Outlet stores

Head to the outlets for a spring wardrobe

Dear Readers: Spring has arrived; maybe you’re thinking about refreshing your wardrobe, getting rid of your sweatpants and getting back to some semblance of normality, including your fashion.

If you’re looking for a bargain, you might think, “Let’s go to the factory outlet.” I bet you see the Outlet Store as a repository for department store overstocks, off-season department store items, and a place to pick up bargains.

But wait. Renowned designers began to create lines of fashion items specifically for their own factory outlets.

The name is there, and the price is low? What a story! But, the quality is also low. The Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov) advises consumers to be aware.

Thin and lower quality fabrics are often used, as well as poor quality stitching. the sewing skill is not there. Cheaper buttons and zippers are used; patterns may not line up. All signs of lesser quality products.

These items ARE NOT department store leftovers; they are made especially for the factory outlet. It’s certainly a choice we have as consumers; just caution emptor – be aware of what you are buying. – Heloise

PS There are big discount stores (you know their names) that sell brand name designer items. Their items may very well be leftovers from the department store.

Order of operations

Dear Héloïse: Do you help settle a dispute? What is the order of operations for dental hygiene? Brush, floss, rinse? Floss, brush, rinse or rinse, floss brush? – So Confused, via email in New York

So confused, let’s take a look. First thing in the morning, you might be tempted to take a sip of mouthwash, then brush your teeth and floss. Resist.

Especially if your mouthwash contains fluoride, you’ll want the mouthwash to stay on your teeth throughout your day. Use mouthwash last.

Experts are divided on whether brushing first or flossing first is ideal. You should floss daily, but only once a day, which is why many dentists advise brushing, flossing, then rinsing.

However, flossing first ensures that food particles are swept away, which can allow for more thorough brushing.

As long as you complete all three tasks, your oral hygiene should stay on track. Check with your dentist for what she recommends. – Heloise

PS Never rinse dental floss. Throw it in the trash.

King Features Syndicate