August 26, 2010
You've got a gripe? You've come to the right place. Answer Angel is a one-cherub stop for all your complaining. Let's get started.
Greetings, Answer Angel: I'm reaching out to you in the hopes that you can save the women I saw over the weekend. Yes, linen is a wonderful, light summer fabric, however those same properties mean you must be extremely careful about your base layer undergarments! A pink bra with black lace (and matching thong) will show through your pink linen dress. The dress does not care if the straps match, the black lace will out!! Also, when wearing white linen pants, please do not wear polka dot undergarments. Thank you for letting me vent. Please pass this along if you think anyone will listen.
— Lisa A.
Dear Lisa: Amen, sister! I will never understand why people don't look in a mirror (in a well-lighted room) before they leave the house to prevent showing off their underwear to the world. And what ever happened to the idea of wearing a slip, or even pettipants (a slip with legs) to solve this problem? They do still sell them in stores and online. I checked. Also, before buying those linen pants, try them on and make absolutely sure you can't see through them, and that goes for fellas too! Finally, if the shirt is see-through, wear a camisole underneath it. End of rant. Thanks for asking.
Dear Answer Angel: Whatever happened to the idea of dressing decently for dinner in a restaurant? At the risk of sounding like an old fogey (I'm not), I'm appalled at what I sometimes see people show up in at what used to be fairly sophisticated venues: T-shirts, flip-flops, even sometimes shorts. Any thoughts?
— Crabby but still young(ish)
Dear Crabby: It's Slob Nation out there, and I'm pretty sure it will only get worse. Although it's not much solace, you and I can try to lead by example. We will keep making an effort, showing up looking our best — and hope (in vain?) that those around us get the message. I'm not optimistic. I was at a play the other night all dressed up for a nice evening out, and the woman sitting near me was wearing what appeared to be her yoga outfit.
Dear Answer Angel: You are a divine being and therefore have a perfect (if ephemeral) body, but for the rest of us imperfect creatures, please sort out all the conflicting and confusing advice about which body type pairs best with what style of jeans: boot cut, straight leg and skinny leg. Also, what shade of denim is most stylish or versatile now?
Dear Confused: You can't go wrong with dark denim. Alas, it's way too easy to pick the wrong style. If you doubt it, just look at all the women in those tight skinny-leg jeans who are calling attention to their least attractive body parts.
Some basic guidelines:
For the unsure: When in doubt, choose straight leg
Don't rush it: Allow several hours for trying on 20 or more to find an ideal fit
Say yes to a little spandex: It keeps jeans from bagging
The rear view: Your posterior looks bigger when pockets are too small
A clean line: Never let your pants touch the ground; heels and flats require different length jeans
Second opinion: Shop with a brutally honest friend
Dear Answer Angel: I recently tried to purchase a pair of shoes online. A day after receiving a confirmation e-mail, I received another e-mail from a customer service representative saying that due to an "inventory error" I will not be receiving my shoes. They have assured me that I will be refunded the money charged to my card. Will complaining accomplish anything?
— Shoeless Joe
Dear Joe: Always complain. In this recession, retailers need your business more than ever. Tell them you wanted the shoes. Assuming you have received the refund, tell them you wanted it faster. Suggest to the company — by e-mail or phone — that a generous discount on your next purchase would be a way to ease your pain and make you a happy shopper.
Dear Answer Angel: My niece is turning 21, and we want to get her a ring to celebrate her birthday, as my mom did for my sisters and me when we turned 21. Only problem: She's a hip young artist who prefers something "contemporary, architectural, deconstructed" in silver. That's not the kind of jewelry I wear or know. Any suggestions about where to shop?
— Mary K.
Dear Mary: For handmade stuff, etsy.com is the best place. But if you get bleary-eyed looking at the tens of thousands (yes, really!) of options there, one of my favorites is Katie Johansson's dollybirddesign.com.
Shop, drop, get help: Yearning for a friend (only better) to tell you what to choose, where to look, how to get good value? Relax, now you've got an angel on your shoulder. Send questions large and small to email@example.com
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