Answer Angel: A solution for thigh chafe

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: The weather is warming up where I live and I love to wear cute dresses and skirts. My problem is chafing, specifically thigh chafe. Obviously this doesn’t happen when I’m wearing shorts or pants. I’ve tried anti-chafing balm, stick, salve and cream and the whole application process doesn’t work for me. I’m a little embarrassed to discuss this with friends so I’m turning to you.

— No Initials Please

Dear No Initials: Don’t be embarrassed. This is common.

What you are looking for are shorts specifically designed for chafe prevention. Many underwear, shapewear and thigh-rub-specific companies sell them: Jockey, Spanx, Knix and lots more. Prices range from $11.99 to over $40, and they come in varying lengths, skin tones and colors. While I haven’t tested any, I know from past disappointments with other underwear items I’ve purchased — itchy seams, rolling up (and down), don’t survive repeated washings, poorly proportioned — that quality varies widely. I wouldn’t skimp on price on these shorts, which also protect your modesty. Before you purchase, carefully study the return policies. A friend I trust is happy with her Knix 6-inch “non-compression” Thigh Saver model (, $36). They come in six skin tones, and there’s a 30-day return policy with free shipping in the U.S. and Canada.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: On a recent splurge stay at a Four Seasons, I really liked the smell of the unisex Le Labo Santal 33 sample in our room. In general, I’m not a fan of men wearing scent, but this was subtle — and expensive! I went online to discover the Eau de Parfum starts at $97 for a tiny 1/2-ounce bottle. Ouch! I’m kind of hooked on the scent but finding it hard to spend that much. What are my options, if any?

— Mike S.

Dear Mike: I had never heard of Le Lebo, so I had to do some homework. I learned Santal 33 is a cult fragrance favored by various celebrities. As you point out, it is quite expensive.

Le Labo ( describes the fragrance as “the scent of an open fire … a soft drift of smoke.” You could try the Santal 33 “perfuming body lotion,” a smaller investment of $75 for eight ounces. An eight-ounce bar of soap (sold out on the website) is a mere $54.

But wait, many companies have rushed to come out with duplicates that allegedly smell the same at vastly less. An internet search will tell you where to buy, though no guarantees that these “dupes” or “inspired by” substitutes will thrill you as much as the real thing. On the subject of men wearing scents — cologne or body spray — I usually dislike it, especially when men overdo it, as is sometimes the case. Don’t get me started on Axe Body Spray. As for Santal 33, I tried it at a department store counter and must say it does have a nice smell.

Angelic Readers

One more fluffy/absorbent towels suggestion for reader George D.: Barbara B. likes the Hudson Park Collection at Bloomingdale’s, where “the store towel buyer gave me the secret: warm water, very little detergent, NEVER fabric softener and dry on low, even if you have to run it repeatedly.” Barbara says, “This has totally worked for me.”

Reader Rant

Hannah, P. writes, “I have stopped strangers in the street to tell them that Dawn dishwashing liquid is blue that will stain! I used it on friends’ advice on how well it works on clothing stains. Well, it left a totally blue stain I could never remove and now I only use clear liquid dishwashing liquid — usually Ivory. Am I the only one who has had this happen? I want others to be warned about this.”

Send your questions and rants – on style, shopping, fashion, makeup and beauty – to [email protected].