner.

Q: In diamond-ring language, what is a Tiffany setting? --J.K.

A: A Tiffany setting is a four- or six-pronged setting, generally round in shape and flaring out from the base to the top. The stone is held by long, slender prongs.

Q: I wear a lot of suits to work, and I like the look of wearing them with silk bow ties. I have seen a lot of these ties in department stores for $20 and more. I can sew them for only a few dollars, but I'm having a difficult time finding the silk fabric. Is there some store that carries a selection of silks in small paisleys, small prints, etc.? --S.M. A: Paisleys, polka dots and Jacquards in solids as well as prints are available in many fabrics at various prices at International Silks and Woolens, 8347 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 90048. The range runs from polyester paisleys for $7.95 a yard (45-inch widths) to pure silks for $65 a yard (36-inch widths).

Q: Is there a place that will convert wide ties to narrow ties? What is the usual charge for the service? --J.J. A: Movieland Tie Service, 8170 West 3rd St., Los Angeles 90048, will narrow ties for $7.50 per tie. Be sure to specify the exact width you desire and allow two to three weeks for delivery. If you want your tie cleaned, that will cost $2.55 more.

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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