Q: My feet are not pointed. They are shaped like my hands, not counting the thumb. Try holding your hand outstretched with the thumb under the palm. Could you put your hand, in that flat position, into a pointed-toe shoe? Not likely. If you buy a longer size, the “bunion joint” of your foot is not in the correct place in the shoe, and the arches of the shoes break down. My shoe man tells me that there are hundreds of us out here with a second toe longer than the big toe--and some with even a third toe that’s longer than the big toe. What are we to do? If we ask for rounder toes, the sales clerks look at us as though we are crazy. What will we wear?--W.R. A: I’m not laughing, but I am smiling at the thought of all those about-to-be happy feet out there just waiting to fit into bunion-accommodating, second-toe-friendly shoes. In addition to the fact that these shoes have rounded toes, they are the work of one of the world’s most widely known shoe designers, Maud Frizon. She’s so famous that when she designs anything, other shoe designers are likely to follow her lead. It all means that you can look forward to at least a couple of seasons of round-toed shoes in the fashion limelight. Some of these pumps are priced at $190 at Bullocks Wilshire, 3050 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010.
Q: What can I do to update my 1983 wool-gabardine chemise dress? It fits fine but looks a little blah now.--C.P. A: If by blah you mean stark and understated, don’t change a thing. That’s the spirit of fall / winter fashion. If you’re merely tired of wearing the dress as is, belt it. Belts are back in a big way as part of the new fitted look. Classic reptile belts 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide are a favorite with many Seventh Avenue designers. For another look, shorten your chemises into tunics and wear them over contrasting skirts. Paris designer Yves Saint Laurent offered that time-tested idea in his last couture collection.
Q: This Christmas, I will be the matron of honor and only attendant at my sister’s wedding. Can you recommend an appropriate dress? I’m 30, I wear a size 18 and I’d prefer a look that is festive, yet covered up. I cannot afford to spend more than $150.--E.S. A: Take a look at the green moire taffeta dress on Page 32 of the current catalogue published by J. Jill Ltd., Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, Mass. 01230. The color is appropriate for the season, and the style meets your festive-but-covered specifications. This tent-shaped dress has a ruffled yoke and full sleeves that end in deep cuffs. It’s priced at $89.95 for sizes small, medium and large and at $92.95 for extra-large. The dress is described as “prairie-length.” It ends just above the ankles.
Q: Because I have a slight hump on my back, I have to wear tops with raglan sleeves. I have been able to find raglan-sleeve blouses, but I cannot find a classic shirt that doesn’t have set-in sleeves. Can you help? I wear a size 6.--D.D. A: It’s called a blouse in the current catalogue published by Royal Silk, 45 East Madison Ave., Clifton, N.J. 07011, but it looks like a shirt to me. Not only are the shoulders cut in a raglan style, but they also are padded, thereby making them even more helpful in disguising your back problem. The shirt-cum-blouse has flap pockets, a club collar and a hidden placket front. It’s made of silk in a check-textured weave from India, and it comes in pale blue only, in sizes 4 -16.
Q: Can you help me find a long-line bra that is both backless and strapless? It must be black. I wear a 36 -D.--U.V. A: Backless, strapless long-line bras with under-wired cups are made by Jezebel. They are priced at about $11, and they come in black, white or beige. For a list of retail outlets, write to Jack Duchowny, Jezebel, Renee of Hollywood, P.O. Box 23190, Los Angeles 90023. That company also makes lightly boned waist cinchers for $7 and laced-front waist cinchers for $11.50.
Q: Can you please help me find an aloha -type sport shirt in 100% cotton? I need an extra-large. I can find them in medium or large, but not in the size I need.--J.D. A: All-cotton aloha shirts are available in sizes small through extra-large in the current catalogue published by Bachrach, 2354 Hubbard Ave., Decatur, Ill. 62526. The shirts come in floral prints on black grounds and are priced at $30.