Dear Matthew Alice:
The first thing I do when I buy a new blouse or dress is tear out the label in the back so it won't scratch me. Why can't clothing manufacturers make labels out of something softer?
-- Anita, San Diego
Maybe that's why Monica Lewinsky still has a closet full of dirty dresses. She's ripped out the care labels and doesn't know whether to wash or dry clean. Anyway, the feds require use-and-care labels to last for the full useful life of the garment, assuming, I guess, that we forget from one week to another how we last cleaned our T-shirts or underwear. So the label has to be sturdy enough to survive. For some manufacturers, this means making the labels out of the cheapest, toughest, most unpleasant fiber they can find. Better we should swear and tear the thing out than they should have the feds irritating them.