Answer Angel: How to save a beloved stuffed animal

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My godson and his wife just welcomed their first child. I was trying to figure out what might be a memorable gift for the new baby. When my godson Trevor was born, I gave him a stuffed little white polar bear that he loved and dragged around everywhere until he started first grade.

I called his mom (my sister) to see whatever happened to the polar bear he named “Whitey.” (By the time he was done carrying it with him all the time, it definitely did not live up to its name. It was worn, dirty and bedraggled.) I asked if Whitey, by any chance, was still around, and Trevor’s mom said it was in a box with his other outgrown toys in her basement.

I thought that if I could get it repaired and spiffed up, it would be the perfect, sentimental gift for the new baby. I know I can’t bring Whitey back to top shape but is there a service that does such restorations?

— Mary Catherine T.

Dear Mary Catherine: My go-to when I’m looking for someone with specialized skills or artistry is always The handcraft experts I have found there have been remarkably talented (although generally not cheap). A search there for “repair stuffed animal” turns up many impressive “before” and “after” photos. And there are specialists who also repair shredded childhood blankies too. Let me know if you decide to try one and, if you do, be sure to send me before and after photos of Whitey.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I am not up-to-date on fashion trends, but photos of Taylor Swift wearing long black gloves with her white gown while accepting her Grammys were everywhere. I don’t go to many formal events, but as I age my arms are more jiggly, wrinkled and speckled than I’d like and long gloves seem like a good cover-up option for a fancy event. But can I pull it off?

— Denise B.

Dear Denise: There’s a reason that older celebrities like Jane Fonda have found that long sleeves or long gloves can be a striking look that also conceals. But, as you point out, younger stars like Swift also are embracing this Hollywood glamour throwback fashion. Red carpets of late have featured Hailee Steinfeld (sheer opera-length black), Niecy Nash, Lana Del Ray (black, sheer, wrist-length) model Irina Shayk, Rihanna and more — all love to be gloved. To answer your question: Yes, Denise, gloves are in and you can make a striking entrance wearing them. Go for it.

Angelic Readers

Reader Nancy A. yearned for a “bra miracle”: Lift and separation in a no-underwire bra that prevents “two boobs smashed together” resulting in “a mound in the middle.” Readers were eager to tell her of their miracle finds and offer an array of alternatives.

K.A.W. writes: “Nancy is likely wearing the wrong size. I would start at a specialty store for proper measuring. Soma does a great job and I’ve had surprisingly good luck at Lane Bryant and Victoria’s Secret. When the breast is leaving the cup while bending over, the fit is definitely wrong. I do a mini version of my work movements to assure straps, band AND boobs stay put. Good luck, Nancy!” Jackie R. also recommends a professional bra fitting offered at a few department stores (call first) or specialty underwear shops.

Patti A. says, “Nancy A. may want you to weed through every bra out there but if she’s willing to join the reddit community devoted to crowdsourcing bra solutions she should look at the reddit: r/abrathatfits. That group largely discusses how mainstream bra manufacturers have many women wearing the wrong size bra. The calculator process was eye-opening, and size changing, for me. But they will also answer questions about separating breasts.”

For specific bras, Nancy C. recommends Bali wireless bra style 3372 (, about $30). Monnica writes: “I just love Honeylove, particularly the wire-free CrossOver Bra (, $69). It’s fantastic! I took three on a long trip to Europe. Not only was it perfectly comfortable on the long plane ride, it has the support my girls need to look really good with my tops and dresses. They also include a mesh bag so you can safely launder them, and they also have a very generous return policy if it doesn’t work for you. I finally found my one and only, go-to, undergarments!! I also recommend the SuperPower Brief (, $84) for holding everything in for a special occasion — VERY comfortable for a long-term event, like a wedding.”