Chicago Tribune (Sunday)

Unisex clothing gains popularity

- Ellen Warren Answer Angel —Harry N. DREAMSTIME —Patrick M. Send your questions, rants, tips, favorite finds — on style, shopping, makeup, fashion and beauty — to answerange­lellen@gmail. com.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen:

I bought a vintage Pendleton shawl collar maroon and navy button-up sweater on eBay. I am a big fan of Pendleton sweaters and vintage clothing in general. I have happily worn the oversize sweater and received compliment­s on it from male and female friends.

But when I put it on this weekend there seemed something “off ” about it. My girlfriend knew at once: It is a woman’s sweater. To me it looks virtually identical (except color) to several in my collection, but the buttons are on the “wrong” (left) side — the customary side for women’s clothing. Nobody ever noticed this before and I don’t intend to stop wearing it. But I’m wondering if clothing is becoming more unisex — suitable for men and women?

Dear Harry: Yes, clothing, especially casual clothes like the sweater you described, athletic shoes, sweats and more is trending in that direction and has been for a while. In a recent column, I wrote about men’s purses (murses) becoming more commonplac­e. (On that point, in a recent Vanity Fair question-and-answer interview, actor-director-producer-writer Baz Luhrmann was asked, “What is your most treasured possession” and he replied — perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek, but still: “The perfect murse.”)

There are many reasons for the uptick in unisex clothes and men shopping in the women’s department and women buying “menswear” for themselves. I’ve got a couple pairs of men’s Levis in my closet plus hoodies and sweatshirt­s that are a boy’s size large. This gender blending/ bending is, of course, not limited to fashion and style but many other areas of life too. But back to your question. Enjoy wearing the sweater. From the photo you sent it looks terrific and definitely suitable for all genders.

I have an older mattress that is still in good shape but is only 8 inches thick. I am having a terrible time finding “short pocket” sheets that fit tightly and do not bunch in the middle. I saw

Dear Answer Angel Ellen:

some online but they were 100% polyester. (Ick.)

Dear Patrick: Sheets for mattresses as thin as yours definitely are not easy to find. And they are likely to be even harder in the future as mattresses are trending in the opposite direction, with “pillow tops,” etc., making them as high as 18 inches. You almost need a ladder to get into bed. The jargon for your sheet size is “low profile” and most online offerings are for expensive custom sheets made to order. But wait … Wayfair ( has a wide selection of them for mattresses 8 inches and under at $14.99 and up, in 100% cotton. You’d better order a couple before your bed is a unicorn and nobody makes sheets to fit it.

Angelic readers

From Meg D.: “Your column about the popularity of white sneakers brought to mind this solution for scuffs: The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works great.”

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 ?? ?? Sweaters look terrific and are often suitable for all genders.
Sweaters look terrific and are often suitable for all genders.

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