Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Seven

Jun 1, 2023

This week, the mailbag is full of questions about getting ready for summer.  Need a cover-up for the pool?  Perhaps a pair of smoothing shorts to wear under work dresses?  Those questions and more after the break.

Dear Abra,

My family and I are headed to Europe for two weeks and I think I want a fanny pack for the trip. Don’t judge. With the pickpockets and the stroller, it’s the best choice for me.  I still want a cute one, can you help me find a cute fanny pack?

Sincerely, Molly

No judgment.  I see a lot of women wearing fanny packs or sling bags (and dudes too) for the utility of it.  And a year-plus into this trend, there are some cute ones emerging.

The most popular ones (and what I would buy) is this Claire V. Grande Fanny or the slightly smaller Fanny.  Most of the influencers I see wearing this bag wear it across their chests.  And this style works well for that.

For a more affordable sling bag, Urban Originals has you covered.  I also like this larger version. This Allsaints fanny pack is also very nice, and more of a mid-price, but might work better around your waist.  For an athletic version, this Lululemon bag is very popular.

Hi A:

What do you wear under your summer dresses?  I don’t need compression wear, but I do need to smooth out a few things and hide VPL.  Do you have a great suggestion?

TYIA. Leslie

Shaping shorts are tough because the fabric on a short is sometimes so thick that it isn’t comfortable to wear.  Some even show under clothes because the material is so thick.  And in the summer, I don’t want to be even hotter because I need a mini-lift and smooth.

I own and wear two different shaping shorts all year long, and both come in a thinner fabric with light shaping.  The first one is the Yummie Ultralight Short.  The other is the Jockey Slipshort, which isn’t high-waist but also comes in plus sizes.

If you don’t need a full short, but just want a little stomach smoothing, Maidenform makes a brief and a thong.  The product has a “smedium” amount of compression that is just right.  My only complaint is that the lace on the underwear takes a little getting used to, but you adjust to the feeling of the material against your skin.  They also make a version without the lace, but it’s a little more than I need or want in the compression department.

Abra,

My family is heading to Cabo for a family wedding and I need the perfect pool cover up.  I do not want to take it off, IYKYK, and I need it to look amazing. The problem is every coverup is poly blend or some other unbreathable fabric. Can you find me a linen or cotton cover up that costs less than $150?  All the ones I find are super spendy.

Happy Belated Birthday! HB

This cover-up dress from Tommy Bahama can go from the lounge chair to the restaurant with ease.  If you don’t want sleeves, this Becca cover up looks like a really sporty dress.  This flouncy mini-dress from Robin Piccone has a cap-sleeve in a breezy fabric.

Also, if you want something really breezy and on trend, crochet pool covers are back in style.  This crochet-accented midi-dress is a nice option.  Or you can go full-macrame with this Target cover-up.  Plus-size?  I wish this pink coverup from Show Me Your Mum was still available in misses.  Luckily the brand has several lovely crochet options.

Good morning!

I work for the WV Legislature, and your blog is like a square of dark chocolate when I see it in my inbox. Thank you for the time and care you put into it!

West Virginia is a member of SLC, the Southern Legislative Conference, and is hosting the big conference next year. That means during this year’s big conference, early July in Charleston, South Carolina, West Virginia has to host a “state night” and reflect our theme.  July in SC is tough enough on its face, but our theme is art deco, flapper, Greenbrier style. I expect to be flitting about with a clipboard & my phone the entire event, so I need to be able to move around (and, like you, comfort is paramount to me; I’m 39 & have no tolerance for being uncomfortable just to be cute!) and I don’t want to spend a fortune for a “costume.”

Do I go low-key dress & just add some flapper accessories? Help, please, and thank you so, so much!!  Ann Ali

That so kind of you to say.  I really enjoy blogging and the community we’ve built here.  So thank you for coming back every day.

The important thing at a costume party is to be comfortable because many people will be wearing basically the same thing.  If you want a flapper dress, there are a few options.  Verishop has this long sleeved black dress (also in plus).  Nordstrom has this beaded sleeveless cocktail dress.

But if I were headed to this event, I would hit up Etsy.  I love this Monica Margery dress with beading and fringe.  If you want the full Downton Abbey, try this absolutely incredible gown.

You can also wear a simple dress with cool accessories.  You can try a beaded cape.  Add a hair accessory from Etsy.  Or go for a beaded bag.  If you’re going to wear a hair accessory though, choose something really special like this feather option.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

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  1. Cecilia says:

    Unique Vintage has lots of flapper dresses and accessories.

  2. Chelsea says:

    The absolute best slipshorts come from Undersummers. They are well made, not too stretchy so they don’t ride up, and have no elastics that leave a line. The material is the perfect anti-chubrub satin.

  3. NJ says:

    Shoutout from another West Virginian who loves this blog!

  4. Naomi says:

    Hi Abra – with Father’s Day coming up, does Kyle have any gift suggestions?

  5. M says:

    Re: chic fanny packs, as someone who has a few, I highly recommend Lo & Sons Waverly 2 (link below). Super chic, very well made, and best of all (!!) it can be a wristlet or a purse if you adjust the straps.

    https://www.loandsons.com/products/waverley-2-saffiano-leather-black-gold-grey?gclsrc=aw.ds&&tw_source=google&tw_adid=508658293673&tw_campaign=12599666063&gad=1&gclid=CjwKCAjwyeujBhA5EiwA5WD7_Uk2qiJeTHOmoulZlx7UaYuDMqTBpPgoPB6HRkytGtQg92aaBSg0ghoCbJMQAvD_BwE

  6. Anon says:

    Re: “Fanny” packs: please don’t call it that in Europe. “Fanny” has a completely different meaning in British English and will likely get you some rather odd looks. (The most usual term in the UK is “bum bag”.)

  7. Anon says:

    On the subject of “Fanny” packs: please don’t call it that in Europe. “Fanny” has a completely different meaning in British English and will likely get you some rather odd looks. (The most usual term in the UK is “bum bag”.)

    • anon says:

      Sorry – when I posted the original comment, I got a message that it was a duplicate, so I rephrashed the beginning….. then saw both comments appear. Oops!

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