Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Where can we get fashionable plain white T-shirts that aren’t so thin you can see through them? (Like the ones Gap, Ann Taylor, J. Jill, Banana Republic, etc. are selling.) Some of my friends have been buying men’s undershirts, but surely there’s a better solution. – Susan Elizabeth P.
Dear Susan: Yes, there is a better solution. You and your friends have been shopping too upscale. T-shirts from Wal-Mart are what you’re looking for. The Hanes, Faded Glory and Danskin brands sold there give you the coverage you want at the price you deserve. (Sounds like a commercial, doesn’t it?) All of them are under $8, so stock up. I also like the tees at Uniqlo (uniqlo.com)..
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I was paging through a fashion magazine and loved the knee-high gladiator sandals. Before I invest in a pair, I’d like to hear what do you think about this style. – Mira B.
Dear Mira: I’m throwing down a caution flag on this one. Honestly, I am surprised these trendy shoes are still in fashion after a good run last summer. But here’s why you should think twice: If you have nice legs, why hide them with all those infernal straps? And if you’ve got fat ankles and calves (aka cankles), why call attention to them? Furthermore, many gladiator models don’t have adjustable straps so they either will cut off your circulation or be too loose. Still want ’em? I wouldn’t go over $100 because you'll be tired of them by August.
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Dear Answer Angel Ellen: What advice do you have for introducing spring fashion into an office environment where black still reigns supreme? – Katherine
Dear Katherine: I love black mainly because it’s so easy. Just a great accessory or two and make a look all your own. I put your question to style expert Joyce Sobczyk (theclosetconsult.com) who suggests, “Wear black cigarette-style ankle length pants with a gorgeous hot pink cashmere V-neck and a floral scarf at the neck. Keep it classic with some attitude. Don’t forget an awesome suede or metallic flat.”
And two more spring fashion questions…
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My question is, what are some inexpensive and fun wardrobe updates for spring and summer. And, what items to ditch? – Answer Angel Fan J.S.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: It’s time for decisions about what to do for spring. Floral prints; do I have to? I’m not six any more. Other ideas? – Jane A.
Dear J. S. and Jane: I’ve never been a big fan of prints, period. (Well, I take that back. I couldn’t live without leopard.) But generally, prints are too memorable. You can’t wear a floral dress too often or people will think you don’t have any other clothes. It’s accessories that will give your basics a spring tuneup. One bold item – orange flats, great dangly earrings, a scarf wrapped around your neck (YouTube has more how-to tying tutorials than you can watch in a lifetime), a bright red cross-body bag – is all you need. Shop thrift stores, Target, Aldo, Charming Charlie to get a lot of bang for your fashion buck.
As for what to ditch, capri pants (you knew I was going there, didn’t you!) and any stretchy fabric that clings to body parts that you would rather de-emphasize. Stretch jersey is a fashion abomination right up there with those low-rider pants.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Do you have to iron linen or is it OK to wear it a little wrinkled (isn’t that part of its charm or am I just lazy?). – Pam
Dear Pam: I’m with you. I love to wear linen in hot summer and I hate to iron. But linen clothes straight from the dryer look hellish. If you line dry them, they'll be passable. My best advice, though painful, is run an iron over them. Of course they'll wrinkle with wear and I agree with you that that is part of their charm – or, at least, inevitable. One more thing: I would never say you’re lazy because you don’t like ironing. Jeez. But there are ways to make ironing (slightly) less of a chore. I'll be writing about that in a few weeks.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Have you found any pants that fit? The low-risers make my stomach stick out even more! I also don’t find the rolls hanging over the tight pants attractive! – Barbara M.
Dear Barbara: Low-rise pants are one of retail’s greatest mysteries. Please tell me who looks good in them. And let’s be clear, Mom Jeans are NOT the only alternative. NYDJ (nydj.com) makes flattering styles that help avoid muffin top. I know you have to be in the right mood to shop for pants (especially jeans) so don’t start your hunt until you’re ready to spend a lot of time in the dressing room trying on many different styles.
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