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Jacket Is Updated With Contrasting Skirt


Question: Last year, I bought a Liz Claiborne suit. It's a beige linen tweed with a blazer-like jacket that's a little oversize but not so big that it looks dated. How can I make this suit look more this summer than last? Any special accessories? What blouse?--V.L.

Answer: Wear your jacket over a long, soft skirt instead of its suit mate. That's the way Milan designer Gianni Versace shows his new suits for fall and winter, and it's an idea you can put into practice now. Your new long skirt can be a silk crepe de Chine print, a soft, handkerchief linen in a solid color or any of the new pseudo-silks made of polyester or rayon. You probably would feel more "suited" if the printed skirt fabric picked up the beige of your jacket, but it is not necessary. Neither is it necessary for your blouse to match either your skirt or your jacket. In fact, the no-blouse look is the most current one. But if the cut of your jacket necessitates a blouse, wear a T-shirt. A beige silk T-shirt, brown silk T-shirt or one in a color that coordinates with the print in your skirt would be ideal.

Q: I was given a beautiful V-neck sweater made of black cashmere. I would like to wear it for evening without a blouse but the neckline is too low. Would it look funny if I wore a black or white silk shirt under the sweater? I tried wearing it over a black silk blouse with a big pussycat bow, but there's too much space between the bow and the end of the V. Any other ideas?--S.J.

A: Wear your black cashmere sweater with a black satin camisole. If you want to look even more dressy, sew black sequins on the front of your camisole.

Q: I want to make a white jacket to wear this summer over printed dresses. I do not like linen because it wrinkles, and I don't want silk because it's too hot to wear--at least for me. Please recommend a fabric that I can tailor that won't wrinkle and will breathe.--J.D.

A: How about white damask? It meets your requirements, and it's available now in 100% cotton with a linenized finish at the Vermont Country Store, Box 3000, Manchester Center, Vt. 05255-3000. The maple-leaf pattern is woven into the fabric, not printed on, and it has a permanent-press finish because it's made as a tablecloth fabric for hotels and restaurants. You can get this fabric in 54-inch widths for $11.25 a yard or in 72-inch widths for $15.50 a yard. Postage and handling are extra.

Q: You once wrote about a heel protector to slip over shoes as a protective device while driving. I think I've found a better way to protect shoes from driver's scuffs. It's an 11-inch black vinyl strip that sticks to the accelerator to give a wide cushion base for the backs of shoes and heels. You can order it from Miles Kimball, 41 West 8th Ave., Oshkosh, Wis. 54901.--S.H.

A: And thanks to your tip, I found the product in the company's current catalogue. It's called Scuf Pruf Heel Protector, and it's priced at $2.59.

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