Answer Angel: Repairs for a designer purse

Answer Angel: Repairs for a designer purse

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have a beautiful Bottega Veneta purse in need of repair. Do you know of anyone who does this kind of work?

— Pat S.

Dear Pat: For an expensive bag like that you’ll want a skilled shoe repair expert. This is something an old-school repair shop can handle. An internet search will guide you to one near you. Also, you could contact Bottega Veneta customer support for guidance.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have heard recently that visible panty lines are back in style and men find them attractive. Especially when wearing athletic pants, what would you recommend? Spanx, thongs or just forgetting it all and going commando? While I want to be comfortable, I also want to feel sexy. Please help!

— V.M.

Dear V.M.: Humans’ ideas of what’s sexy cover a lot of territory. You’re on you own on this one! It’s a very long list. Much easier to come up with a list of what’s not sexy.

Angelic Readers

My question asking you to tell me the must-haves you carry in your pocket and purse produced a huge number of responses — including some intriguing, unexpected ones…

Susan L.: “A chestnut. My Hungarian grandmother, who raised me, said it would ward off cancer. She lived to age 98 free of cancer. I’m 72. Who knows, maybe it works. But in any case, it reminds me of her love.”

Alyce B.: “An olive stuffer tool to put bleu cheese in olives for a martini when a restaurant only has pimento ones.”

Teresa L.: “I never feel fully dressed without earrings, and almost never forget to put them on. But that once-in-a-blue-moon I do happen to forget, it is so worth it to have them in my purse in a pinch! My recommendation: Choose an inexpensive pair that aren’t your favorite but that are neutral and presentable enough to throw on in an emergency.”

Bobbie W.: “My husband’s business card and my son’s business card. Their phone numbers circled. For emergency purposes. Never had to use them but they make me feel safer.” From Ellen: You also can designate them as emergency contacts on your cellphone. Many states’ drivers’ license agencies maintain an emergency contact database.

Karen W.: “McCormick Old Bay Seasoning. Couldn’t imagine enjoying seafood chowder at Cliffs of Mohr or fish & chips at Guinness in Dublin without it. I wish McCormick would develop a convenient travel size.”

Peggy E.: “A tiny 1/2-ounce bottle of Visine eye drops because it takes almost no space and has saved me discomfort and looking like a red-eyed weirdo.”

Jody S.: “A ‘silver’ stone with the word ‘MIRACLE’ written on it. My husband is a leukemia survivor, and 20 years ago he had a bone marrow transplant, from a matched, unrelated donor. It was, and continues to be, a miracle. We are blessed every day.”

Ellen G.: “Chocolate. Once I was stuck in an elevator for three hours with four strangers. That box of wrapped chocolates helped us become friends and survive the ordeal.”

Karen: “Well actually, I’m like Betty White, I carry an extra pair of panties, because you never know if there might be an oversight!! Lol.”

And these: Plastic knife to cut when sharing an on-the-go meal (Marg B.). Auto insurance card “in case the glove compartment is smashed in an accident” (Neil S.). Return address stickers “for filling out forms, rebates and raffle tickets” (Sharon R.). Scissors or tool to cut seat belt in emergency. Folding shopping bag (Lynn R., Nina H.). Marie Sharp’s habanero hot sauce and spicy ghost pepper powder (Kristy S.). “My little black book with important phone numbers just in case I lose my phone or it crashes which has happened before” (Gilda B.). Hearing aid #10 batteries, $2 bill (Cyndi M.). Band-Aids, hard candies, antacids, Covid vaccine card (and nine other things) (Laraine M.). Kool-Aid flavor drops to add to ice tea (Eleanor E.). Ear plugs (Liz J.). Tide To Go stain remover pen (Judie R.). Extra-virgin olive oil (Kathryn J.).

Also: Rain hat. Purse holder for the edge of the table (Gail T.). Swiss Army knife (Shelby B.). Mini packet of dissolvable soap (Jai W.). Extra coasters for cocktails (Roberta B.). Safety pin, granola bar (Sue D.). Lip balm, deodorant, hand lotion, mask (Lesley W.). Clothespins (“used as paper clip, chip bag clip, mail, just about anything” (Angela B.).

Send your questions and rants – on style, shopping, fashion, makeup and beauty – to

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