Q: My favorite Kimberly Knits suit still fits me perfectly but seems a little out of fashion. Any way of saving it?--A.T.
A: You can bring your suit right into 1986 with gold buttons. Ornamental gold buttons--such as those Coco Chanel used to decorate her tweed and wool jersey suits--are now very much back in fashion, not only at Chanel but also at Valentino, Sonia Rykiel and many other European and American fashion firms.
Authentic English blazer buttons made of 24-karat gold plate, all with anchor motifs, are available at the Button Shop, 501 Chapala St., Santa Barbara 93101. A set of three large buttons ( 3/4-inch diameter) and six smaller ones ( 1/2-inch diameter) for sleeves costs $47.50. Gold-filled renditions are $130 a set, and for $900 you can get the set in 14-karat gold. Additional gold-plated buttons can be ordered for $7 each, large or small. Allow two weeks for delivery of the gold-plate and gold-filled buttons, eight weeks for the 14-karat gold. All are by Ben Silver Inc.
Q: I bought a wonderful Courreges suit made of orange gabardine and styled with the welt seams that marked so many of his designs of the '60s. What kind of shoes should I wear with it?--M.D. A: If you want to keep the look authentic, wear flat-heel, white patent-leather boots. If you want to update the look, follow the lead of Paris designer Karl Lagerfeld and wear your suit with red patent-leather pumps. Lagerfeld shows this red-orange combination in his American sportswear line for spring.