Question: I am enclosing a photo of a dress much like one that I just purchased. As you can see, it's a royal blue crepe with fullish skirt and white collar and cuffs. Please note that the sleeves are raglan, with dolman-like fullness under the arms. My question is: What kind of a cover-up do I wear with it? I'd like one that would be suitable for luncheons and shopping. Coats are too heavy, and a jacket just doesn't look right. I'm 30, 5-foot-3 and weigh 145 pounds. --V.H.
Answer: A jacket will look right if it's soft and unstructured, not tailored. The cardigan illustrated here, McCall's 8996, is modeled by Mariette Hartley in the current McCall's catalogue. Its sleeves are cut with enough underarm fullness to accommodate your dress. Wool crepe would be an ideal fabric. If you're brave enough to try the new fashion chromatics, make your jacket in a bright green with the same intensity as the royal blue. Or try a dark purple. If you're not ready for that much color, make the jacket in black.
Q: For years, my grandmother has kept her expensive clothes in mothballs. She claims that this is the only way to keep them safe from the wee beasties. The problem is that the mothball aroma permeates the whole house, and when you walk in, that is the first thing that you smell. Is there a way to protect clothes without inheriting the smell?--P.M.
A: It sounds as if your grandmother is simply using too many mothballs. One hanging mothball container per closet will keep the wee beasties from destroying clothes without the odor permeating them. If you keep the closet door closed, the odor will not permeate the room. Another sure-fire method of preventing moths without using mothballs is to build cedar closets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's bulletin on protecting clothes against clothes moths and carpet beetles suggests that moth-preventing insecticides be used only on clothes that are being stored. The bulletin goes on to say that clothes treated in this way should then be laundered or dry-cleaned before use.
Marylou Luther welcomes questions from readers. Mail to Clotheslines, Fashion85, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.