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Q. My girlfriend recently had a baby, and is self-conscience of her mid section. She has broad shoulders and back with a large bust. What are some good styles of summer dresses for her inverted triangle figure?

A. Ahhh, that post-baby period can be a difficult period of adjustment - maternity clothes are too large but you’re not quite back in your old clothes either. While your girlfriend is getting used to her new (temporary) figure, she has several styles of summer dresses available to suit her:

_5621971.jpg_5673203.jpg_5641317.jpg1. EMPIRE WAIST HALTER DRESS - Halter necks are a great silhouette for broad shoulders, while an empire waist style should hit right above a post-natal tummy. A printed border on the bottom draws the eye away from her chest. BCBGMAXAZRIA Print Matte Jersey Dress, $158 at nordstrom.com

2. TRAPEZE DRESS - The best way to balance out an inverted triangle figure is to choose a triangle shaped dress. The softly draping fabric accommodates a shrinking tummy and large bust, while flattering broad shoulders and slim legs. Maggy London Border Trapeze Dress, $128 at nordstrom.com

3. PRINTED SHIRTDRESS - This style adjusts for a larger bust and the empire waist style should hit her at her most slender area, right below the bustline. The busy print also helps to camouflage lumps and bumps. Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Crepe Shirtdress, $138 at nordstrom.com
Q. I am a 34D and love to wear sexy summer tops but I cannot go without a bra. Very few stores offer tops with built-in underwire bras. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Unfortunately, a large bust does limit your options when it comes to bare summer tops. This doesn’t mean you don’t have options, however. Here are some tips:

1. Layer a tank or camisole underneath tops that would otherwise show too much cleavage. Try the Hanro Perfectly Nude Microfiber Underwire Camisole.

2. Try some of the bra alternatives available for D-cups that give you the freedom to wear tops that would otherwise show your bra while still offering some support: Pure Style Girlfriends: Gather-the-Girls Adhesive Strapless Bra, Sassybax Very Bare Bra and Fashion Forms Adhesive Body Bra.

You are correct that built-in underwires are very difficult to find, however, several companies like Victoria’s Secret and Soft Surroundings do offer tops with built in bras, some of them underwire. You may have to forego the full support of an underwire, though, for the medium support of a shelf bra or soft cup built into tops. Here are some suggestions:

bratops.jpg1. Akana Strapless Tunic, $39.99 at whitehouseblackmarket.com
2. Twist-front halter Bra Top, $28 at victoriassecret.com (several colors available)
3. Pleated Bra Top, $88 at victoriassecret.com (several colors available)
4. Sparkle Underwire Halter, $39.99 at softsurroundings.com
5. Underwire Necklace Halter, $78 at softsurroundings.com (several colors available)



Q. I have a dilemma. I am going to a wedding in August and need something to wear! What is appropriate? The ceremony is on a Saturday at 1pm with the reception to follow…Help! Oh, just to let you know, I am 5’6” and a little chubby. Any suggestions?

A. Since there’s no indication of dress code, it’s always safer to dress up rather than dress down. For a summer daytime wedding, opt for a dress in a pretty color or print with a hemline ranging from a minidress to a maxidress. Here are some figure flattering suggestions:

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1. Phoebe Couture Bead Chiffon Dress, $248 at nordstrom.com
2. Donna Ricco Sleeveless Double V-Neck Dress , $158 at nordstrom.com
3. Adrianna Papell Bead Chiffon Party Dress , $198 at nordstrom.com
4. Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Print Stretch Charmeuse Dress, $158 at nordstrom.com
5. Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Gathered Matte Jersey Dress, $128 at nordstrom.com
Q. I have been looking everywhere for flat, silver leather, strappy sandals for a wide foot for summer for under $45. But I can’t find any that aren’t gladiator or thong style. I want a casual sandal that I can still dress up if needed. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Wow, that’s a tall (or wide) order - flat, silver, wide, not a thong or gladiator and under $45. We did find several silver wide options at zappos.com and shoes.com, but none that fit all of your parameters. You may have to raise your price range or opt for a slightly higher heel to find a silver shoe that fits your wide foot. Here are some of the best we’ve found:

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Shoes_iAEC1092238.jpg shoes_iaec1110075.jpg Shoes_iAEC1087312.jpg Shoes_iAEC1088463.jpg
1. Fitzwell Charlotte, $79 at zappos.com
2. Vigotti Nora, $89 at zappos.com
3. Bouquets Newport, $70 at zappos.com
4. J. Reneé Desna, $109 at zappos.com
5. Touch Ups Women’s Melanie, $40.99 at shoes.com
6. Gretta Women’s Gilda, $44 at shoes.com
7. Touch Ups Women’s Lynn, $51.99 at shoes.com
8. Touch Ups Women’s Gemini, $58.99 at shoes.com
Q. I have recently moved to a chillier climate which means I still need a light jacket or sweater to go out on summer nights. The blazers and cardigans I wear to work seem too “buttoned up” for a night out with friends. Can you suggest some more casual, versatile pieces to layer over the summer tops I already own to keep me warm and looking fashionable when it gets breezy?

A. Our favorite items to pack along for chilly evenings are shrunken cardigans and lightweight scarves. Both roll up into small packages to tuck into a handbag or tote and work with everything from tanks, tees and feminine tops to dresses. Unless your work cardigans are boxy, they should pair perfectly with your more casual clothes - just open up the buttons and push up the sleeves a bit. As for jackets, everything from shrunken boyfriend styles to slouchy unstructured blazers work well.

Here are some visuals for inspiration:

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1. Dream V-neck cardigan, $78 at jcrew.com 
2. Lux Little Brother Blazer, $68 at urbanoutfitters.com
3. Metallic Ombre Linen Scarf, $24 at urbanoutfitters.com 
4. Geometric Jacket, $178 at anthropologie.com 
5. Herringbone école jacket, $198 at jcrew.com 
6. Daisy eyelet jacket, $278 at jcrew.com 
7. Hadley jacket, $118 at jcrew.com

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