| Ask The Style Chefs

ask us

( have a style question? email us )

Q. I have a question about skirt lengths. I just bought 2 amazing skirts that I just love, but I’m short and don’t know if they are too long. I am 5’3” and a size 12. The first skirt is black and has beautiful embroidery on the bottom, but it’s probably 5” below my knee. The second is a nice brown with embroidery also on the bottom, but is about 3” below my knee. Are these going to be too long for me? What are the guidelines on skirt lengths, not talking about mini-skirts!
-Short & Chic

A. The average woman’s height in America is 5’3” so you’re not alone in your confusion in finding flattering pieces. Generally, the best skirt length to give the illusion of height would be a skirt that hits around the knee. The skirt that is five inches below the knee may “shorten’ you further so why not keep the 3” inch embroidered version and find a second skirt that flatters, but doesn’t repeat the embroidery detail. Mix it up in your wardrobe. The best balance would be to pair it with a high heel or wedge.

Q. I need your professional expertise on my dress ensemble for a friend’s upcoming 40th B-day celebration. I have attached a photo hoping it gives you a good idea. What I need is advice on shoes and accessories. The dress is a cream and gray pattern and it falls like silk.
-Friend Function

A. Try a grey patent leather sandal or peep toe heel or neutral beige, and don’t get stuck on matching the hue exactly. The heels can be a little lighter or darker. I would go with a simple thin necklace that has a charm or pendant on the end as long as it lays within the “V” of the dress or choose a longer necklace that hangs about two to three inches longer than the “V.” Alternatively, choose earrings that have some colored beads like blue, violet or pink and then add an enamel bracelet in a color or pattern. There are great enamel pieces available at and and I’m a big fan of the charm style necklaces on

Seychelles Big BucksNine West Revengez MAXSTUDIO 'Ferris' Sandal
 kate spade 'gwennie' pumpModa Spana Demirsvp Liz

1. Seychelles Big Bucks, $84 at
2. Nine West Revengez, $83 at
3. MAXSTUDIO ‘Ferris’ Sandal, $158.95 at

4. kate spade ‘gwennie’ pump, $295 at
5. Moda Spana Demi, $93 at
6. rsvp Liz, $65 at

Cabochon-wrapped enamel bangle1" enamel bangleTwo-strand turquoise drop necklace

Purple Jade, Grey Onyx, and Smoky Quartz Color Block Floating Silk NecklaceRutilated quartz briolette necklaceGenuine rose quartz vine earring

1. Cabochon-wrapped enamel bangle, $68 at
2. 1” enamel bangle, $35 at
3. Two-strand turquoise drop necklace, $49 at

4. Purple Jade, Grey Onyx, and Smoky Quartz Color Block Floating Silk Necklace, $89 at
5. Rutilated quartz briolette necklace, $45 at
6. Genuine rose quartz vine earring, $59 at

Q. I’m a young college student who is in a search for an affordable dress - something fairly casual, but something that can be dressed up as well. The trouble is, I’m bottom heavy. I’m a plus size on bottom due to my thighs and hips, but nothing ever correctly fits me at the waist, which means all my skirts either sag or are a little too tight at the waist; at the top I’m usually a regular size. I fell in love with the Ruffle Cotton Dress from Boden, but am not quite sure if it would work on me. I have a decent size chest but am not a big fan of showing off my arms or my underarms. Could you help me find one?
- Right Fit

Ruffle Cotton Dress

A. This dress from Boden is young, flirty and has those extra details like ruffles and the wrap style that will help to define a waist. And with the short sleeves you’ll get a little coverage for the arms and under arms. Sticking with Boden, here’s another dress that should work with your figure - it will lay smoothly over your hips and thighs, has the flattering v-neck and gives arm coverage. Plus, I found a similar wrap style from Banana Republic in a pretty eyelet pattern.

Sexy Jersey DressEyelet wrap dress

1. Sexy Jersey Dress, $98 at (available in 4 colors)
2. 2. Eyelet wrap dress, $140 at (available in 2 colors)

Q. I chose the attached bridesmaid dress (in latte) to wear in a wedding in May. The only instructions given by the bride were tea length dress in latte or cappuccino and sandals. The guys are wearing champagne. I am clueless as to what type and color of dress sandals to wear? If this helps, I am 5’9 with skinny legs. Truly, I’d prefer a mid-cut heel but I will definitely consider all styles.
- Color Coordination


A. Look for champagne, cream or even a pale metallic heel to wear with your dress. There always seem to be fewer stylish choices when it comes to the hunt for a special occasion lower heel. Some can border on looking too old, but I found a few pairs that look good and just skim the line on being a high heel. Stand tall and confident.

Vaneli LarindaNina Genoa-LS Pura Lopez 'K122' SandalMossimo® Hester Jewel Satin Strap Heels - Sand

1. Vaneli Larinda, $86 at
2. Nina Genoa-LS, $83 at
3. Pura Lopez ‘K122’ Sandal, $228 at
4. Mossimo® Hester Jewel Satin Strap Heels - Sand, $19.99 at

Q. I have a pair of chocolate brown One True Fit pants by Lee and need to find something to wear on top for work. I was looking for something not too revealing on top. Help!
- Challenged by brown

A. I’m assuming you don’t need a conservative top, just one that isn’t too revealing for work. I’ve found several colorful options to create a richer stylish look when paired with your chocolate pants. Plus they’re affordable.

Spotty TopStyle&co. Scoop-Neck Top with Bishop SleevesO Oscar Printed Boat-Neck Tie-Waist Blouse

Python-print cardiganWorthington® Pintuck Blouse

1. Spotty Top, $74 at
2. Style&co. Scoop-Neck Top with Bishop Sleeves, $40 at
3. O Oscar Printed Boat-Neck Tie-Waist Blouse, $89 at

4. Python-print cardigan, $95 at
5. Worthington® Pintuck Blouse, $30 at

get the scoop

subscribe to our free weekly email! rss feed follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Pinterest!

like us on facebook!

subscribe + win


Around the Web: