Q. I have a daily problem with knickers. I am size eight so not obese, but I find the sort of tiny lacy thongs I am expected by my peers to wear to be really uncomfortable since they always ride up. What should I do?
— C.B., Oxford
A. The tyranny of thongs has already peaked so I am surprised you have not ‘cottoned on’ to the new craze for M&S pure cotton full briefs (£5 for a pack of five). The term briefs is misleading since they are actually bottom-sized, with high waists and full coverage of both buttocks. Even so, many girls of size eight are buying them in size l6. Roomy pants can trump thongs in sensuality since the roominess is a pleasure in its own right — think 1950s tennis pants. Insecure girls can still carry a thong about their person to change into should the need arise.
Q. My new London flat has a wooden floor which looks very smart and clean. My problem is that when I invite female friends round for a drink they often turn up wearing stilettos and look crestfallen when I ask them to take them off. I don’t care whether they look small or squat without the high shoes, but they do and it clearly ruins their evening. I don’t feel I can ask girls not to wear stilettos when they come round, because they are often going on to another party. What is the answer, Mary?
— R.F., London W11
A. There is no reason not to inform guests that they will be expected to remove their shoes when they turn up at your flat. This is what happens on the yachts of the super-rich and nobody complains, not least because it makes a level playing field. However, why not compromise for impromptu visits by throwing down a Persian rug for the stiletto wearers and asking them to ‘play rafts’?
Q. My husband and I are happily married and he likes his job but he has been headhunted to be interviewed to work alongside a high-profile (and very attractive) woman and is flattered by the overture. Although this woman is by all accounts happily married herself (we have friends in common), I am worried that if the two of them spend 12 high-octane hours per day together at work they will have an affair. Is there a way I could prevent this?
— Name and address withheld
A. If he gets the job, then present to him as further flattery something confided in you by another mutual friend. His new colleague is delighted by his appointment since she considers him super-competent and very likeable. But a main criteria for appointing a man to work alongside her was that she should not find him attractive, since she knows all about the cliché of the office romance and would hate to fall into that trap. This intelligence will boost his professional morale as well as undermining his confidence in the pass-making arena.
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