Talk to me

Talk to me

April 17, 2003|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Dear Cheryl,

Ever ate a meal and felt like your pants were going to explode? Well, I've felt this way on a number of occasions (especially when I'm sitting down), and I don't know whether to discreetly unbutton my pants and try to button up when I stand up, or what?! All I know is that I can't hear a thing my date is saying while my tummy is screaming for more room! What should I do?

- Regina in New York

OK, you have a problem.

If you are stuffing your face on a date to the point that your pants feel too tight, either you should A) go up a size in the clothing department or B) um, not eat so much?

The fact that you haven't realized this suggests that you just may not be worth helping.

But I'll be nice. Try this - before heading out, put on your outfit, sit down and see how you feel. If your pants already feel like they're slicing into your flesh, go with another pair. And, if you HAVE to wear those derriere-hugging pants, ease up on the gorging. If the food's that good, you can always go back with your girlfriends.


I'm starting a new job and my new workplace contains a lot of very fashionable women, which has made me self-conscious about my wardrobe. I tend to choose clothes that are comfortable and wear the same pieces over and over. Can you suggest ways to freshen up my look without spending a fortune?

- Fashion 911 in Bethesda

I have one word for you: Accessories. If you don't have much money for new clothing, buying earrings, shoes or purses can be a fairly inexpensive way to spice up your existing outfits. You'd be amazed at how different an ensemble can seem with a change of accessories.

Or, freshen up the look by changing one piece of the ensemble. I often shop at vintage/thrift shops or stores like Urban Outfitters for tops that are just a touch quirky (and inexpensive!) and draw attention away from the comfy black pants I've worn twice that week.

Not that I recycle clothing that often ... I swear.

Dear Answer Lady,

My first wedding anniversary is fast approaching and I've been baffled by the tradition of giving my bride something made of paper. One idea that occurred to me, though, is to have our engagement photo enlarged and framed nicely. Would that qualify as an appropriate gift?

- Anxious in Atlanta

The fact that you're asking (and anxious) about an anniversary gift ahead of time just goes to show, the best ones out there really are married.

But I digress.

Why paper? Cynthia Edmunds, associate editor of Bride's magazine, says there aren't any definitive reasons for the tradition, but it's been around for centuries. "First is paper, 10th is tin, 15th is crystal. ... Our thinking is, as the years build up in your marriage, the more precious the gifts become," Edmunds says. "But these are suggestions. You do not have to follow them." Clocks, for example, have become popular first anniversary gifts.

If you want to stick to paper, the framed photo is a sweet and definitely "aww"-worthy idea. Other options are a scrapbook of your honeymoon, engraved stationery, a stock certificate or a book that holds special meaning for the two of you - inscribed with a smoochy message, of course.

If still in doubt, however, don't forget, diamonds always are a girl's best friend.

"Talk to Me" answers your questions on fashion, style, pop culture, etiquette, entertainment and all things hot - or not. E-mail talkto or submit a question at

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