I ENJOYED reading George Appleby's amusing letter about the "love of his life" and the problems she has finding fashions which are well-designed, reasonably-priced and suitable for the more mature figure (June 14).

This is where Marks and Sparks excelled before it started to lose customers to cheaper, skimpier and, frankly, tasteless clothes which abound everywhere from market stalls to designer outlets.

Sadly, nowadays women of style and taste, whatever their age and size, find it hard to find clothes in good materials, made to fit, look really attractive and to last.

Whatever clothes store one goes into one is faced with rail after rail of clothes that look almost exactly as those in the next store.

Wispy garments that fit where they touch, thrown together from tatty materials, skirts with hems that dip and droop, tops that plunge to depths previously unplumbed and trousers that do not recognise the existence of a waist simply abound.

And, of course, jeans that are torn, faded and make even good legs look like blue sausages.

There are still shops that sell well-made, attractive clothes, but the difference in price between these and the never-ending tat, so popular with our youthful, throw-away society, makes them unattainable to women without Beckham-sized bank balances.

I'm very much afraid, Mr Appleby, that your good lady is doomed to either (a) make her own clothes; (b) find a good dressmaker; or (c) start a petition to persuade M&S to rekindle its interest in comfortable, well-designed and wearable fashions that made it famous throughout the land.

If she decides on the latter, please tell me and I'll certainly sign!

Heather Causnett,

Escrick Park Gardens,



Updated: 09:41 Monday, June 20, 2005