Across the age spectrum, from teenagers to 90-year-olds, come questions. Great news for all: Angel has answers.
Dear Answer Angel: The low-rise jeans I see everywhere are designed to look sexy but are epically uncomfortable. They suck in so many ways. Invariably, low-rise jeans partially reveal the butt when the wearer sits down or bends over. Are there currently any whole pants on the market you can suggest? My days of wearing a half pant are done.
Dear Answer Angel: I'm 15, and my friends and I can't find skinny jeans that cover our butts. We've looked everywhere that teenagers shop. We don't want to show all that skin but can't find cute styles that cover our rears. Does anybody out there sell jeans that won't make us look like total skanks? And, while you're at it, can you find some with big enough rear pockets to hold an iPhone?
Dear Mom and Helen: I hear this from women of every age. Why can't the people who design clothes and the people who put them in our stores figure out that we want jeans that are comfortable, stylish and actually cover our private parts? Helllloooooooooo. Anybody out there listening? And don't get me started on the inevitable muffin top spillover — no matter what your weight — in low-rise jeans.
While I'm ranting, what about this: As soon as you find a pair of jeans that you love, they stop making them!
OK, deep breaths and back to your questions: For Modest Mom I have two recommendations. I hate the name but "Not Your Daughter's Jeans," nydj.com , are probably the answer. I own a pair, and they cover my assets. Also, try Eddie Bauer, eddiebauer.com , for jeans that cover.
Helen, you and your high school friends who buy superskinny jeans should check out Urban Outfitters, urbanoutfitters.com , which has an ample selection of high-rise options — with pockets big enough for a phone.
The bottom line, so to speak, is we're all built differently and it takes a lot of trying on of an awful lot of (often awful) jeans to find the right fit. If you find some you love, buy multiples because you may never locate that style again.
Two questions about larger-than-expected costs …
Dear Answer Angel: My wife, our 18-year-old son and I were headed to Manhattan, and I thought I'd found a real steal of a hotel rate through one of those Internet travel sites. But then I got the bill and was charged much more. What gives?
Dear Angel: I thought I'd found a deal when I won the auction for a pair of new boots (retail price $90) on eBay for $49.88. But when I went to pay, the total was $89.88. There was a $40 charge for "standard shipping." How can it cost that much to mail them?
Dear Fleeced and Ouch: Always, always read the fine print. Hotel prices usually are based on double occupancy and some online sites charge extra for "kids" 18 and over. Some don't. Always read every word on the page before making that last mouse click.
The same is true of online auctions. Before you bid, check for exorbitant shipping fees. That's how many sellers are now making their profit, as was the case with those boots.
Dear Answer Angel: Our grandson is being married in the merry, merry month of May. What's the proper dress code for me (90 years old) and my husband (91)?
P.S. We've been married 67 years.
—Mr. and Mrs. D.
Dear Mr. and Mrs.: My first instinct is to tell you that at 90 you get to wear whatever you darn well please to your grandson's wedding. But that's probably not too helpful.
This much I know for sure: The wedding party and guests will be making a big fuss over you and the Mr., and it will have nothing to do with your outfits! How grand for the young couple that your wonderful example of an enduring marriage will be front and center for their big day.
You could wear a favorite dress or pretty suit with comfortable shoes because the men (maybe Mr. D. himself?) will be lining up to ask you for a dance. As for your husband, a suit or blazer and slacks with a tie will be fine.
And speaking of ties …
Dear Answer Angel: Here's something that has bothered me for years: Why in heck does a man wear a tie? He doesn't need it to hold his collar together and if he leans over, it just gets in the way (and/or attracts food stains). They're expensive, and then you have to pay to keep them cleaned. What purpose do they serve, anyway?
—Fit to Be Tied
Dear Fit: Ties are pointless, uncomfortable and magnets for spills of all kinds. But, the custom of a strip of cloth around a man's neck has been around since at least a few centuries B.C. and is here to stay.
However, more and more offices don't require ties, expanding casual Fridays to the entire week. But, when in doubt — say a job interview or business event — it's always a good idea to wear one so you're not labeled too casual, a slob or clueless.
Shop, drop, get help: You have problems? Who doesn't? But you have an angel (with attitude) on your shoulder. Send your questions — on style, shopping, etiquette, beauty to firstname.lastname@example.org. She's here to help. Or just want to vent? Bring it on. She's a good listener too.
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