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Answer Angel: How to navigate the shopping cart roadblock, and other lessons in store etiquette

Answer Angel: How to navigate the shopping cart roadblock, and other lessons in store etiquette

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Can you tell me how to handle this shoppingetiquette” question? I am often in a store (many of them with narrow aisles), and I hate it when shoppers push their shopping carts into the aisle blocking the already narrow passage and often blocking access to the clothing racks. Shouldn’t those shoppers leave their carts at the end of the row, so they’re not blocking aisles? Is it permissible for me to request them to do so?

— Mira L.

Dear Mira: Save your breath. Shoppers often put their purses into their shopping carts. Since nobody wants to leave a purse unattended (and they shouldn’t!), women are not going to want to leave the carts at the end of the aisle. Sure, they could grab the purse out of the cart and haul it around while working the clothing racks but … that’s not likely to happen. Old habits die hard.

Just squeeze by the shopper and her cart with a few “excuse me’s.” Lead by example, and leave your cart out of the aisle. But don’t expect this courteous behavior to catch on.

While we’re on this topic, it also would be nice if thoughtless grocery store shoppers would stop parking their carts in the middle of the aisle, making it impossible to pass by. A word of warning. When I left my grocery cart behind for a moment, two of my nice, sturdy reusable shopping bags were stolen right out of it. A security guard told me it happens all the time!

Another shopping etiquette question …

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: When did it become OK to have a loud and personal too-much-information phone conversation while walking through a store? Can you please tell your readers to limit their calls when there are strangers around. Recently I was in the housewares section trying to buy a coffee maker and couldn’t ignore the loud phone talker giving a detailed description of her husband’s kidney stones. Ick.

— Melanie J.

Dear Melanie: I agree that phone calls in public places (this includes restaurants and public transportation) should be reserved for emergencies. However, you and I are not going to win this one. And shushing the talker is probably not going to have the desired effect. Unless you’re at a funeral, a movie, a play, a concert etc. where silence is the expected norm, you’re asking for trouble and dirty looks if you beseech the talker to desist. It shouldn’t be that way. But it is. Alas.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I’d like to know who the all-important entity was that decided that women should not wear pantyhose anymore. It really irks me that covered legs are taboo. As one ages, the legs do not become more attractive!

— Sue S.

Dear Sue: Good news for you! Your irked days are over (at least on the pantyhose front). The fashion gods (who, I guess, have flawless legs) have given up on their no-hosiery edict. Sheer pantyhose are no longer taboo. Lots of fashionable women share your view that they look better with hosiery than without. Yes, it is OK to go barelegged, but it’s also OK to choose to cover your legs. Nowadays, in fashion, there are no rules.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I’m tall, and it’s very hard to find a nice dress that comes just below the knee. Suggestions?

— Norma K.

Dear Norma: For years, tall women have found solutions at longtallsally.com, which specializes in what you’re looking for. Also, a reader favorite is eshakti.com, which allows you to customize the length of the dress (along with sleeves and necklines).

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Regarding your recent column about “upcycling”. To your knowledge, can I sell my better-quality 1990s suits, dresses, skirts, etc.? All of this clothing is made from high quality wools. If so, where?

— Joanne K.

Dear Joanne: Search for consignment stores in your area, find out when they’re accepting clothing and take your quality clothes over and see what they say. But prepare to be disappointed. Consignment stores are fussy. They customarily won’t accept clothing for resale that is more than a few seasons old. You’ll have better luck donating it to a charity thrift store.

ANGELIC READERS

“Modest Lady” was at a loss to find plus-size swimwear with the coverage she wants. But, many of you came to her rescue with suggestions on great resources that have worked out well.

There was lots of praise for swimsuitsforall.com. Louise R. says the site has “exactly what I have always hoped and searched for but never found. Jackpot!” Among those who also love the site: Betty H., Carol K., Jane N., Mary Ellen R., Chris L., Colleen G., Marybeth B., Janet E. and Mary Ellen S., who has this tip: “Sign up for emails. Add your suit to your cart. But don’t checkout right away. In less than an hour, you’ll get an email with a code for free shipping that you can use in addition to any other discount code.”

“Bathing suit shopping was agonizing until I found this website, alwaysforme.com,” writes Lynette P. PJK shops there too. Holly K. has ordered from HydroChic (hydrochic.com) with excellent results.

Donna H., an avid water aerobics student, praises H2O Wear (h2owear.com). So do Marlene G. and Carol. Teri H. also recommends H2O Wear as well as swimandsweat.com. Sandra K. shops Kohl’s online (kohls.com) and womanwithin.com. Lucy G. and Melanie D. also like Woman Within. Melanie D. also recommends fullbeauty.com. Nancy L. chooses bcoutlet.com. Margaret N., Colleen V. and Celia B. like Juno Active (junonia.com). Laurie M. praises herroom.com. Toni likes Lands’ End (landsend.com) and L.L. Bean (llbean.com). Deb is an L.L. Bean fan too.

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SHOP, DROP, GET HELP

Send your questions and rants — on style, shopping, fashion, makeup and beauty — to answerangelellen@gmail.com.

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