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Answer Angel: Uniform thinking

Ellen Warren, Tribune News Service on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Answer Angel Ellen: When I was in an all-girls high school, we had to wear uniforms and we hated them. We did everything you could imagine to test the limits of what we viewed as asinine regulations.

Decades later, I envy people who are required to wear uniforms. I waste so much time trying to figure out what to wear…anywhere.

Can you provide some guidelines that will narrow down my choices and give me the confidence that I’m suitably dressed? I don’t aspire to be a fashionista. I just want to be appropriately dressed for the occasion without standing in front of my closet, fretting about what to wear.

--Lily P.

Dear Lily: If it is any comfort, millions of us feel the same way.

As I’ve said so many times: In fashion there are no rules, just common sense guidelines. If you think it will make you uncomfortable (fit, color, too revealing, too dressy, too casual), make a different choice. The internet is loaded with advice and examples for any and all events. You’ll also find loads of lists like “10 items everyone should have in a ‘capsule’ wardrobe:” A white button up shirt, neutral well-fitting pants, etc. etc.

Even women with more money than we could dream of sometimes make wrong choices. For example: Lauren Sanchez arriving with fiance Jeff Bezos at a White House dinner in a semi-transparent red corset dress that screamed Las Vegas showgirl. We commoners make plenty of mistakes too, without such international ridicule.

Here are a few basic guidelines:

--Simplify: A solid color dress, pants, shorts, a skirt and shirt that fit well are your canvas.

--Your comfort is crucial: If you will be tugging, adjusting or your shoes hurt, those are not good choices.

--Accessorize! Jewelry, a noteworthy jacket, a scarf, a belt, a colorful shoe, can work miracles to transform a basic outfit.

--Check your image in a mirror before walking out the door. It could make all the difference and it is a crucial first and last step.


Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My problem is this: My T-shirts hung up in my closets develop holes -- always in the same place, right at the waist area, and only there.

At first I thought it might be a fault in the brand, but other brands developed this problem as well. Then, even though I hadn’t seen any, I thought of moths, so I got a great moth-killing agent, and I also asked an exterminator to treat the closet. The holes continued.

More research told me that silverfish might be the culprit. As I am an avid reader, it is possible that I would have silverfish in my books, so I looked through my books and saw nary a one. And what makes it really weird is that it is only the T-shirts that develop holes! All my other clothes don’t.

Do you have any thoughts as to what might be making these holes? I truly appreciate any ideas you may have.

--Amy S.

Dear Amy: Check your kitchen! Are your counters or kitchen island made of granite, soapstone, quartz, concrete, butcher block? I’ll bet that’s your culprit.

Your holes have nothing to do with an infestation in your closet. It’s tiny rough edges of the counter. The loose knit, flimsy cotton or cotton blend of those T-shirts is likely catching on the small—perhaps nearly unnoticeable--dings in the counter. Other more substantial, closely-knit fabrics are not nearly as susceptible.

To test this theory, take one of your wrecked shirts and run the fabric along any counter edges it might have come in contact with. And let me know what you discover. If I’m right, one easy solution is to always wear an apron when working in your kitchen.

Angelic Readers

EVL writes: “For your reader Barb who was having a hard time finding hats for her small head: One of the components in many hats is an inner band, aka sweat band. If the band is only sewn on only one edge, there is an easy fix:

(1) Get some insulating foam strip (as used in some window casing) of about a quarter-inch thickness. (2) Unfold the inner band, i.e., fold it out of the hat. (3) Cut a few inches of the foam strip. (4) Affix the adhesive strip side of the foam to the inside of the sweatband, at the back of the hat. (5) Fold the sweat band back into place and try it on. (6) Adjust the amount of foam strip as needed. In lieu of the foam strip, some people have just rolled/folded some tissue paper and used that.”

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