Question: I know that it's supposed to be fashionable to turn the clock around this fall and wear daytime clothes at night, but I can't quite see how my favorite navy blue, wool, shawl-collared jacket is going to look right at a three-star restaurant. Please advise.--S.P.
Answer: It's not as much what you wear on your back as what you wear around your neck, on your head and on your wrists. Consider, for example, your favorite jacket worn with strands of beads around the neck, as illustrated here. Gold beads, silver beads, pearls, even rhinestones or real diamonds--wear whatever seems to look best on you and your jacket. And don't be afraid to team your wool jacket with a satin skirt. Mixing your fabric mediums is definitely a fashionable thing to do this season.
Q: Please help us old gals find some decent clothes. There's a huge market out there of women who have graduated from misses sizes to half-sizes--women who do not want to wear dresses with shirred inset sleeves, shoulder pads, draped shoulder pleats and all that extra fabric that half sizes simply do not need. We do not want short sleeves, and we like zipper closures--front or back. Button fronts create problems, especially with me. If I'm standing, everything's fine. But when I sit down, my cargo shifts and the buttonholes gape. I just narrowed the buttonholes on two dresses because they didn't just gape, they slipped open. Can you recommend a dress in Size 20 1/2?--V.S.
A: There's a zip-front dress illustrated on Page 12 of the Old Pueblo Traders catalogue that fulfills all of your stipulations. It has cuffed, bracelet-length sleeves, an undefined waistline with optional self-belt, and it's made of a machine-washable polyester knit. The small, high neckline unzips to form a V. You can get it in half-sizes 14 1/2 to 26 1/2 for $26.95. Colors include pink, navy or camel. To order, write to Old Pueblo Traders, Palo Verde at 33rd Street, Box 27800, Tucson, Ariz. 85726.
Q: I have been wearing a Goddess bra (Size 34B) for more years than I want to remember. When I started wearing them, they were available in every department store. Alas, they are no longer available. If you can locate any in my size, I am willing to buy 12. I work in a department store, but the intimate-apparel buyer has been no help.--D.H.
A: Many Clotheslines readers share your problem. Several have, in fact, written about Style 1746. Why don't you all join forces and start a write-in campaign, urging the folks at Goddess to bring back your bra or sell you their discontinued stock. Write Goddess Bras, 156 Porter St., Boston, Mass. 02128.
Q: I am an avid quilter and seamstress. I do alterations, make wedding dresses, liturgical banners, teach quilting and restore quilts. I've heard that there is a super-fine silk that you can lay over damaged fabric to make restoring simpler. The silk is said to be so fine that the original will show through. It can also be used on antique lace. Please tell me what it is called, where it is available and the cost.--H.P.
A: John Sullivan of American Silk Mills says the typical silk construction used in textile restoration is tulle. If the fabric is not available in your area, Sullivan suggests that you ask for a lightweight silk organza. He specifies silk because of the fine denier yarns necessary to achieve the cloud-like fabric. If neither of these fabrics is available, try a polyester tulle or a polyester organza.
"My suggestions stem from restoration work done on centuries-old textiles as well as garments," Sullivan explains, adding that because he has never seen restoration on lace, he would like to know how your project turns out. Please write to him at American Silk Mills, 111 West 40th St,. New York, N.Y. 10018.