| Ask The Style Chefs: April 2010 Archives

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April 2010 Archives

Q. I would love to find a white boyfriend blazer for the summer, as DC summers are miserable but require professional dress. I haven’t been able to find very many in stock anywhere online, and would really appreciate some help. I’d prefer single breasted, maybe in a cotton sateen, and under $125.

A. We found several affordable blazers for you in a range of fabrics suitable for the office in the summer. In addition to boyfriend styles, we found a few “girlfriend” styles as an option.


strip-shirt_300.jpgQ. My button front shirts always gap across my boobs. I wear minimizers, so what else can I do?

A. Wearing the right bra is part of the equation, but it’s often not enough to help prevent shirts and blouses from puckering between the buttons, a common problem for women with larger chests. Here are a few tricks for making a button-down shirt work for you:

  • Find a button-front shirt that fits well and doesn’t pull across your chest, even if it’s too big everywhere else. Take it to a tailor to have the rest of the shirt properly fitted. Your new “custom” shirt will be well worth the extra $10 or $20 for a proper fit.

  • If your shirt fits fairly well across your chest but still gaps, use invisible double stick clothing tape to help prevent the puckering. Or for a more permanent solution, you can try sewing a small piece of velcro in between the buttons.

  • Try wearing a pretty camisole under your shirt. Unbutton the buttons that are gaping for a quick and stylish solution.

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Q. Is it okay to wear a black suede peep toe 3.5” heel in June? I’m standing in a wedding. We were asked to buy our own floor length black dresses.

A. We love putting old fashion rules to rest: suede is no longer reserved just for fall and winter and can be worn year round. What’s more important than the color or fabric of your shoe is the style. For instance, a knee high black suede boot would be too heavy for warm weather. Since your black suede shoes have a peep toe, they are perfectly appropriate and comfortable for warm weather. If they look great with your black gown, then wear them!

Q. I know that a nude/neutral shoe is on trend for this season. Honestly, I’ve been searching for a great classic nude/flesh tone shoe for a couple of years and have yet to find one that I really love. I am tall, with long muscular legs and bigger ankles. I know this shoe would be great for my legs.

Do you have any other feedback on where to find classic, basic pumps (peep toe/sandal prefered) in a true nude?

A. It’s hard to say what exactly is a “true nude” since nudes can be any range of light tan, blush, sand or light beige with yellow or pink undertones. The good news is, nearly any of these nude or light beige tones will have the same leg lengthening effect, even if it doesn’t match your skin tone perfectly.

A pump, d’Orsay or sling back style is your best bet; avoid any straps or details which will draw attention to your thicker ankles. Here are some of our favorite nude pumps that will help make your legs look great:

Q. Since it is May, is it too late to wear a short sequined jacket over either dressy pants or a mid-calf little black dress with rhinestones straps to a black-tie affair?

A. Sequins have shed their holiday-only reputation and can now be worn virtually year round. I can’t think of anything more chic than pairing a short sequined jacket with a little black dress or dressy pants for a black tie affair in the spring. Go for it!

You can get even more mileage from your sequin jacket by pairing it with a t-shirt or tank top and a pair of jeans, khakis or even shorts for a more casual affair.

Q. Can a 50 year old wear a jean jacket and look age appropriate?

A. Of course! Denim works for every age, the trick is to choose styles that are age appropriate. We recommend skipping this season’s denim-on-denim trend, which can be difficult to pull off even for a 20 year old hipster. Instead, opt for classic denim jackets in darker washes. White denim and dark denim blazers are also great options. Pair your jacket with crisp khakis, white pants, even a dress or skirt. Accessorize with a chic wrapped scarf and you’ve got the perfect age-appropriate look.


Here are some great options for you:

Q. Help! I graduate from College in May. I graduate with my associate’s. I am not really sure what to wear. I do live in Michigan so it will probably be either cool or warm but not hot like Florida. My gown is hunter green in color. Is a black cocktail dress appropriate? Or some other style? And how short or long should it be to have the perfect length. I don’t think I like the idea of pant and skirt or even shirt and and skirt. I prefer only solid color dresses. But there are so many types to choose from. I am 5 ft 3 and would be consider petite. What are some suggestions in color, length and style of dress for college graduation attire?

A. You can wear a little black dress if you like, provided it’s not too dressy. Or, you can opt for something a bit more happy and bright for a spring graduation. It’s a celebratory occasion and the perfect opportunity to invest in a pretty spring dress. Since the weather will be iffy, go for the classic cardigan as a layering piece (a jacket or blazer can be a little tricky underneath your gown. As for length, anything shorter than the length of your gown will work, but we suggest you look for something that hovers around the knee. Finish the look with chic wedges in case you’ll be walking on grass.

Since you prefer a monochromatic dress, here are some looks for inspiration. You don’t need to worry about matching your dress color to your green graduation gown since the dress will be fully covered during the ceremony. Bonus points: you can wear any of these dresses for upcoming job interviews.

For more ideas on what to wear for your college graduation, check out this post.

Q. I am 5’3” tall, 30 1/2 inch waist, 39” hips and a full rear end. Although I do not follow trends but wear what works for me, I saw some very nice inexpensive skinny, distressed jeans on the NY&Co. site. Would skinny jeans work for my shape or should I stick with boot-cut and trouser cut styles?

A. Yes, curvy women can wear skinny jeans! Just be sure to style them in a way that flatters your figure. We covered this topic in the fall, but here’s how to wear it for spring:

The cuffed distressed pair shown here from looks great with a pair of heeled sandals, tall wedges or the season’s new platform clog. The heels will add height and instantly slim your legs.

If you’re looking to minimize your hips and thighs, try a pretty summer tunic or a lightweight boyfriend cardigan paired with a tank. If the length of your loose-fitting top hits right below the widest part of your thigh, it will have a slimming effect.

Q. I am wearing this white dress to my husband’s military ball. I don’t want it to look too bridal, so I would prefer not to wear matching shoes, but what color would look best? I would like the shoes to go with the overall soft, feminine look of the dress.

A. What a pretty, feminine dress! In keeping with the soft look of the dress, you should look for pretty heels in nude, gold, silver or a soft champagne color. Here are a few affordable options:

Q. I’m tall - really tall. I love it, and I don’t shy away from wearing heals, however I draw the line at chunky platforms that add several more inches and can make me look ridiculous. However, I love the new clogs trend, and really want to get a pair. Is the big wooden platform an essential part of this style? Do you know of any cute clogs that aren’t quite so sky high?

A. When it comes to the new fashion-y clog (and not the traditional comfort clog), unfortunately, a high heel with a chunky platform is the most coveted style. However, you can still get the look of a clog with one of these variations on this season’s clog (which is in itself a variation of the traditional clog!) featuring wood soles but with a more manageable heel height or thinner platform:

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