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Q. One question I’ve never seen asked or addressed by stylists is what the perfect length for pants/jeans/slacks is, no matter what the trend (floods, capris, etc.) is. Would you tell me whereabouts on the foot or ankle they should rest?
-Long & Short of It
 

A. Pants always look better than capris or shorts.  As for length, the longer length is more flattering.  Pants should cover the tops of shoes or pumps with just the front of the shoe showing.  Unfortunately, we all wear different heel heights, so when you have pants hemmed you need to figure out if you’ll wear a heel or flats/sneakers with the pants. Generally, we wear our dress pants with heels and we succumb to flats and sneakers with our khakis and casual wear.  Jeans are the trickiest since we wear them with everything from flip-flops to 4 inch heels.  Choose your best looking dark pair for heels and your favorite all-around pair to wear with sneakers, flats and kitten heel heights, then hem them appropriately.

Q. I will be celebrating my upcoming 24th birthday by going on a weekend trip to Las Vegas with my girlfriends.  I normally dress in a very preppy manner and need help finding pieces that are more appropriate for Vegas as opposed to Connecticut.  I must admit that I am the conservative dresser within my group of friends and would like to look stylish, trendy, and young for once so I can fit in with my girls in Sin City. 
-Sin City STyle

A. Since it’s only a weekend, you won’t need much to add a little sass to your preppy wardrobe. Though “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” you are going with friends who will remember and won’t hesitate to remind you.  So be aware of any behavior that you may regret later.

For day, cute colorful skirts and tops work just fine, and you probably already have these in your wardrobe. And of course, a bathing suit for lying by the pool. What you need help with is your party attire for going to a show or playing blackjack. Pack your dark jeans and add a sultry top with details like sequins or something that fits your body and shows just a hint of skin like a bare shoulder. I’m sure I don’t have to even say this to you, but here goes: no midriff-baring tops. 

Then add a fun cocktail dress and heels. Not the kind of dress you’d wear to a wedding, but a fun jersey mini dress or tunic style. Bring along a medium to high heel sandal or wedge and you can wear the same heels with both the dress and the dark jeans and top. Add a jacket, since it gets cold in the desert and those hotel casinos are always air conditioned to keep you awake and gambling.

Some dress picks to give you inspiration:

Lux Printed Deep V Kimono DressLux Flutter Sleeve DressSolid Egyptian cotton boatneck dress

left to right: Lux Printed Deep V Kimono Dress, $58 at urbanoutfitters.com; Lux Flutter Sleeve Dress, $58 at urbanoutfitters.com; Solid Egyptian cotton boatneck dress, $98 at jcrew.com

some sexy tops to pair with a jacket or cardigan and dark slim jeans with heels:

Bow Detail Halter TopOne Shoulder Trapeze TopGrosgrain Cross Back Strap Camisole

left to right:  Bow Detail Halter Top, $48 at ardenb.com;  One Shoulder Trapeze Top, $58 at ardenb.com; Grosgrain Cross Back Strap Camisole, $59.99 (sale) at armaniexchange.com

some cropped jackets and cardigans to layer over your top or dress:

Lux Cropped Dolman Jacket,Empire Waist Tie Front JacketSoft Side Cardigan

left to right: Lux Cropped Dolman Jacket, $48 at urbanoutfitters.com; Empire Waist Tie Front Jacket, $128 at ardenb.com; Soft Side Cardigan, $148 at kennethcole.com

Q. What do I wear for an evening wedding in Battery Park in March?
-NYC by Water 

A. I assume the wedding will be indoors, so the invite—black tie or not — will determine your clothing.  I always wear a dress to a wedding.  I’m a fan of dressy cocktail length dresses, they work for all occasions. And please choose a color.  I am just as much a victim of owning multiple little black dresses, but I know that when I wear color to events, I always snag more compliments and suddenly walk a little taller. I know the Battery Park area in NYC quite well- it will likely be a bit windy and chilly by the water so bring a wrap and spritz on hairspray to avoid the windblown effect.

Q.  What color shoe should I wear with solid white Bermuda  shorts when paired with a black or brown top? Also, I am only 5’4…what style Bermuda is best for a shorter person…are cuffs OK?
-Shorty Pants 

A. Cuffs on your shorts are fine, but keep the leg of the short cut straight and slim, you do not want a wide leg short on a petite frame - it will make you look shorter and wider.  As for length, choose ones that are at or above the knee.  For shoes, a wedge heel will keep the look stylish and give you a little height. You can look for a pattern, stripe or solid.  If you choose a pattern, you will have a better likelihood of wearing several solid colored tops with your shorts while upping the style quotient of your look.

Q. I am attending my brother-in-law’s wedding in Florida in March. I wanted to ask you if it is appropriate to wear a bright red dress to the rehearsal dinner. They told me that it might look like I am trying to compete with the bride. I am one of the bridesmaids, so for the day of the wedding and reception I am wearing my bridesmaid’s dress. Is this appropriate too or should I dress differently for the reception?
-Red Rose
 

A. A red dress is a fabulous style color choice for any occasion. The style of the dress is more important than the color when evaluating appropriateness —don’t wear anything too showy or with too much skin revealed.  Nobody is going to dress dowdy for the rehearsal dinner and it’s not your intention to outdo the bride.  All eyes will be on the couple, so feel free to look good.

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