There’s a lot of looking out there. Not so much finding, though. Every day, frustrated shoppers ask me to locate what would seem to be simple items they can’t find in stores or online. While shopping can be fun it can also be frustrating – maddening really. That’s where I come in.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I hope you can help. I have searched high and low for a big brim hat to protect from the sun, or any hat come to think of it, that will fit me. But have had no success. Apparently, I have the smallest adult head in the universe. – Janis M.
Dear Janis: Adults with not-average head sizes – bigger or smaller than the norm – have a miserable time finding headgear that fits. My friend Barbara B. is an expert on this issue since she has expended a good deal of energy in pursuit of precisely what you’re looking for. You’re not going to want to hear this but, as she emails, “Friend, I am a fellow pin-head, and after years of searching have this fairly sad news to report: Almost no companies make hats by head size any more. The lone exception I have found is Tilley’s Endurables. Their classic sun hat is the Airflo: A great sun hat – but their smallest size, 6 7/8, is STILL a scooch too big for me. It’s almost perfect, and it has a chin strap to anchor it on windy days (and you won’t want it to blow away since it’s not cheap at $84). I plan to wash it and see if I can shrink it.”
Here are a few other options:
▪ Children’s hats. Some outdoor outfitters sell them and the size chart will tell you if the larger ones will suit you.
▪ Adjust. Hats with a drawstring or other sizing device in the band for adjustment.
▪ Custom made. This isn’t as expensive as it sounds. Etsy.com has lots of people who will make a hat to your specs. But you’ll have to work hard to explain exactly what you want so that the brim isn’t too floppy, the fabric isn’t too thin and/or it doesn’t look like a silly sun hat from the 1850s.
▪ Visors. Adjustable ones are ideal as long as they don’t give you a headache or the Velcro closure doesn’t yank out your hair.
▪ Chance. Says my friend Barbara, “Every once in a while you might encounter a hat that may have been accidentally made small. Naturally, you will lose that hat (I’m still crying over my beloved but lost bucket hat).”
▪ Vintage shops. Women decades ago wore more hats. Try on enough of them and you’ll find some (sun and otherwise) that fit you perfectly, but it is obviously a lot of trouble and not a sure bet.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: HELP. For years I wore a Max Factor lipstick and LOVED IT. I have searched everywhere including online for discontinued Max Factor lipsticks and have had no luck. It’s a black tube with a fuchsia bottom and on the bottom it says 52. On the side it says MAX in dots and FACTOR underneath. When you open the tube it says 3 g (1.3 ounces) Procter & Gamble.
If you know any way I can get this lipstick I will be the happiest person. No lipstick has done it for me since then. – Marlene K.
Dear Marlene: I am not going to make you as happy as I would like to. I think what you’re looking for is Max Factor Vivid Impact Lipcolor #52 (color name: Romp) and while I found other colors in the line by searching the Internet, all the 52s I thought I’d located were sold out. But, don’t despair quite yet. If you have a tiny sample of the old lipstick there are companies that can custom blend it – for a price. You’ll pay $30 a tube at threecustom.com or giella.com. There are websites that specialize in discontinued cosmetics (overstockcosmetics.com, buymebeauty.com)but alas they don’t have what you’re looking for. Keep searching eBay.com (where there were no 52s when I checked). Temptalia.com has a “dupe list” that enables you to find duplicates for a limited number of discontinued products (not yours, though). Sometimes you can find discontinued cosmetics by contacting the manufacturer, which will sell their leftovers direct until they’re gone. Finally, you didn’t ask but if your fragrance is discontinued I’ve had great luck with aromaworkshop.com, which creates its own scents but also duplicates some popular ones.