Question: My son, a freshman at Brown, says he's freezing to death at school. He's a native Californian and has not become acclimated to the cold weather in Rhode Island. I've bought him all the requisite thermal underwear and sweaters, and I've lectured him on the importance of insulating his body with layers of clothes but he's still cold. Any ideas?--J.J.
Answer: Send your son a scholar's scarf. Not only will the scarf keep him warm while crossing the quad in a blizzard, it is now the sign of the fashion savant in every climate. Dan Rather wore five--count 'em, five--different mufflers while reporting on the Geneva summit, and students at Beverly Hills High School have made them hot items at local stores by wearing them even when it's 85 degrees. The lambs' wool muffler illustrated here is student priced at $18. The Gap has six-foot-long mufflers in 12 colors: purple, sea green, pink, red, royal blue, orange, yellow, fuchsia, turquoise, charcoal, black or white.
Your son can keep his hands warm in gloves made of lambs' wool and Angora, available at the Gap in sea green, red, royal blue, fuchsia, white, pink, yellow or black for $9.50. Heat escapes from the body largely from the head, so tell him to keep his body heat where it belongs by wearing stocking caps. The campus student store keeps them in stock all winter long.
And for his feet: silk sock liners under basic crew socks. The silk sock liners are available for $8.50 at Garnet Hill, Franconia, N.H., 03580.
You can complete his head-to-toe warm-up with L. L. Bean's Snow Sneakers. Specially designed crepe soles have small suction cups to hold on wet and icy surfaces. Durable nylon and suede leather uppers are double treated for water repellency with Zepel-coated exterior and a light polyurethane finish inside. Soles are injection-molded to the uppers to form a complete seal against moisture penetration. The interiors of these shoes are lined with acrylic fleece for warmth. Removable fleece insoles draw moisture from the feet, keeping you warm. These sneakers are available in low-top styles for $38 and ankle-top versions for $42, men's Sizes 4-12 and half sizes. To order, write to L. L. Bean Inc., Freeport, Me. 04033.
Q: Where can I find a pattern for the Chinese dress long associated with Madame Chiang Kai-shek?--I.V.
A: Patterns for cheongsams are available from two sources: Pauloa Hawaii (Style 1012), Box 11254, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Folkwear Patterns (Style 122), Box 3798, San Rafael, Calif. 94912.
Q: My mother has had a stroke and is partially paralyzed. Please help me find patterns for women's dresses that can be put on from the front and are open all the way down the back. I know I can buy ready-made garments for her, but they are very expensive, so I would rather make them for her.--M.N.
A: As far as I know, there are no patterns for such clothing. However, you could use a pattern for any dress with center back seam. Instead of sewing the seam, use Velcro, and you can dress your mother in much less time than it takes to zip or button.
Q: I like to sew my own lingerie. Until recently, I was able to buy the elastic and stretch material from the Stretch and Sew shop in our area. Alas, they closed the store. Where can I get these special fabrics and elastics?--I.D.
A: Lingerie fabrics and trimmings are available at Kieffer's, 1625 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, Minn. 55403. Selections include garter elastic, plush elastic for girdles, bathing suit elastic, elastic for men's and boys' briefs and pajama elastic. There is a complete line of lingerie lace, threads, bra straps and adjusters, plus a selection of lingerie patterns designed by Laverne Devereaux.