I've bought one of the new beaded sweaters. Can I wear it with my long black skirt or black silk pants from last year?

Sure. But better still, pair it with gray flannel trousers. Because it is less expected, this fresh mix of dressy and casual works for many occasions.

My feet always swell when I am pregnant. Has anyone come up with a shoe to accommodate size changes?

Yes. In fact there is now a shoe put out for pregnant women, though it is a comfortable style that would suit many other women as well. It is made and sold by Lady Madonna stores in soft leather with an elasticized vamp that stretches and molds to the foot. The molded rubber sole is an additional comfort factor. Cost: $30.

I bought a white linen blouse and the care label said dry clean only. Is that really necessary?

Not only is it not necessary, but the blouse is likely to stay white and last longer with careful handwashing. Care labels these days seem more geared to protect the manufacturer and retailer than to help the consumer.

I have tiny pinholes in my good oxford shirts. Is the laundry to blame?

Not really. The fault is in the weave of the fabric, specifically the loose twist of the weft yarn and the two different qualities of yarn used in the warp and fill to get the Oxford effect. Laundering, although not the cause, makes these faults show up.

I want to match up wool for knitting and wool fabric for making a skirt. Is there a shop that carries both yarn and fabrics?

The Threadneedle Shop in Spring Valley is one of those rare shops that carries both yarn and fabrics under one roof.

I've washed my black linen dress so often it has begun to look dull. What do I do?

Soak the dress in black coffee to restore some of the "blackness" to the fabric.