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What to do with those unruly little bra 'pads'

By Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Many of the bras and bralettes I buy have removable triangular "pads." The problem is that during the wash cycle, the bra pads migrate around the inside of the bra or come out completely. These skimpy things are the devil to get back in place through the slots they slip in and out of inside of the bras. Meanwhile, when dislodged from the bra, they cling to other clothes in the washer and are hard to find (same as socks) in the load of wash. Oh, one more thing, even in expensive bras (including running/exercise bras), the pads are so flimsy that the "tricot" covering of the foam pads starts to peel off, leaving the foam exposed. The naked foam is almost like Velcro, making it even harder to locate in dried laundry and to relocate back to their proper placement. Is there a simple answer to all this?

- Jonie P.

Dear Jonie: So annoying! Of course, you can safety pin the pads to the bra, but as the pads get older they fold or scrunch up inside the bra even when pinned. However, there is a better way. I'm happy with the replacement pads I bought to replace the flimsy ones that come in the bra. They're the same size but more substantial than the flimsy ones - thicker and stiffer, but not in a bad way - and stay in place better. And because the edges are sewn, unlike the flimsies, they don't peel and stand up better to the wash cycle. Mine by TopBine were three pairs for $10.99 on Amazon.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My Facebook feed is filled with ads for super cute clothes - mostly dresses - that are well priced, from China-based websites. Are they legit? Do the clothes actually arrive? How is the quality and the sizing? Should I give them a try? Are they all a rip-off?

- Mari J.

Dear Mari: Like many readers, I've been cleaning out my closets and finding that the last thing I need are more "super cute clothes." I don't wear most of the ones I already own. But I get it. In this pandemic, stuck at home, the itch to shop is fierce and who doesn't love a bargain? So, I talked to several shoppers about their experience with these clothing sites.


Pam J. told me she was happy overall but warned that shipping took 10 days to three months. Also, "the sizes are different than U.S. clothing and at first I didn't take that into consideration. And often the fabric isn't what you thought it would be." For Pam, "It's like a game. Will or won't I get this? Will I or won't I like 'em?"

Claire W. ordered a cute summer dress for $30 and it arrived relatively quickly and looked relatively the same as the photo she saw online. She too was satisfied. But a very cursory online search turns up plenty of unhappy shoppers, too. And they post pictures of the lousy merchandise to illustrate why.

Personally I wouldn't risk it, but if you decide to give it a try:

- Do your homework. Search the internet for reports of scams at the sites you're considering. Many of the different websites are owned by the same companies and the sites come and go, so not finding complaints online isn't a guarantee that the site is legit.


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