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Answer Angel: Socks with sandals?

Ellen Warren, Tribune News Service on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My partner and I have an ongoing dispute about wearing socks with sandals. He’s a fan. I think it is a bad look — a nerdy, “clueless tourist” style. Who is right?

— Brooke K.

Dear Brooke: It hurts me to say this but you’re both right. Personally, I’m on your side. I wouldn’t wear socks with sandals. However, for trendsetters like entertainers, professional athletes, models and style “influencers,” it’s trendy. The look can be considered fashionable and ironic at the same time. Actress Chloe Sevigny favors wearing little-girl style white anklets (with inexpensive Teva sandals no less), and in fashion circles she’s considered genius for the outfits she puts together. People photographed in this combo include Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Katie Holmes and so many more. An internet search will instruct you how to wear what socks with which sandals and plenty of online images of famous people favor this look. But if you spend time in any drugstore or grocery store, you’ll see a whole lot of people who are the opposite of trendsetters also wearing socks with sandals.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: During the recent holiday season, I did a lot of gift-wrapping for friends and family. Throughout the year I save cute wrapping paper, ribbons and gift bags (which are expensive!) and reuse them. When I presented a friend one of his presents he laughed and said it was in the same gift bag that I used last Christmas. Isn’t reuse like this a good thing? Or do I look like a cheapskate?

— Angelique B.

Dear Angelique: You’re a smart and frugal consumer. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Reusing wrappings, ribbons, boxes, gift bags is one more way to conserve resources. I’d try to avoid using wrapping paper with fold lines and areas where the tape has marred the paper, but you can work around those. Lots of people wrap gifts in recyclable newspaper, brown kraft paper or even furoshiki, Japanese cloth wraps.

Angelic Readers


For Melissa A., who is faced with totally refurnishing her home after a weather disaster, readers stepped up with more suggestions for bargain shopping (and a cautionary note) …

Monica M. writes: “There are also now many, many websites for getting things FREE — yes, even nice furniture and appliances. These aren’t scammy sales sites, just people giving away to keep things off landfills and avoid the bagging and schlepping to thrift stores, etc. I’ve long been a fan of, where the sole purpose is people offer (and ask for) items as small as pens up to working appliances. Just search for your town/city to get great local finds. If it’s not big in your area, there’s Craigslist Free section,, and now many neighborhoods have ‘Buy Nothing’ Facebook groups. Start following some or all of those and you’ll be amazed what you can get and not waste money and earth’s resources on new stuff.” She also recommends “alley capitalism” — scoring stuff people discard on the curb or in the alley. (From Ellen: I found a West Elm end table that way.)

Michele B.’s dad told of a woman in his building who purchased a used sofa “at a great price” and infested her unit and others with bedbugs. (From Ellen: The internet will tell you how to check used furniture for bedbugs, which are the devil to get rid of.)

Barbara L.’s advice for Melissa is an online search for local estate sales. Barbara scored a gorgeous rug and other treasures for pennies on the dollar.

Reader Rant

Alexis D.: “Why are coat makers sewing their brand labels onto sleeves for all to see? It may only be a 2-inch satin tag, but they’re near impossible to remove. I used tiny pointed scissors and seam rippers but these suckers were anchored. No thank you, DKNY, whose tag removal left a missing line of wool on one side. Calvin Klein’s came off a little easier, but still was a ten-minute operation. These were $400 coats (marked down, thank you Macy’s, to $129 and $87) and what makes designers think we’d want those look-like-they-should-be-removed tags advertising their brand on a dressy coat?”

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