| Ask The Style Chefs: November 2010 Archives

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November 2010 Archives

Q. I love wearing denim skirts but hate how the front zipper has a tendency to add bulk and stick out in exactly the area I don’t want any extra fullness. Do you have any suggestions for a short denim skirt with a flat front or another trick to keep my tummy from looking larger in my beloved denim mini looks?

A. I know exactly what you mean, and it can be very frustrating. Your best bet is to seek out a style that does not have a traditional zip-front fly, perhaps one with buttons down the front or an asymmetrical seam, or even a stretch pull-on style. Below are a few atypical options that should solve the issue for you while still giving you the casual cool look of a denim skirt.


Q. I’m not sure how to wear my sleeveless sweater dresses. I want to wear them in the wintertime. Do I wear something over them? Under them?

A. Sleeveless sweaters and dresses are great layering pieces for the winter. It’s always best to wear your chunkiest layers on top, so if your sweater dress is somewhat thick, then wear it over a thin jersey turtleneck or long sleeve top and pair it with tights and boots or leggings and booties. If your sweater dress is thin, you might be able to layer a jacket or even a knit cardigan on top.

Q. I’ve got several holiday parties coming up, so I’m ready to splurge on a great dress! My legs are my best feature, can you recommend some great options for me?


A. You’re in luck! Leg-baring dresses are a huge trend for holiday - and if you’ve got ‘em, flaunt ‘em! Here are some sexy, shimmering, festive dresses to wear all season long:

Need something to wear with your dress? Check out our favorite sparkling jewelry, festive evening shoes and glam evening bags.

Q. I am 5’1” and curvy, can I wear ankle boots or booties?

A. If you choose the right style bootie, you can absolutely incorporate this seemingly-everywhere trend. The key is to look for short styles that dip down in the front, allowing more of your leg to show. Wear these with skinny jeans, leggings or opaque tights in a similar color to the boot and you’ll be able to wear booties in the most flattering way for your petite curvy figure. Avoid styles that come up beyond the ankle bone as these will only make your legs look shorter and calves look wider.


Here are some great options for you:

Q. In the Spring, I saw tons of leopard pencil skirts and didn’t snatch one up!! Now I really want one and can’t seem to find one anywhere. My price point is anything under $60 & I prefer no sequins or metallics.

A. Leopard print pencil skirts offer a chic update on a classic silhouette. We love them paired with feminine blouses, dark blazers and even leather jackets. Here are several affordable options, as well as a super cute leopard print skirt that’s a bit shorter and more flirty than a pencil skirt.


Q. I am 55 years old, in good shape and stylish. I have a pair of black leggings but can’t seem to find anything to wear with them that feels appropriate. Long sweaters that totally cover my bottom still make me feel only half dressed. Flowy long tops that look like dresses feel too youthful. Is it possible I’m just too old for this look?

Abr762411-00vliv01.jpg. You’re definitely not too old to wear leggings, however, they may not suit your personal style. Not everyone feels comfortable with every trend - and that’s what personal style is all about. However, if you’re determined to wear leggings, here are some tips on what to wear with your leggings.

If long sweaters paired with leggings make you feel half-dressed, perhaps it is your choice of legging that is the issue. If your leggings are of the hosiery variety, seek out a more substantial pair. My favorite legging this season is this Five-pocket legging from Banana Republic. It is designed more like a skinny jean and is super comfortable and flattering. Since it has pockets and a zipper fly, and is made of a thick, substantial fabric, you might feel more comfortable and “fully dressed” in this type of legging.

Another way to make leggings look work for you is to wear them with your long sweaters and a pair of tall boots. This should cure the feeling you have of being half dressed since only your thighs will be exposed.

And if you’re still not comfortable wearing leggings, then don’t. This trend just might not be for you.

Q. I’m 70 years old, I have long legs and love to wear skinny jeans or pants and love boots. I also have heavy fabric leggings and slim pants. I work at a ladies boutique and like to keep up with the latest trends, but I don’t purchase too many trends, mostly classic items. Is there an age where we can not keep up with fashion? 62b4ed86bc8970e55cb4e092555041b0.jpg

A. Great question! The short answer is, you’re never too old to keep up with the latest fashion trends. That being said, not all trends are created equal - and not all trends work for every woman, depending on age or even body type. It’s important to view the newest trends with a discriminating eye and choose pieces that work for you, without worrying what everyone else is wearing.

For most women, we typically recommend wearing just one or two “trendy” items at a time and balancing out the rest of your wardrobe with classic or timeless pieces. By cultivating a mostly classic wardrobe, you’ll avoid being a slave to fashion and will find that you always have something to wear, regardless of the occasion. Mixing up classic pieces with newer trendy items is a smart - and chic - way for women of any age to dress.

If you love skinny jeans and leggings, wear them! These certainly have a place in a sophisticated wardrobe and look fabulous with riding boots or luxe ballet flats paired with a chunky sweater or longer length blazer. Some more fall trends that are great for women of any age:

1. Leather jackets: Look for sleek, unfussy shapes to wear with pants, jeans and dresses

2. Camel and red hues: Two of this season’s hottest colors also happen to be classics that work for women of any age. Invest in a camel or red coat to make any fall outfit look chic.

3. Animal prints: A well placed accessory like a leopard print bag or ballet flat is a luxe and sophisticated look. A pretty animal print blouse also has a place in a sophisticated wardrobe when worn with a pencil skirt or under a blazer.

4. Military chic: Think you can’t wear this season’s military trend? Think again! A belted military-inspired jacket or blazer works for women of any age.

5. Faux fur: A faux fur scarf, vest or fur trimmed sweater is worth investing in.

6. Menswear-inspired trousers: This season’s must-have pant would make Katharine Hepburn proud. Wear these now and forever.

7. Boots: Riding boots, knee-high boots and ankle booties are a must for women of any age. Whether flat boots or 4-inchers, choose a heel height that works for you.

8. Statement jewelry: Invest in rich-looking statement jewelry to wear day or night.

Q. I recently bought an olive colored military long sleeve shirt and would like to know what color pants to wear them with, and what color shoes?

A. An olive military shirt or jacket is one of our favorite trends this season, proving to be an extremely versatile wardrobe item. Think of olive green as a neutral color that pairs easily with denim, brown, black, camel and gray, as well as brighter colors and even prints. Wear your shirt with everything from dark skinny jeans and boots to a pretty floral dress or skirt and heels. Below are some looks for inspiration:

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