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Dear Abby: While the British have long recognized short pants with knee-high socks as proper tropical uniform for dress occasions, and the U.S. Postal Service and others now follow this sensible lead, is it not time for Brooks Brothers, Armani and Haspel, etc., to promote a three-piece summer suit: lightweight jacket with matching Bermuda shorts and trousers?

Men could then consider temperature and comfort in choosing Bermudas with knee socks, or trousers and ankle socks, to wear with or without matching jacket.What hotel or restaurant would not consider as appropriate men so attired for hot summer days?

- J.F. O'Donnell,

Washington, D.C.

Dear J.F.: It's all right with me - my husband's legs are better looking than mine - but not all men are that lucky. Then, too, hairy male legs could be a turnoff to others while dining.

I'm for recommending that men keep their pants on.

Dear Abby: I need your help to advance what I think could be a lifesaving idea. If you agree, printing this letter could get the ball rolling.

In today's society, we often read about a person being locked in the trunk of an automobile. (This happened to the mother of co-worker, and it nearly cost her her life.)

I propose that all automobile manufacturers be required, by law, to equip all vehicles that have trunks with interior latches. Surely this could be accomplished with only a small increase in price, and it could save many lives. Whether someone is locked in the trunk of a car during a car-jacking, or as a childish prank, an internal latch would provide a means of escape.

This was done years ago with refrigerators after we recognized the danger.

With your help, perhaps some wise congressman may champion this cause and push for legislation. If you agree, please print this before another person suffocates in the trunk of his own car. Thanks, Abby, for all the good you do.

- Chris Mech,

Red Cliff, Colo.

Dear Chris: It sounds like a great idea to me. Readers?

Dear Abby: Thank you, thank you, for that beautiful "message" about our flag, which you published on the Fourth of July. Sadly, it was the only reference to the flag in the newspaper that day - oh, excuse me, there was one other mention of the flag. It concerned the fact that a resident of San Rafael, Calif., was fined $50 for having flown a flag over his rented condominium. He received a note from the manager asking him, "Please be considerate of your neighbors and protect the value of your home by keeping your flag in the box"!

- Flag-Waver in Bainbridge, Ga.