Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I love my big clip-on earrings and have quite a large collection. But, how to store them? All the stand up holders I have seen are only appropriate for pierced earrings. I have boxlike holders but generally these are only good for smaller earrings and I prefer big and dangly earrings. Consequently they are all over my cabinet where I keep them. They get separated or I cannot find the ones I want to wear. Help!

— Cheryl S.

Dear Cheryl: As you’ve discovered, good storage solutions are crucial for those of us with costume jewelry obsessions — the bigger the better. And, you’ll be happy to know that you’re in the vanguard of a style trend: Big clip-on earrings are enjoying a renewed popularity. A recent Wall Street Journal style story pointed this out, illustrated with a photo of earrings that cost many thousands of dollars. However, big, bold clip-ons from the ’80s and vintage ones from decades earlier can be found for a few dollars at thrift, antique and consignment stores. But how to store them so they don’t get lost or simply forgotten? (If you’re like me, you keep returning to old favorites while dozens — OK, hundreds — of pairs go forgotten, unworn, neglected. Out of sight, out of mind.)

Here are some storage suggestions:

Repurpose multidrawer tall, narrow dressers from used furniture stores and such. I found one about 5 feet tall with 10 drawers. I tied a colored ribbon on the drawer pulls to indicate the color of earrings stored in each drawer.

Shop going-out-of business brick and mortar stores (an ever-increasing number succumbing to internet shopping) that are selling all their fixtures — including jewelry display items that would work for your clip-ons.

New jewelry display fixtures are available on or Check out a few I found there that could be just the solution you need. On Amazon, search for “wire grid spinning display rack,” where I found a solution that won’t take up a lot of room for $108.48. On eBay, a “wire grid triangle tower display rack” looks promising for your needs at $119.97.

Reader suggestions welcome!

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: At age 57, I’ve never colored or highlighted my blonde hair. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I’ve secretly enjoyed decades of women saying, “You’re so lucky to have naturally blonde hair!” A couple of years ago, my hair was finally losing its luster a bit. And when the sunlight is just right, there are a few grays. I’m starting to look less blond and more “ashy.” I’m not loving this drab, mousy color. I am pretty low-key in terms of my look — not a lot of makeup, sensitive to looking like I’m trying to be younger, and don’t want my clothing and hair to “arrive before I do.” Am I too old to get some blonder highlights to brighten up my ashy hair? How do I keep from looking like I’m trying to be 35?

— Colleen

Dear Colleen: Of course you’re not too old! Find a colorist who agrees to take it slow, adding highlights little by little. Done right, it will brighten you up so naturally that you’ll look kissed by the sun.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: How can one explain the popularity of beards on men now? The clean-shaven look really looks so much nicer on men and can you tell me why more beards are fashionable?

— Helen B.

Dear Helen: Good question. No good answer. Facial hair, like any style trend, comes and goes. Remember those ridiculous mustaches and mutton chop sideburns of the ‘70s? This too shall pass.


Many of you had a simple solution for Meg A., whose elderly mom had trouble putting on her back-closure bra. MK writes, “Put your bra around your waist and hook it. Then turn the bra so that the hooks are in the back and pull it up.” Janice E. asks, “Why haven’t they learned how to hook the regular bra in front of them and then just twist it around to the back? Bend over, tuck in the girls and you’re good to go. No need to invest in fancy bras.” Others who had the same blissfully easy fix with no additional expense: Charlene C., Teri K., Nancy, Sharonlee J., Joy C., Sue S., Toni S., Lois B., Joan Z. and Diann.


Responding to Paulette, who was looking for ideas for reusing old pantyhose, Vanetta writes, “H&M stores will take clean fabrics that one wishes to dispose of. The fabric is then recycled and is out of our landfills.” (From Ellen: H&M says all fabrics are welcome — even old socks and worn out T-shirts — at recycling boxes in their stores. And for your good work, you’ll get a 15% off discount card for your next purchase.)

Other reuse ideas:

From Pat B.: “Cut the legs off the pantyhose. They make great lint filters on the end of the hose from the washing machine to the laundry tub.” Fran W. had the same suggestion.

Maryann F. writes, “Old nylons, pantyhose and tights make a good filler for homemade toys or pillows … cut into scraps or whole.”


Diane A. gripes, “I would like to see sneaker manufacturers carry the color of the sneaker into the border of the sole. Those white borders exaggerate the size of the foot and isolate the shoe in general. It would be nice to wear a pair of black sneakers that were all black to the sole of the shoe to conform with a pair of black pants or jeans.” From Ellen: You can find all-black sneakers with an internet search: Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Allbirds and more. But the white borders/soles are everywhere and I don’t like them either.



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


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