Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I just lost a gold bracelet that I loved because the clasp somehow came undone. I wear a lot of “good” gold bracelets and I definitely want to avoid these kinds of losses in the future so could you offer some suggestions on how to secure them better to keep this from happening again?
— Jade E.
Dear Jade: I too have lost a good bracelet because of a faulty clasp. I have found only one foolproof method — and it isn’t for everyone. These are closures that can only be opened with a special tool or scissors. An example of the first type is the Cartier “Love” bracelet, which starts at $4,450. It can be secured or removed only with a special teeny screwdriver (included). Naturally, you’ll find online inexpensive knockoffs that use the same gimmick but are made of much cheaper metals.
Then there’s the variation: welding to create a “permanent” or “forever” bracelet. This option is catching on, and an internet search will tell you if stores near you offer that service. The most obvious downside is going through metal detectors at airports and large sports or music events. At best, you could be delayed and require a more thorough pat-down or wanding-by-hand check. Medical tests or procedures also could present a problem.
Bangle bracelets that are a solid circle with no closure are also popular and, if the circumference is right, they don’t fall off. Same goes for an elongated C-shape bracelet with an opening just wide enough to go off and on your wrist. Otherwise, you’re stuck with the more customary clasps (which are hard to explain in writing; search for photos online): spring ring, barrel and lobster clasps (all difficult to put on or take off); box clasp, sometimes with an additional slender chain (that breaks easily); toggle and fish hook or, the least reliable, magnetic clasps. If you really treasure your bracelet, consult with a jeweler on installing the sturdiest clasp offered.
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I hate clothes with logos on them. I don’t need or want to be a walking advertisement for Nike or Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren, etc. Where can I find a good selection at reasonable prices?
— Katherine W.
Dear Katherine: Even the most costly clothes and accessories — Gucci, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Chanel — plaster their merchandise with logos (which many love to flaunt). Uniqlo, Muji, Allbirds and Everlane are four brands that don’t use visible logos. I’ve seen lists of brands without visible logos online, but I don’t trust the lists that wrongly include major offenders such as Gap and Old Navy.
For Marge S., who was infuriated that her perfectly good suitcase was useless when a wheel fell off and she couldn’t find a way to replace it, Suzanne M. found a local shoe/luggage repair shop that was able to locate and install a new wheel for around $25. Jan M. writes, “I have an Away brand suitcase (awaytravel.com) and needed to replace one of the wheels. The company has an excellent warranty and was very responsive. Away sent me a DIY replacement wheel, covered by the warranty, with easy to follow instructions.” From Michael L.: “Last year I successfully replaced the wheels in the molded plastic corners of a two-wheeled roll-aboard suitcase, using only a standard hex wrench. As you recommended, I had found the right size of replacement wheels on Amazon — which were really rollerblade wheels — by measuring VERY carefully.” Michael, it should be noted, is a professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering, so he brought some very special skills to the task.
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