Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Since you’ve written so often about how much you dislike capri pants, I am surprised you haven’t offered an opinion on the new “cropped flares” that are flooding stores. What thinketh thou?
— Marg E.
Dear Marg: I think I droppeth the ball on this one. I should have written about this recent twist on capris when I first spotted them a couple months back. For those who haven’t caught up with this new fashion trend: Don’t.
If you aren’t familiar with them, they’re bell-bottom capris. They go by an array of names: flare capris, kick flares, flare pants. By any name, they have all the disadvantages of capri pants (making your legs look stumpy) with the added downside of calling even more attention to the calf and ankle — an especially unwelcome development for those of us with short legs and/or fat ankles! They come in all fabrics (including denim) and they are just frightful. You can buy them at Walmart and Target or at Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and boutiques all over. Just say no.
Dear Answer Angel: I’ve noticed that celebrities and influencers (Lizzo, Hailey Bieber) and just regular people like the cashiers at Walgreens are now favoring pointy talon-like false nails. I’m tempted but wary. Have you tried them? If so, what’s your opinion?
— MacKenzi J.
Dear MacKenzi: I haven’t tried them because I have enough trouble typing on my cellphone with the short (but still fake) acrylic nails that I favor. Clearly longer pointy ones are even harder to manage everyday chores with. Ah, the price of beauty. And judging from the traffic in my nail salon — women with pointy nails coming in for repairs of a single nail — they’re not easy to maintain. Hailey and Lizzo, of course, have nail experts on call 24-7. Even with my shorties I have trouble pulling my credit card out of the slot at the gas pump. And I had to stop a guy on the street to extract my card from the parking pay kiosk. Wear them at your own risk.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: So many tights and pantyhose makers offer no indication of which is front and which is back. I find myself wrestling into them only to find I’ve put them on backwards. Why don’t they have labels to save women from this aggravation?
— Trisha T.
Dear Trisha: To distinguish front from back would cost the manufacturer more and thus cut into the company’s profits. Every little bit counts. That said, the simple solution is adding a tiny safety pin to the waistband. Or, take a couple stitches with a bright colored thread at the back of the waistband. Even a Sharpie can help you distinguish which is front. Among other problems the lack of marking leads women in the second wearing of their hose to wind up with the scraggly-looking part of the hosiery that had been at the heel in the first wearing now showing up on the top of the foot, which is not a good look.
Who knew that reader Barb B. would kick off an Answer Angel controversy? I’m being flooded with opinions from readers who are pro and con what Barb called “those cursed toothpaste flip tops” that get gunked up and gross and “you can’t squeeze the toothpaste out.”
A sampling of readers from both sides: Nancy M. writes, “I thought I was the only one who has problems with a gloppy mess accumulating on my toothpaste flip caps! I searched the internet and couldn’t find anything on this subject so I resorted to this: After using up a tube I took off the cap, soaked it in a cup of warm water until it was clean and set it aside. When the newly opened tube cap got gloppy, I replaced it with the clean “old” cap and then I just switch back and forth when a cap gets messy. Unfortunately this is not a solution for preventing a messy cap, just my way of dealing with it.” Lexine P. says, “I like the flip top toothpaste caps because they allow me to stand the tube up to save room in the medicine cabinet. The cap can still be screwed off to dispense the paste.”