Not-so-average workout wear

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My daughter is tall and long-waisted and cannot find workout T-shirts that are long enough. The regular kind ride up and expose skin during workouts. Tank tops come in longer lengths and are not a problem, but she hasn't been able to find T-shirts in longer lengths. Do you have any suggestions of brands to try?

— Judi R.

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Dear Judi: Any woman whose body veers away from the "average" will always have difficulty finding the right fit. And if your daughter has been hoping to find tall workout T's (or athletic wear of any sort) in brick-and-mortar stores, well good luck with that. Stores are sticking with what sells best as they continue to be battered by online retailers. Much of their tall (and petite and plus-size) merchandise has migrated to internet-only sales.

So, online is where your tall daughter (and petite women and plus sizes) will have the best luck. You'll find that www.athleta.com carries a good selection of tall workout T's. Tall women tell me that they find a good selection of basics at www.jcpenney.com. Check out Old Navy online (www.oldnavy.com) or Lands' End (www.landsend.com). And, there's always Long Tall Sally (www.longtallsally.com). For more info on tall fashions, www.tallwomen.org is a good resource, and stores that advertise on that site want your daughter's business.

On the larger issue of showing flesh while working out: Unless the top is form-fitting, designed to function as a combo tank top/bra, it's not easy to prevent showing some skin during workout sessions, even with a T-shirt especially sized for tall women. Check out any yoga class, and you'll see a lot of skin amid the lunges and happy baby poses.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My mom is in desperate need of a hair redo. She's worn her hair in a teased-up, bouffant style for as long as I've known her. My family has had no luck in convincing her to join this century. Mom is beautiful inside, but her outside (at least the hair) doesn't match the great person she is. Can you talk her into a change?

— Betsy B.

Dear Betsy: Google "Joan Irvine and Oprah Show." You will come up with a video that is more convincing than I could ever be. In 2003, Joan's daughters nominated their 63-year-old mom for a makeover of the then-gray beehive French twist that she'd been wearing for 37 years. The results were breathtaking. The cut and colored redo took at least 20 years off their mom's appearance. A video 13 years later, in 2016 (which will also turn up on your Google search), shows now-retired Joan still happy with her "new" look.

Line up a hair stylist before you make the pitch to your mom, so you can get her into the salon chair before she chickens out.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I bought a Jockey running bra, and I thought it was the answer I've been looking for. It has a hook and eye closure in the back (like a regular bra) so there's none of that struggle over the head to get it on and off. It even has the "tag" information printed on the fabric. So I expected no irritation. Wrong! The closure material has sharp corners and is stiff, itchy and pokes into my back. Any easy fix? Because, except for that, it's perfect?

— Dee Dee D.

Dear Dee Dee: Repeated washing might soften up the stiff material and end the poking. If that doesn't work, buy the most heavy grit, salon-style nail file you can find at the drugstore, and try to file off those sharp corners. Obviously you can tuck a piece of fabric in the band between the bra and your back but that would be a last resort.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My sons-in-law have birthdays two weeks apart, and this year I really bombed with both gifts — one was bought from a store I didn't know my son-in-law refuses to buy from, and the other son-in-law's gift was a sweater that was too warm for him.

I'm thinking a nice Scotch, bourbon or wine would make a nice gift. For the son-in-law who lives out of state, I don't know how to get it to him. I don't think you can send liquor out of state, and I don't know where or howto buy it in his home state. Any suggestions as to how to get a good bottle of liquor to my son-in-law? By the way, they're both great guys.

— Alice S.

Dear Alice: I would certainly never suggest you do what everybody else does which is lie about what's in the package that you send through the U.S. mail. UPS or FedEx might ship your alcohol gift, but there is so much paperwork and red tape and license requirements that it's not worth it. Laws differ from state to state, and wine sometimes has different regulations from booze, depending on where it's being shipped from and to.

It's possible that the son-in-law lives in a state where alcohol shipping within the state is OK. Call a liquor store near your son-in-law's home, and ask whether it can ship or deliver a gift of whatever you select — be it wine or liquor. Or — and this is blissfully simple — call your daughter who is married to the nice out-of-state son-in-law, and ask her to buy the booze, wrap it and give it to him as a gift from you. Before the birthday, you can send a lovely card with a nice note to the birthday boy for your daughter to include in the package. Problem solved.

Now it's your turn

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

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