DEAR MISS MANNERS: Can you assist with some advice for managing longer skirts, especially on stairs? I have a raincoat that I find especially difficult to maneuver during my fraught commute.
GENTLE READER: What you need is a skirt lifter. Neither a pervert nor a trainbearer, this a Victorian gadget with a hook to suspend it from the belt and a clamp to lift long skirts above what was left in the streets by those charming horse-drawn carriages.
As skirt lifters are scarce and expensive, Miss Manners is happy to be able to tell you that it is also correct to use the hands. You hold them straight down your sides, and each of them gathers a handful of material and then moves upwards, a rather graceful gesture. Of course you need your hands free to do this, so you will have to hang your other stuff -- purse, briefcase, telephone, umbrella -- elsewhere on your body.