I am a little old lady who - like Mrs. Higgins in Shaw's "Pygmalion" - is "now over 60 and long past taking the trouble to dress out of fashion."

Instead, I have looked at the fashion problems of my peer group, Washington sexagenarians. We little old ladies want to look nice, but we have some uniquely difficult problems: money, our figures and manual dexterity, to name a few.

Consider first the money problems.If one can't afford a new blouse and a proper underslip to update an old (but still good) skirt or suit, what can be done? Well, how about making a simple blouse/slip, which is also a cool summer dress, or a blouse that never pulls out?

Figure or posture problems (e.g. rounded shoulders, flabby upper arms, or miscellaneous bulges) can be camouflaged with "dissimulating" dots or geometrics and by personalizing sleeve lengths, neck sizes and shapes.

Arthritis or other sexagenarian health problems make fastening devices - zippers, laces, buttons, snaps, hooks, buckles - demons in the dressing room, especially when those fasteners are in the back. Clothes for us older folk should be sans all the tedious closures as much as possible. Simple slip-on and tie out-fits are easier to manipulate and more attractive. We sexagenarians should know, "There's no elegance like simplicity."

Jean Wehrenberg calls her designs "a victory for grandmothers" since "too few (if any) designers and/or writers have a continuing interest in us." The 61-year-old former English teacher began her hobby by creating doll fashions as a child. Through each decade in her life from adolescent bra-designing in the '20s to backless dresses and daytime pajamas in the '30s, she has found designing for her own peer group "fascinating." CAPTION: Picture 1, Jean Wehrenberg wearing her own blouse/slip design; Picture 2, The blouse/slip worn with a denim wrap skirt; Picture 3, Adding a matching wrap skirt to the blouse/slip; Picture 4, The blouse/slip under a suit. By Harry Naltchayan - The Washington Post