April 12, 2013
Dear Answer Angel: I've decided that due to the onset of middle-aged spread and its evil twin, cellulite, I'd probably be doing myself and everyone else a favor if I didn't walk around our community pool in just my swimsuit. So I thought I'd try one of those long, gauzy wraps around my bottom half — but I'm not really sure how they work. Do you just knot it around your waist and that's it? I'm up for any ideas.
— Tying One On
Dear Tying One On: First of all, you are not alone. Almost no one who has reached puberty looks good in swimwear. Those wraps you're talking about are also known as sarongs and pareos, and boy do they come in handy for hiding the bobbly bits at beach or pool. The two easiest ways are to simply take the top two ends and tie them in a secure knot at one hip, or wrap it like a towel and tuck it in. If your beach wrap is wide enough, these methods can also cover your top, sort of like a dress. You can also cross the ends and tie them around your neck like a halter dress. For a fast tutorial try this YouTube video: bit.ly/Y0CMqf.
Meanwhile, store buyers are finally catching on to the fact that we really want to show as little flesh as possible poolside. They're now offering more coverage with swim skirts and swim shorts to pair with a swim top. And I've noticed that the celebs frolicking at exotic beaches pictured in People Magazine etc. are often wearing long-sleeve T-shirts designed for swimming. This is a trend we can all embrace. Land's End (landsend.com) is a good place to start for swimwear pieces that cover.
Dear Answer Angel: I was wondering if you can wear pantyhose with sling back pumps?
Dear Jill: Yes you can! Hosiery is back — and for many of us it never went anywhere. Sure, bare legs are still popular. But Kate Middleton and common sense tell us that there's nothing wrong with hosiery. And that goes for wearing it with sling back shoes too. Frankly, a lot of us have feet that won't stand up to much scrutiny, and covering them, even a little, makes a lot of sense. With your sling backs choose very sheer flesh tone only. Tinted hose and tights just don't look right. Another point: Hosiery and peep-toe or open-toe shoes are an absolute don't. If you don't feel comfortable with bare legs in those styles, don't buy them in the first place.
Dear Answer Angel: I have been looking for a simple everyday necklace to wear that won't break the bank. Any suggestions of some online sources for a delicate necklace that goes with work clothes? I am a middle school teacher out of college for just a couple years without a big budget.
Dear Emily: The problem with your question is that there are too many answers. When my friends ask me where to buy jewelry that's special but not too expensive, I send them to designer Erin Gallagher's egjewelry.com, where you can buy one of Gallagher's creations or design your own by choosing a style, genuine gems and the type of chain. It's easy and many are less than $100. Also, there's always etsy.com, where you can spend hours scrolling through the choices. When I last checked, there were 6,164 necklaces less than $25. This is not a place to go if you have trouble making up your mind. For on-trend and virtually disposable jewelry of all sorts and every imaginable color, I'm wild about Charming Charlie. which has stores in 35 states (charmingcharlie.com for locations). But, it's revamping its website, and it won't be back until fall. Check back then.
Dear Answer Angel: In a moment of weakness, I recently purchased a bottle of foundation/moisturizer by Make Up Forever. So now I love it, but by no means can I afford the price tag on a regular basis. There seem to be lots of drugstore options, but I don't want to spend money trying all the different brands. Do you know of a cheaper option?
— Anna E.
Dear Anna: I wrote a column earlier this year about drugstore dupes — cheaper drugstore makeup that mimics the more expensive boutique-y stuff: trib.in/X5X6XC. A good website to find cheaper substitute products is the searchable "dupe list" at temptalia.com. If you don't find what you want, it's a trial and error situation, I'm afraid. But many drugstores will take back makeup after you've used it if you don't like it. But ask before you buy.
Dear Answer Angel: Is there a rule? How short is too short for your age when it comes to summer shorts? Like after 40, they should be knee length?
— B-town Peggy
Dear Peggy: There are no rules. If you're 40-plus and look like Jennifer Aniston, sure, wear short shorts. But if you have to ask you probably already know the answer. Longer is better as those legs start to show their age. As you know, I detest capris (make legs look stumpy) but why not try a floaty dress or summer skirt to the knee or just below?
Dear Answer Angel: A few years ago I found a great pair of navy shorts for exercising in the gym, flat front, mesh fabric, nice side stripes and Bermuda length. The shorts are nearly worn out. Although I have continued to look for similar designs, most active wear is either very, very short shorts or long black capris. Any suggestions?
Dear Vicki: Try the boys' or men's department. That's where you'll find them.
I really hate the very, very loud music they play in stores! It makes me walk out!
Dear D.S.: I'm with you! And it's getting worse. I do a U-turn when the music makes me want to hold my hands over my ears.
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