StyleBakery.com | Ask The Style Chefs

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Q. I am so excited that I found your website.  My dilemma is that my daughter is getting married this June, she has chosen black and ivory as the colors.  I am typically a very plain jeans and t-shirt person so this is extremely difficult.  When we go out, I usually wear my basic black slacks. The wedding reception will be an elegant and intimate (150 guests) affair. Our church wedding is at noon and the reception is at our country club at 5 pm.  My problem is that I am having a hard time deciding what is appropriate to wear.  I am 48, petite (but busty) and weigh 105.  My church dress idea so far is a straight cut sleeveless black dress, nude hose and pumps.  My reception dress idea is just below the knee black with maybe a little sparkle.   I had considered a full length but am fearful I will look 2 ft. tall.
-Black Back to Back

A. The colors of the wedding don’t have to apply to your dress choices.  You can opt for color if you wish, but it seems you’d rather be subdued and comfortable.  Since you are the mother of the bride, you need to be equal or above the elegance factor of the bridal party attire. If you choose two black dresses to wear for the wedding day, then be sure that they are different in style enough to notice.  And be sure they are dressy enough for a wedding and not just a cocktail party.  Add great accessories to liven up the look of the dresses and wear great heels.  And don’t hesitate to embrace a little sparkle in your dress.

Q. My senior prom is coming up in the first week of June and I cannot find anything to wear! The theme is a night in Paris, and every girl is shopping at BCBG, so that is out of the question. I live in Canada and we have most of the same stores as America. I want the dress to be short and maybe dark blue, red, or black. Do you have any suggestions as to where to shop and some of the dresses that would fit this occasion?
-French fashion wannabe

A.  I skipped BCBG and sought out dresses that were classy, chic, young and sophisticated to help give off a French flair:

Polka Dot Cocktail Dresses by KittyEliza J Strapless Satin Party DressBetsy & Adam Lace-Up Back Dress

Red Silk Taffeta Cocktail Dress
by eDressMe new yorkLaundry by Shelli Segal Strapless Taffeta DressKay Unger Stretch Satin Sheath with Bow


left to right: Polka Dot Cocktail Dresses by Kitty, $119 at
edressme.com; Eliza J Strapless Satin Party Dress, $138 at nordstrom.com;  Betsy & Adam Lace-Up Back Dress, $128 at nordstrom.com; Red Silk Taffeta Cocktail Dress by eDressMe new york, $275 at edressme.com; Laundry by Shelli Segal Strapless Taffeta Dress, $420 at nordstrom.com; Kay Unger Stretch Satin Sheath with Bow, $348 at nordstrom.com

(PS get 15% off at edressme.com with code STYLEBAKERY through 6/1/07)

Q. I am an outdoorsy girl with a sometimes non-existing sense of style.  I have booked a flight to join some fashionable friends in South Beach, Miami this August for a long weekend of martinis, dining out and hitting the clubs.  I am very excited about the trip but already anxious about what to wear.   I don’t have much of a budget, and would love to know what kinds of pieces to keep my eye out for.  Can you help?
-Sporty Vs. Spice   

A. Miami, particularly South Beach, is a town filled with body conscious people. And while LA and NYC may seem similar with people in fashionable clothes and heading off to the gym, yoga or Pilates, South Beach is a town filled with people showing off their bodies.  And in August it will be hot, hot, hot. So to keep cool and look cool, you’ll need to be a bit daring by showing off a little skin and while still showing off a stylish look.

Silk Printed Halter DressOff Shoulder Trapeze Top Skinny Crop Zipper Jeans

Scarf Print Beaded CamiRubbish Linen Blend ShortsCalvin Klein 'Kimora' Sandal

left to right: try a sultry summer dress like this Silk Printed Halter Dress ($99) from ardenb.com; or pair a sexy top like this Off Shoulder Trapeze Top ($58) with Skinny Crop Zipper Jeans ($118), both from ardenb.com; or try this Scarf Print Beaded Cami ($78) from ardenb.com paired with Rubbish Linen Blend Shorts ($28) from nordstrom.com.  Pair all with sexy espadrilles like these Calvin Klein ‘Kimora’ Sandal ($94.95) from nordstrom.com or cork wedges and you’re set!

Q. I just discovered your website and have a question regarding intimates.  I want to make my stomach seem flat and my waist smaller.  I’m a rather short woman (approx. 5’1) with rather large measurements (38-32-38).  My bra size is 34D (just got resized after many years of not wearing a proper size).  I want to know what you think of wearing a girdle or other shaper undergarment for a person of my size.  Does this seem like a good idea?   My desire to make my figure more attractive and slimmer-looking.  What options are there?
-Want to look slimmer

A. We all have issues with our bodies.  Thankfully, no matter what our shape or size, there is shapewear available to help make positive changes in the way our clothes fit and look on our body. I would suggest looking for smooth fitting shapewear undergarments. Some “girdles” have boning and additional pieces that while creating a slimmer look, can mean lines and slight bumps under your clothes.  Don’t fret about your petite height, just be sure to try a few options in your search for the ideal slimming companion.

Some of my favorites:

Body by Nancy Ganz Sleek underneath body briefer0A057Dkn The Body Wrap: Firm Control High Waist PantyBody by Nancy Ganz 
Sleek underneath hi-waist brief

left to right: Body by Nancy Ganz Sleek underneath body briefer, $45 at figleaves.com;   Donna Karan Hosiery: The Body Perfect Collection Level 1 High Waist Embrace Brief, $40 at barenecessities.com; The Body Wrap: Firm Control High Waist Panty, $38 at barenecessities.com; Body by Nancy Ganz Sleek underneath hi-waist brief, $22 at figleaves.com

for more ideas on shapers and what to wear under your clothes, check out Underneath It All

Q. I am going to Nashville for a wedding in mid-May.  Can I wear a white skirt to the rehearsal dinner even though it is before Memorial Day? 
-White Wonder

A. It will all depend on the temperature in Nashville at that time and the material of the skirt. No linen, and no too-thin cotton. If it’s warm and the rest of your outfit isn’t too “light” then you can probably pull it off.

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