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Answer Angel: Wardrobe double standards in TV news

By Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Why do women on TV newscasts look like they're dressed for a cocktail party and men look like they're dressed for business?

- Kathy K.

Dear Kathy: Ask any on-camera female news pro and she'll tell you that she gets massive numbers of unsolicited comments on her wardrobe, hair, makeup, jewelry and body parts. It's not fair but it is reality. There was a time when (usually male) news executives told women reporters and anchors how to dress, and the intention seemed to be to make them appear alluring, sexy or, at least, eye-catching. This is changing - not as fast as it should - as more women ascend to top news executive positions and female on-camera pros make their own choices on what to wear. In addition, for better or worse - and, in this case, better - men have a business "uniform." Women don't. It is easy for men (in television or in real life) to put on a suit and tie and they're done. Not so for women who have more choices to make. Rachel Maddow has neatly made this a nonissue by creating her own on-camera uniform of black or gray jackets worn over simple tops that don't distract from what she is saying. And for both women and men in television news, what they say, not what they wear, is what's crucial.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: How did it become fashionable to have only the front of a blouse or shirt tucked in? I just can't do it! What do you and your readers think of this?

- Laura K.

Dear Laura: You are not alone in thinking this is a terrible look. For a long time I thought it made no sense, but now I'm getting used to it - even though I can't bring myself to walk around half-tucked. Tan France, the fashion expert on the Netflix series "Queer Eye," calls this look the "French tuck." He employs it every chance he gets in his clothes makeovers for both men and women on the show. It's supposed to be a casual, cool look that's not as sloppy or haphazard as going fully untucked. There are loads of YouTube videos on how to effortlessly execute this style. Let's hear what you think of the French tuck (which sounds naughty but isn't).


Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I cannot find mascara that does not burn my eyes or will go on properly. I apply mascara on both the top and bottom lashes. Usually, what happens is I walk away from the mirror and my husband tells me I have black marks on the top of my cheeks. After I fix all this I then have problems with my eyes hurting. I think the burning is coming from the mascara. Can I get any makeup that will not cause this?

- Char B.

Dear Char: This is one of the most frequent makeup questions I hear from frustrated readers. Vegan products are a good option for you. lists 13 of these. is another resource. You'll find a list there of 10 of "The Best Mascaras That Won't Irritate Sensitive Eyes." When you find the perfect mascara that doesn't run, smear or burn, let me know so I can share it with others.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Is anyone else annoyed with gigantic hoods on coats? Unless your head would be the size of King Kong's, the hood slips forward so far that it's impossible to see. Manufacturers could save themselves a lot of money by reducing the size of those tent-sized hoods.


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