Q: My suit size is 36 short. Finding a quality suit cut along classic lines is my major clothing problem. Finding a shirt with sleeves that don't extend to my knuckles is my second major problem. (The smallest size in most shirts is 14 1/2-32, and the sleeves are always too long.) Can you help?--T.H. A: The Yves Saint Laurent suit illustrated here is from the current catalogue published by Bob Stern's Short Sizes Inc., Southgate Shopping Center, 5385 Warrensville Center Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44137. It costs about $275, and it can be ordered in solid-color wools or in stripes. The same catalogue offers Oscar de la Renta dress shirts in neck sizes 14-16 1/2, sleeve lengths 30, 31 and 32. Prices range from $24 for a polyester-cotton blend to $26 for an Oxford-cloth button-down.
Q: What's the most feminine way to accessorize last year's man-tailored blazer? I have a wonderful linen jacket by Giorgio Armani, and I'd like to give it some female fashion hormones. I can't see myself in a Ralph Lauren-cum-Queen Victoria lace blouse, but I'm open to all other ideas.--H.A. A: The most feminine way to wear your jacket is over bare skin. Armani showed many of his spring jackets that way. If that idea sounds a little too daring, or if your blazer buttons are placed too low to let you wear it that way, try your jacket over a solid-colored bra--not a regular lingerie bra but the type of bra-like top that you might wear to the beach. If both of those ideas seem far-fetched, a satin camisole will do a lot to take the androgyny out of last year's androgynous look.
Q: Where can I find 100% cotton sweat shirts and sweat pants? Like many of my friends, I prefer cotton to synthetics but simply cannot locate sweats in anything but acrylic or blends. I wear a medium size.--D.D. A: All-cotton fleece sweats are available for men and women in the current catalogue published by Garnet Hill, Franconia, N.H. 03580. The pants even have pockets. Women's and men's tops cost $19.50; pants for both are priced at $22.50. Hers come in sizes small, medium and large; his come in sizes medium and large. Colors are blueberry or gray.
Q: What is the correct length for a man's necktie? -- J.F. A: To be considered fashionable in the adult world, a necktie should hit the top of the belt or else bisect it. In younger circles, ties are being worn one to two inches above the belt line.
Q: I wish that my husband were a nerd; then he'd be putting his pens in plastic protectors instead of just sticking them in his shirt pocket. Now there's a big, black ink stain on the bottom of his shirt pocket. Can you tell me how I can get rid of the stain?--S.H. A: Follow these directions from the International Fabricare Institute: "Apply solvent. Blot until all bleeding stops. Apply alcohol, except on fabrics made of acetate, with a later addition of synthetic detergent, acid and bleach." If all that sounds as complicated to you as it did to me, read on. "Heavy concentration of this stain should be brought to a dry cleaner." I followed that advice the last time I tried to get rid of a ballpoint stain and can report that the dry cleaning was totally successful.
Q: Where can I find Frye boots?--M.P. A: Write to John A. Frye Shoe Co., Inc., 84 Chestnut St., Marlboro, Mass. 01752, and ask for a list of retail stores in your area that sell Frye boots.
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.