I've just started sewing, and it seems that many men's furnishings would be quite simple to make. Is there a pattern for bow ties or scarves or even cummerbunds?

Yes, Vogue Patterns has come out with one pattern to make bow ties, four-in-hands, ascots, scarves and even cummerbunds. It's pattern number 2826 and retails for about $4.

I love all the new clothes in pure fabrics, especially linen and cotton, but I'm wearing myself out ironing them. How can I make it simpler?

Damp clothes are always easier to iron than dry ones. To ensure even dampness, i.e. no big wet spots, sprinkle water over your clothes, roll them up tightly and store them in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. (Be sure to seal it tightly so your clothes don't come out smelling like leftovers.) A couple of hours in the fridge should even out the dampness.

And remember spray starch? It's still around and great for smoothing out linen and cotton with a minimum of pressing.

I know there are spray cans of static remover on the market, but what do I do when my skirts cling to my legs and there's no can around? Is there an emergency remedy?

It may sound a bit awkward, but if you take a wire hanger and run it along the inside of your skirt, the static cling will disappear. Not something to try at your desk, but all right in privacy.

I'm determined to start exercising more and plan to begin walking to work this spring. I don't want to ruin my "work" shoes, but I hate the look of tennis shoes with a dress. Any alternatives?

Shoe designers finally have caught on to the growing walk-to-work trend and have come up with some good-looking, low shoes: Some even have tennis shoe-like soles and arches for good support. Choose a basic color or color combination to wear every day. But you'll still probably want to change into higher heels or "dress" shoes once at work. Most department stores have a wide selection of the new "sensible shoes."

I'm planning a vacation in the sun and am looking forward to two things: getting a tan and reading. I'm worried about too much sun on my face. Besides sunglasses and sun screen, is there any other product to keep the sun away from my eyes? Please don't say a hat--I hate to wear them.

What about a sun visor? With all the emphasis on fitness and the new awareness that too much sun is dangerous to your skin, visors are popping up everywhere. JCPenney has a visor by Max Ray that is lightweight, comes in six colors and attaches easily to sunglasses. And at $3 each, you could almost get every color.

Is there a hard and fast rule about how long into spring I can wear "winter" fabrics such as velvet? I've been invited to a sit-down dinner in mid-April and wonder if my black velvet pants would be appropriate.

Technically, the rules says not to wear velvet that late in the season. But taking into account the unseasonably cool spring we've had, and the fact that your invitation is for a "formal" dinner, go ahead and wear the velvet. You can make your outfit more spring-like with something a little bare at the top.