Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I read in your column that you’re a big fan of women’s jumpsuits because they’re a one-stop solution for “what to wear.” But you didn’t mention men’s jumpsuits. Are they considered fashionable, or would I be laughed out of town if I wore one?
— Thomas J.
Dear Thomas: Jumpsuits for men are high fashion and turning up on runways all over the place. To say they’re not for Everyman is an understatement. But if you hang out with people who are on the cutting edge, plenty of moderately priced options won’t make you regret experimenting without the wallet pain of Prada, Bode, Alexander McQueen, etc.
Macy’s (macys.com), to cite one example, carries the Indiana-based Berne label, the venerable workwear brand (established 1915). They’re from Berne’s “heritage collection” at prices under $50. And, in the same what’s-old-is-new-again vein, my grandpa wore bib denim overalls on his Ohio farm for practical/frugal reasons. Overalls too are enjoying a fashion moment. Workhorse utility brands like Levi’s, Carhartt, Lee and Dickies all sell them.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I am sick and tired of hauling out an ironing board and iron to get the wrinkles out of clothes. This is especially irritating when the fabric is supposedly no-iron, wrinkle-free. Got any suggestions?
— Maya P.
Dear Maya: Try a clothes steamer. It isn’t a perfect solution but will work quickly and pretty painlessly on most jobs.
I wanted the steamer I bought to make my all-cotton pillowcases feel like they’d been professionally laundered and pressed. Nope. And if the job requires a sharp crease, forget it. You will still need to haul out your iron for those.
However, the steamer does work on everyday wrinkles and is especially useful on delicate fabrics like silk or wrinkle-magnets like linen. It will save you on dry cleaning bills.
The consumer testing site I favor, wirecutter.com, led me to the Conair CompleteSteam handheld steamer (amazon.com, $24). But you need to follow instructions scrupulously to keep it from leaving wet spots, which can stain a silk blouse or dress. It is too bulky for travel, but some hotels are catching on and starting to offer in-room steamers instead of traditional irons and boards.
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