I have just bought a coat and it has a belt, but no belt loops. Why is that?

Many people are belting their coats not at the waistline as expected, but down on the hips. Others are wearing coats without belts. With no belt loops, you can decide what look you want from day to day.

I am nervous about washing my cotton sweaters before putting them away for the winter. Any suggestions?

Wash in cold water, with a cold-water formula. Wash one color sweater at a time, just in case the color runs. Dry flat to prevent stretching.

I have just taken my black leather skirt out of the closet and it has a shape of its own. How do I get it back to its original straight and narrow line?

Not easily. Ironing the skirt on the wrong side over a brown bag will help, but will not restore the original shape. Once leather is stretched out, it is difficult to change the shape unless you remake the skirt. (One leather tanner suggests washing item in lukewarm water but admits there are no guarantees.) Wearing long tops to hide the stretched-out part may be your only solution.

I am having trouble finding the right navy hose and shoes to go with my new navy dress. What should I do?

There are many, many shades of navy. Sometimes a less-than-perfect match provides an interesting effect. However, you are very safe wearing black hose and shoes with navy clothes. And if you are a bit adventuresome, dark, dark brown in both stockings and shoes looks wonderful with navy. (The same is true for men wearing brown with navy.)

The first day I wore a new wool sweater I got lipstick on it when I pulled it over my head. What removes lipstick?

Lipstick can sometimes be erased by rubbing white bread over the area with a firm gentle motion. Models often throw a large man's hankie or scarf over their head and cover their face to keep makeup from coming off on their clothes.

I am wondering, as usual, what to do about hemlines. What length should I wear this year?

It's up to you. Most designers of clothes for the young, contemporary customer have shown very long hems, some stopping just above the ankle. But when Paris designers presented their couture collections for the rich -- and often not young -- customers, most hemlines hovered around the knee.

So take your choice. But remember very long hems tend to be aging.