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Answer Angel: Your bra questions

Ellen Warren, Tribune News Service on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I am making my first live, in-person — not virtual — presentation for work and I’m clueless about what to wear. The only time I’ve talked to work groups at all has been on Zoom and everyone was dressed casually — no ties or jackets for any of the men, even the boss. Any suggestions on what I should wear in this new (to me) face-to-face reality? Since this is the first time I’m meeting people I’ve only talked to on the phone I’m trying to fit in and make a good impression.

— James

Dear James: Unless it is a truly straight-laced group where the men in attendance are likely to be wearing suits and ties, you’re fine with business casual: slacks or chinos with a button shirt and regular (not gym) shoes. If you’re worried you’ll be underdressed, bring along a blazer or jacket with a tie in the pocket and check out what the group is wearing before you give your talk. You can always ask the person in charge of the scheduling for guidance.

After my rant about the flimsy removable foam cups that fit into slots in some bras, I was swamped with more bra complaints. Here goes…

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Any solution to bra straps that slip off your shoulders?

— Sher C.

Dear Sher: Lots. But first, consider you might be wearing the wrong bra size. Is the band too big? If it rides up, that could be why the straps are slipping off your shoulders. Also the bra style might be your problem.

As for solutions, I found four priced at under $5 on (Search for “bra straps slipping.”). Starting at $2.11 are silicone pads you slip under your bra strap that keep them in place but also cushion your shoulder. For under $3 is an adjustable elastic that attaches in the back to both straps, pulling them closer together. Starting at $3.95 for 12, try plastic clips that are designed to convert a regular bra to a racer back configuration and also stop the slipping. Finally, shoulder strap “retainers” have been around for decades. They snap on to your bra strap and you safety pin them to your clothing, starting at $4.04.


Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I totally agree about how maddening those pads are! Why do manufacturers think they are such a great idea? Let’s ask readers if anyone knows of any sports bras that have sewn-in pads like in the old days? I’ve been searching for years.

— Judy S.

Dear Judy: Done! Readers, please help Judy — and many other frustrated women I’ve heard from on this topic. Send me your recommendations (including detailed info like model numbers, etc.).

And one fan of the slots for removable pads:

From Mary M.: “On the flip side, for breast cancer survivors, I am so happy now that many bra manufacturers include these openings for pads. With one in eight women diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during their lives, it’s a step forward for those who need it. It is wonderful to not have to buy special bras my prosthetic form slides into.”

Reader Rant

Deb L. writes: “This is a rant AND a question: I’ve been trying to buy more resale clothing on sites like ThredUP, Poshmark, eBay, etc., for cost savings as well as environmental impact. I’ve made some great finds. and even bought some things I’ve loved, owned previousy and worn out. I’ve noticed that literally every item I buy that says it’s New With Tags (NWT) may not be. I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed this? There’s only one tag, sometimes pretty beat-up and to me it appears it was reattached. I’m assuming it’s not that hard to reattach tags and I even get why people might retag something, believing they’d get a higher price if it’s sold as ‘new.’ Unless it doesn’t fit, I usually keep the item if it truly looks new or almost new. But I wish people would be truthful about it. I really don’t mind buying New Without Tags (NWOT) or worn once or almost-new and just want to know. Is this a thing or am I wrong?”

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