Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I’m a senior at a high school having a COVID-safe prom. It’s (drumroll) in the parking lot. Each couple gets a parking space to decorate as they wish and to hang in for the event. There’s a social distancing space between each couple’s decorated parking spot. What, dear Answer Angel, does one wear to a parking lot formal?

— Nia

Dear Nia: This is definitely the first time I’ve been asked that question! There are simply, wonderfully, no fashion “don’ts” for your parking lot prom. Invent your own style. Anything goes.


Traditional: A fancy gown and four-inch heels.

Casual: Cutoffs and tennis shoes.

In between: A simple dress, pants or skirt and blouse combo with ballet flats.

Whimsical: Costumes for you and your date like you might wear for Halloween — another big day (and my birthday) that you probably missed out on because of the pandemic.

There’s only one requirement when dressing for this unique event, if there's any indoor component: Lead by example. Wear a mask.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: After reading a story in the New York Daily News that “skirts are emerging as a new trend in menswear fashions” I’ve decided to try it out. But I’m not sure what to wear on top or what shoes will work.

— Thomas T.

Dear Thomas: If you’re bold enough to wear a skirt, you’ve earned the right to wear any top or footwear you want. The Daily News story you mentioned says one of the skirt designers, Stefan Cooke, said capes are the new T-shirts. So you might want to keep that in mind.

Actually, I checked photos of the runway shows of some of the designers featuring men in skirts and at least one — Ludovic de Saint Sernin — sent a fellow down the runway topless in what appeared to be a miniskirt-length beige bath towel. That might not be the look for you.

As to his footwear: He was barelegged and wearing sandals. Burberry showed men’s skirts in the signature Burberry tartan worn with white tennis shoes, leather loafers and knee high socks, or barefoot, with cable knit crew neck sweaters on top.

Meanwhile, I have more than a passing familiarity with men in skirts. A treasured former colleague of mine — handsome and extremely muscular and fit — would often wear a straight skirt about knee length on summer days because, he told me, they were more comfortable than pants. He wore them with sandals (that did not show his toes) or sockless with brown leather monk strap brogues. He bought the skirts, all in businesslike suiting fabrics, at Talbots.

One more personal observation on this topic. A few years back on a trip to Scotland I saw a male couple entering city hall for their wedding. They wore identical gray and black plaid kilts, dark blazers and gray knee high socks with laced black leather footwear. They looked drop-dead gorgeous.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have noticed that after the previous POTUS wore his tie hanging way below the belt (perhaps to distract from his girth), several newscasters have followed suit. It looks terrible to me. Why would any person wish to have a tie visible beneath a buttoned suit coat?

— Barbara D. S.

Dear Barbara: A low-hanging tie is never a good look. I’m guessing those who wear them a la President Trump are not copying him. Instead, they just don’t know how to properly tie a tie, and once they knot it and one end is too long and dangles below the belt, they don’t care enough to unknot it and try again. Or, their suit coat is too tight, leaving space when buttoned to show the bottom of the tie. Also not a good look.

Angelic Readers

For Marie W., whose blond hair turned brassy because of the high concentration of iron in her well water, reader Gloria G. solved the problem with a showerhead filter with replaceable cartridges. Hers came from, starting at $31.“Then you can use whatever shampoo or conditioner you want,” she said.

Reader Rant

Kris F. writes, “As a larger proportioned woman who tries to be somewhat stylish, I do not understand why the majority of plus size women’s clothing designers think we chubby cuties have heads the size of a large pumpkin sitting on top of a tree trunk sized neck. I think most women my size would agree we like the extra room in the bosom, belly, bottom and arms, but we don’t need gigantic neck openings! Thank you for letting me rant.”

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