Question: You hear a lot of talk about this being the season for black and the return of the little black dress, but have you tried to find one in the stores? They are as elusive as that other "must" for this season--the black turtleneck sweater. Please find me a basic black dress. I need a simple style that will be a foil for jewelry.--S.H.
Answer: Possibly the best little black dress value of the season is illustrated here. It's by Andrea Jovine; it's 100% wool jersey, and it will accommodate all those pearls, diamonds and emeralds languishing in your jewelry box. This jewel of a dress with surplice-closing bodice and subtle, slimming side drapery is $144 at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. It's also available in white.
Q: I wear dress shields to protect my clothes, but they show through my sheer blouses. I'm thinking of dyeing them beige on the premise that this shade would be closer to my skin tone and therefore less likely to show through. Or do you have a better idea? I wear a Size 44 blouse.--M.B.
A: Before you get out the dye, how about trying a garment called the Cami-Shield? It looks like a V-neck T-shirt, but it is specially designed to wear under silk blouses, scratchy sweaters and sheer tops. Cami-Shield is knitted of 100% rayon that breathes, will not hold odor and can be machine washed and dried. Until its creator, Gyl Roland, can find more fabric, it's only available in large Sizes 14 to 20. Roland says the flesh-toned fabric will not shrink if machine washed in cool water and drip dried, but it will shrink about 1 1/2 inches if dried in the dryer.
The product is available for $16.95 plus $1.45 for postage and handling and $1.10 for California sales tax. To order, write to Presence Unlimited, Box 46303, Los Angeles, Calif. 90046.
Q: Please help me find the type of white cotton beauty gloves that I used to wear on my creamed hands as I slept the chapping away. I also use them under rubber gloves because I'm allergic to rubber. I've tried medical-supply houses, drug stores, the Sears catalogue and other retail outlets to no avail.--S.L.
A: Cotton sleeping gloves are available in the current catalogue published by the Vermont Country Store, Mail-Order Office, Box 3000, Manchester Center, Vt. 05255-3000. They're sold in a set of two pairs for $7.50, plus shipping and handling. These white cotton-knit gloves breathe and allow your hands to heal as you sleep. They also keep the sheets clean. The gloves are sized small, medium, large and extra large.
Q: May I share an old remedy with you? My mother taught me something that many people refuse to believe--that grease removes grease. But before I use butter or margarine or axle grease, I try old-fashioned bar soap such as Fels Naptha. Often, that will remove the spot and it never damages the fabric. Also, I use cool water--never hot--and never put a spotted garment in the dryer, since the heat could set the spot for good.--P.W.
A: Your tip is especially useful for cotton, as cotton can be washed. Here's one for removing grease spots from wool. According to the textile experts at the Wool Bureau, you can remove butter, tea, oil and grease spots by sponging with water, then sprinkling with baking soda. Simply let the powder dry and brush it off gently. The spot should disappear.