I'm not looking so good from behind these days and I was wondering if there were undies that might help. I gave up on uncomfortable "shapewear" and I don't need the extra girth from those funny padded panties. Bum-lifting jeans are fine, but I need something pretty to wear with skirts and dresses.

Bringing Up the Rear, Kowloon

The Dictator: Oh, I have just the thing for you. It's called taking the stairs. Let's be honest, your problem has less to do with fashion and much more to do with lifestyle. Not what you wanted to hear? Then brace yourself for bootylicious brand Bubbles and its "Booty Bras" (www.lovemybubbles.com). Its Double O Collection (HK$194 to HK$357 and up) features holes at the back that apparently push the buttocks up and out. The Bum Lifting Bands (HK$136 to HK$209 per pair) are a sort of garter that allegedly support and push up the thigh and bottom. At www.leonisa.com, you'll find rather more sane-looking bum-lifters, from the High Cut Panty Shaper with a "thong effect to naturally shape rear" (HK$116), to the Super Comfy Control Shapewear Panty in a similar design but with sheer mesh over the, um, cheeks (HK$139.50). Now, I don't how long it's been since you looked at shapewear, but it's come a long way, baby. Most brands offer more than cadaver beige, adding lace and numerous colours to their designs. Spanx, in fact, has pretty, lacy undies, as well as its own Trust Your Thinstincts Booty Bra (HK$450).

Where can I buy some of those new stocking boots? I did attempt to find them myself, but was directed to the hosiery section and gave up.

The Long Stretch, Central

The Dictator rules: New? Hardly. Stocking boots, aka sock boots, made from skin-tight, stretchy material have been in (and out) of vogue since the 1960s. I suppose by "new" you could be referring to the work of Rick Owens, who always pushes the boundaries with his post-apocalyptic, avant-garde fashion. This season, he's offering thigh-high boots with either trainer-like white rubber soles (HK$14,190) or low wedges (HK$18,590), both in black leather and elastane mix. Robert Clergerie has beautiful, understated versions in various materials, from a leopard print ankle boot with wedge heel (HK$4,300; Sogo), to a leather knee-high platform (HK$6,400) and a low-heeled, suede thigh-high (HK$7,500). Charlotte Olympia can take you to new heights in her aptly named More Is More sky-high boot in gold and black (HK$5,300). Or go all the way with Tamara Mellon's brown stretch suede legging boots (HK$13,735). High-end designers doing stretch boots for autumn include Dior, Alexander McQueen, Jimmy Choo and Saint Laurent. However, not all of you have that kind of budget. Nine West's stretchy suede boots come in ankle or knee height with a bright pink or yellow block heel (HK$3,800 and HK$4,800). Now, promise me you will not attempt a Pretty Woman look unless it's for Halloween.

Got a question for The Dictator? E-mail her with your name, or alias, and address at: [email protected].