Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I’ve written you twice before about our mutual dislike of capri pants and all things capri-like. I hope I’m not being too optimistic, but am I seeing fewer women wearing capris or pedal pushers this summer? At least that’s my take of what I’m seeing in the city and some suburbs. I can only hope it’s true.
— Carolyn W.
Dear Carolyn: You’re absolutely correct, Carolyn. For years in this column I’ve been a broken record on why we should not wear pants that come to midcalf because they make our legs look stumpy. But, for a while now, I’ve not harped on the topic figuring my thoughts were well known and getting more than a little repetitive. But recently — and I am not taking any credit for this — I’ve noticed a big drop-off in capri sightings both in my travels in the United States and, more recently, in Europe too. I’ve been quietly jubilating (well, not that quietly, as my friends and family will tell you). Thanks for the opportunity to applaud this fashion change.
Why is it happening now? Because styles change periodically — in large part because designers want us to spend money on new things. But your question does offer me the opportunity to complain about a related capri-ish trend, which is the proliferation of leggings and exercise tights (Lululemon is just one example) that hit at midcalf. For both men and women, they make our legs look shorter than they really are. Who needs that?
And another style question…
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I’ve noticed lately that there’s been a return to ‘90s grunge fashion: oversized shirts, especially flannel checks, darker colors, combat boots, fanny packs, Doc Martens, Birkenstocks, stone washed and ripped jeans, etc. Why? And, should I go there? The look doesn’t appeal to me much.
— Tyler T.
Dear Tyler: In fashion, everything is cyclical. Singer Billie Eilish not that long ago was well known for her baggy grunge-adjacent look (which Chanel and Gucci created for her) until she wasn’t. Nowadays she’s appearing in more elegant, fitted designer wear. No need to go ‘90s baggy grunge if you don’t like it. Not every trend is flattering or even interesting. On the other hand, some ‘90s trends, like scrunchies — a serviceable ponytail holder — were so useful that they should never have gone out of style. I hope that now that they’re back in fashion they stay there.
A huge number of readers took time to tell me that, like Rosemary C., they have had trouble finding seamless socks for their super-sensitive, easily blistered feet. And they were thrilled to recommend a fast and easy solution: Turn the socks inside out and, as Lynette C. writes, “Problem solved!”
Betty N. buys men’s socks to solve her biggest socks complaint: too tight at the ankle. And she found some inexpensive ones at the Dollar Store. Marilyn J. and many others recommend socks specially designed for diabetics. She finds them well priced at drugstores.
Janet L. points out that hand-knit socks can be made without seams. (From Ellen: Knitting socks is not easy. I flunked that test more than once.) A local knit shop can put you in touch with skilled knitters who will make them for you: “This is not inexpensive but it is truly custom,” Janet says. David B. recommends MediPeds brand socks that he buys at Walmart (walmart.com, $16.50 for 4). Marion P. buys German Falke brand “Berlin” model sensitive socks (amazon.com, $13.97 and up).