Question: Last year, black and white dresses were very much in vogue. This year, they look like last year. How do I bring my black and white chemise dress into 1985? It's white silk with a diagonal band of black silk from shoulder to hip, and it ends at mid-calf.--C.H. Answer: You change its look from last year's graphic geometrics to this year's romantic movement via accessories. First, cinch your dress with a belt, thereby shortening it to the now fashionable just-below-the-knee length. Now, add a big brooch, as in our illustration. Paris designer Jacqueline de Ribes shows her black and white dresses for spring with important pins made of ruby-red stones and rhinestones. Her big chandelier earrings replace last year's blocky geometric shapes.
Q: This is a case of unrequited love. I love polyester. I especially love my old polyester shirts. Unfortunately, shirt makers have stopped making 100% polyester shirts, and all I can find now are blends of polyester and cotton. Please help me find a white dress shirt made entirely of polyester. I wear size 15 1/2-33, and I will be pleased with either long or short sleeves.--G.B. A: Your love for polyester shirts is obviously shared by others. As it says on Page 534 of the current Sears catalogue, 100% Dacron polyester shirts are back by popular demand.
"After many customer letters we are pleased to re-introduce this comfortable dual-wear classic . . . woven of 100% Dacron polyester." The dress shirt illustrated in the catalogue has a placket front and permanent stays in the collar. It's available with long sleeves or short sleeves in four proportions. The regular cut fits average builds from sizes 14 to 16 1/2. Also available are regular-cut tall size, full-cut average size and full-cut big size. Colors include white, Burgundy, tan, blue and brown. Prices range from $10 to $15, depending on sleeve length and cut.
The Sears move to reinstate an item should be encouraging to all you lovers of BVDs. Why not start a write-in campaign asking for the return of the one-piece union suit in that favorite of all union-suit fabrics, nainsook? Perhaps the seers at Sears will respond. Write to Consumer Department, Sears, Roebuck & Co., Sears Tower, Chicago 60684.
Q: What is qiviut ?--H.C. A: It's a luxury yarn spun from the under wool of a musk ox, and it costs about $250 a pound. The Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers Cooperative in Alaska says that the word qiviut is the Eskimo term for under wool. The high cost of the yarn relates directly to the supply of musk oxen. Hunters killed Alaska's last wild musk oxen in the 1880s, but game officials imported some from Greenland earlier in this century. Harvard-trained anthropologist John Teal, who founded the Oomingmak cooperative in 1969 to help Alaska's Eskimos move from their subsistence life style to a modern cash economy, borrowed some wild musk ox calves from Canada and tamed and raised them for studies at his Institute of Northern Agricultural Research. His widow, Sigrun Robertson, now manages the co-op, where about 3,000 qiviut garments are produced each year. A typical musk ox, Robertson says, weighs 500 pounds and eats lots of grain and hay, but sheds only five pounds of under wool each year. That's why a qiviut scarf costs from $135 to $195.