4:47 PM EDT, June 2, 2011
Dear Answer Angel: Is it OK to wear shorts to work? Not short shorts, obviously — but the Bermuda length ones I've seen that often come with a matching tailored jacket, so it looks like a suit? And then what kind of shoes do you wear? Can you wear heels with shorts? And do you need stockings as well?
—Puzzled but Hopeful
Dear Puzzled: Short answer: Maybe. Slightly longer answer: It depends. I personally am not a fan of this look for work. Not everybody agrees with me. Susan Swimmer, fashion features editor for More magazine is much more open-minded. She says shorts are fine "if you're in a less traditional work environment." But, "they must be longer — hit just above the knee." Fabric is important, she says, "not silky that's going to stick to you." Hosiery? She recommends against it. Shoes? Ballet flats or loafers; not sandals, not heels or peep toes. Swimmer says, "Don't try to overdress shorts. It's not a cocktail dress. It's an informal casual look." And, one more thing: "You've got to have good legs." My own view is that if a female boss at your work place wouldn't wear them to the office, you shouldn't either.
Dear Answer Angel: As I've been watching NBA games all season, I've noticed that so many of the players have really bad acne. My theory is that they are not cleaning their faces properly. They sweat heavily throughout the game or during practice and when they hop in the shower I bet the only cleaning they do is whatever water hits their face. Any recommendations for improving these guys' complexions?
Dear R.R.: "Get a bar of soap!" says dermatologist Douglas Robins. Washing with soap and water is the first thing these guys (or lesser humans like you and me) should do after working up a sweat. "Surprisingly, a lot of people don't even bother to use soap," said Robins, a vice president of the Florida Society of Dermatology who practices in Jacksonville. Any soap or body wash is fine, he said, if it's used regularly. "Just the standard things you buy at the super market." If that doesn't work, "They certainly can afford to go to the dermatologist," Robins said.
Dear Answer Angel: Help me, please. I'm looking for a woman's denim skirt that is not a pencil skirt. I've looked at Carson's and Kohl's, and Target, Walmart and Sears, but the few I've seen have tiers in them and are too short. I've seen what they call skorts but they're too short. I know I'm showing my age here but years ago they were cowboy skirts and now I can't find them. I have hips and a behind and I don't look so hot in the new denim skirts. I'm a woman in my fifties and the new skirts are too short for my assets. Any help would be appreciated.
— Tired of looking
Dear Tired: Look no more! How's this for the perfect website for your needs: denimskirts.com. The selection is staggering. They've got long denim skirts in petite, regular, tall, extra tall, maternity and plus sizes. Phew! Wait, there's more. If you don't find what you want there, check out the Soft Surroundings catalog. The lovingly-written descriptions of the clothes make you want to order everything! At softsurroundings.com, I found a pleated denim skirt that might be just what you're looking for for $68.95.
Dear Answer Angel: Since I'm a long-time reader of your column, I thought of you immediately when my daughter asked for my help. She will be 43 in July, and has just been promoted to a managerial position. Her problem is her indecision as to what type of clothing looks best on her and would be appropriate for someone in her position. Her figure is probably what we would call "hourglass". Finally, to get to the point, she said she wished she could find someone who could guide her to the proper styles of clothing for her size at a moderate cost. Do you have any suggestions?
Dear Judy: Of course I do! Big department stores are confusing and often terribly organized but here's the good part. Often they have personal shoppers on the staff whose job, at no charge, is to shop the store and offer style advice. Call and make an appointment but be sure to ask beforehand if there is a fee or if they work on commission. If the answer is yes, call a different store. You'll need to be clear about your budget and do not feel obligated to buy. Establish a relationship and your shopper will alert you to sales and help build a work wardrobe little by little.
Dear Answer Angel: I'm getting married soon and have come across quite a few sticky situations throughout the planning process! Here's two of the stickiest.
Although we're not very close, I invited my sister's best friend because she has taken part in a lot of family events in the past. She was not invited with a guest. However, she accepted the invitation and wrote that both she and her boyfriend would attend. What is the appropriate response to this? Also, is it bad form to not invite the priest who is celebrating our Mass? Neither my fiancé nor I are particularly close to the priest. We've only met with him a couple times in preparation for the big day.
Dear Chris: I just got off the phone with celebrity wedding planner Colin Cowie who has strong opinions on these issues. He says get your sister to tell the best friend she can't bring a date — in a nice way. "You need a good cop and a bad cop," says Cowie, who is never the bad cop — and the bride shouldn't be either. But, says Cowie, it's always "a no-no" to say you're bringing a guest when the invite was just for one. As for the person who is marrying you? If it's someone you barely know "they don't need to be invited to the reception," says Cowie.
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