Swimsuit of the '50s Making Comeback

Times Fashion Editor

Question: Please help me find the kind of two-piece bathing suit that was popular in the '50s before everyone started wearing bikinis. The suit that I'm talking about has a bra top and a bottom--usually shorts but sometimes a sheath or a skirt--that starts at the waist. Because of surgery I have a scar that would show in a bikini. I wear a size 14. C.C.

Answer: The Sea Waves suit illustrated here is the kind Annette Funicello and her friends might have worn in "Beach Blanket Bingo." It's back in the fashion swim again and available in a polyester-cotton print combining blue flowers on a yellow background. You can get it for $49.95, sizes 6 through 16, at the Tog Shop, Lester Square, Americus, Ga. 31710.

Q: Please help me find a woman's cashmere sweater in size 42. It will be a birthday present for a friend who wants a long-sleeve, crew-neck style in beige. Cashmere sweaters were widely available during the holidays, but I can't find one now when I need it. J.R.

A: The cashmere sweater that you're looking for is available for $49.90 at the House of Cashmere on the fifth floor of the Cooper Building, 860 S. Los Angeles St. All of their cashmeres, including styles for both men and women, small through extra large, are made in China. Prices for cardigans start at $59 and top at $99 for men's argyles.

Q: I am looking for men's pants made for wear with suspenders--you know, the ones without belt loops and with buttons inside. It will cost me $150 to $200 to have them made. I hope to find them ready-made for about $100. Any clues? T.N.

A: Even Brooks Brothers, that bastion of prepdom, does not offer the pants that you're looking for. How about concocting your own by removing the belt loops on either pleat-front or pleatless pants and sewing buttons inside? If you are having a difficult time finding plain-front pants (no pleats), several styles are offered in the current catalogue published by Cable Car Clothiers, 150 Post St., San Francisco 94108. Prices range from $85 to $95.

Q: I was given a red wool sweater for Christmas. It's a fine quality lamb's wool that looks and feel almost like cashmere. The sweater comes from Germany, and there are no care instructions. Can I wash it?

A: Unless the sweater is trimmed or lined in an unwashable fabric, it is indeed washable. Use a gentle detergent in cool water and dry flat, away from direct sunlight. To keep the red as close as possible to its original shade, add a bit of salt to the wash water.

Marylou Luther welcomes questions from readers. Mail to Clotheslines, Fashion85, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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