DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve begun to notice that many stores do not remove the basting stitches on coats or skirts with kick pleats, and I suspect a lot of people might not know the little “X” in back is usually temporary. It is there for ease in pressing, and it will eventually come out.
As a result, I see most of my girlfriends wearing coats and skirts that have the stitches intact and don’t exactly “swing” as they should in back. Is this something I should mention to them? If so, what is an appropriate way?
It’s trivial by comparison to spinach between the teeth or a skirt tucked into nylons, so I haven’t said anything so far. I worry about overstepping my bounds, but I genuinely appreciate it when people tell me I have tags sticking out, etc., so I’m not sure.
GENTLE READER: Leaving home with a tag affixed is embarrassing enough without also taxing a friend with not knowing that the item -- in this case, the stitch -- was meant to be removed. Miss Manners therefore softens the blow by acting as if the stitch and the tag are the same problem: something that can be discreetly mentioned to a friend who may appreciate the warning.