| Ask The Style Chefs: December 2006 Archives

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December 2006 Archives

Q. Wow!  Great web site.  I was unable to find the answer to my question, so here goes: I am a 48 year old plus size woman and work as a Legal Secretary for a corporate law firm.  The Powers-That-Be have decided to switch our holiday evening party to a luncheon this year at a trendy restaurant in Washington DC.  I am at a loss as to what would be appropriate holiday attire for this event.  I know it is more casual than an evening event, but I am not sure what would be appropriate for a luncheon. We will be at work in the morning, then walking to the restaurant from the office.
-Work Wear Wonder   

A. While the timing may have changed from evening to lunch, there is no reason you shouldn’t wear something more stylish for the occasion - especially since it’s at a trendy restaurant. This calls for a dress. Wearing a dress will help you stand out from the pants and shirt crowd, give you a youthful appearance and allow you the opportunity to break from the “what you wear to work every day” look.  Add some nice hosiery and heels and you’re ready for holiday cheer.  I’ve picked out some great dresses that are age and event appropriate:

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left to right:
Maggy London Faux Wrap Shirtdress, $138 at
Lily Three Quarter Sleeve Surplice Dress, $92 at
Ruched Surplice Dress, $116 at
Poet Sleeved Faux Wrap Dress, $128 at

B000J3Vzzw.01-A2Fmoxn01Tsnyy.Pt01. Sclzzzzzzz Sx288 V34087409 Q. The dress I plan to wear on New Year’s Eve is one that hugs every curve. It is not tight or structured, but the material is thin and metallic so EVERY seam of what I wear underneath will show. Plus the straps are too thin for me to get away with bra straps. Is there any underwear that one can get away with under such a revealing dress? I am looking for something that won’t wrinkle or ride up or squish me  into an unnatural shape. Picture the Bebe ‘silk crinkle dress’ that Mischa Barton is wearing. Could she possibly be wearing anything under this?
- Barely There

16846FasA. She’s certainly not wearing a bra, so get ready to go braless.  Fashion Forms offers many options that provide support with minimal coverage ranging from the Nu Bra Ultralite Backless Bra (shown left) to Ultimate Silicone Gel Petals.

R363994-P392716-Front-1As for underwear, you’ll need to go with a g-string. A g-string is the smallest and thinnest item you can get away with under your dress. And be sure that the g-string fits comfortably and isn’t tight since you don’t want to any lines or small bulges.

shown right, DKNY City Gem thong

Q. Can a man wear a camel colored cashmere sport coat in the winter in Europe?
- Man Stayin’ Stylish

A. Yes, it’s cashmere.  Have him wear it with a button down shirt and crew neck, zip front or cardigan sweater layered underneath and he will fit perfectly into the European crowd. He’ll look sporty and stylish.

Q. I have been reading the StyleBakery website, and I really appreciate the advice you offer.  Not too long ago I changed jobs, and now I have to wear more dressy outfits than before. Recently I realized that I’ve grown so accustomed to wearing sheer hosiery, so that I feel underdressed without them.  I wear a mix of skirt and pant ensembles, but generally wear pantyhose with either, now that summer is gone. 

I was dressing up for a date recently and I was wearing a blouse, pants, heels, a scarf and a blazer.  I wanted, of course, to look my best for my date, but when I put the outfit on, I felt underdressed - I didn’t have pantyhose on.  I fixed that of course by putting pantyhose on underneath my pants, before I left my apartment.  Then I clearly realized that I like to wear pantyhose and consequently they benefit my outfits by giving me added confidence about my style, even though sometimes, my legs aren’t even showing. 

My question is, well, did I discover for myself a little gem of a fashion secret, or is it just me being particular about hosiery?  My friends don’t wear sheer hosiery that much (we are in our late twenties).  They don’t find it appealing - but I do.  Is it possible to grow to like to wear pantyhose like that?
-Positive for Pantyhose 

1000Ssp-1A. Simply put, stick with what gives you confidence. Hosiery helps smooth your body and will make clothing look better on your body.  It works as a compression garment by minimizing your tummy, hips and thighs, lifting your butt a bit and, over time, can diminish the look of cellulite.

Many women like the smoother look that hosiery gives their legs. So while some of us like to go bare legged whenever possible, you should feel free to stick with your confidence-building hosiery-wearing self.  One thing to note, if your sheer hosiery is of the “nude” variety - be sure that the hose matches your skin tone exactly and has a transparent look (see this post for our favorite invisible sheer hosiery). Also, why not experiment with a variety of patterns or colored opaque tights?

When wearing hosiery underneath clothing, you might want to try Spanx Footless Body Shaping Pantyhose, you get the same confidence as hosiery but with a little less coverage and the ability to wear strappy sandals.

Q. I am a nurse in Minnesota, wearing scrubs nearly every day. What would be the best coat for me that would look ok with my super casual attire?
- Casual Coat   

A. A casual coat - that’s easy.  You live in Minnesota, so what you should be asking for is a casual coat that will keep you WARM.  We StyleBakery girls are big fans of lightweight, warm and comfortable puffy coats for causal attire and shearling for stylish attire when you need shelter from the cold.  Most coats are on sale this time of year, so now is a great time to buy.

Here are some suggestions for puffy, quilted coats that offer a body conscious fit (also check out our recent Coat Check style recipe) :

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left to right:
Down Parka With Faux Fur, $125.99 at

Via Spiga Sunburst Three Quarter Length Down Coat, $148 at
Quilted Down Coat, $89.50 at

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