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Q. I’m a frequent visitor to your website, and I always find great tips.  I just found out that I’m expecting my first child in the fall, and I’m already starting to think about maternity clothes, but it’s pretty overwhelming.  Do you have any store recommendations?  Do you have any style tips?  I’m short and small framed, but with a larger chest - which will only get larger - and I don’t want to look like a walking tomato in six months!
-Forward Thinking Tummy 

A. Congratulations!  There are so many brands to choose from for your growing belly. Check for sales on sites before you shell out bucks for outfits you’ll only wear a few times. Look for pieces than can translate with an accessory change from day to evening. Try wearing items from your own wardrobe (like babydoll styles) mixed with maternity pieces and even consider buying large sizes of non-maternity clothing, which at times will fit better depending on how your body changes. Some of my favorite maternity sites include: cadeau.com, japaneseweekend.com, bellydancematernity.com, mimimaternity.com, apeainthepod.com, nordstrom.com and babystyle.com (great for sales). Plus there are the basics that work like collections from oldnavy.com, target.com and jcpenney.com.

You’ll also need new bras that give good support as your breasts grow larger. We love the choices on bareneccessities.com and figleaves.com.

Here are a few flattering pieces you’ll get a lot of mileage from:

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left to right: Belly Basics Maternity Double Cowl Neck Dress (also in black), $88 at nordstrom.com; Belly Basics Maternity Wrap Tunic (also in black), $78 at nordstrom.com; Ruched-Waist Skirts (many colors), $16.50 at oldnavy.com

Q. I am having a major problem looking for wedding shoes. HELP ME, I only have a budget of  $110.00 and I want a pair of low-heeled (kitten heel) shoes, light ivory or cream with a round closed toe. I don’t want an open back shoe, but I do want something stylish and definitely comfy, it can even be dyeable. 
-Help me, Help me 

A.  You’ve given yourself quite a list of restrictions for a day that is about love and merriment.  Perhaps you spent all your dough on the dress? Tsk, tsk young lady, you need the whole look to be fabulous!  Alas, I have found a few options that fit into your price, height, style and color requirements. Generally, I loathe dyeable shoes since there is rarely a need to match your shoe color perfectly to a dress, however, this seems to be your best option in your price range. Have a glorious wedding!

Touch Ups Breeze, $54.95Touch Ups Ginger, $54.95Dyeables Darling, $54.95


left to right, from onlineshoes.com: Touch Ups Breeze, $54.95; Touch Ups Ginger, $54.95; Dyeables Darling, $54.95

63705 Red FrtQ. I stumbled across your site recently, and I think it’s great! I purchased this dress to wear to a summer wedding and I was wondering what shoes and bag you recommend wearing with it. Do you think accessories will be too much? 
-Color Please Me
 

A. Keep the accessories simple. I recommend gold jewelry as a good warm color for dresses with many colors.  As for sandals, you have options: for sophistication, choose a nude or natural color; for sass, choose a red strappy; for simple but nice, a pale chocolate; and for drama, go for pale gold. Your clutch or handbag should be gold, natural, white or pale chocolate.

Q. My son will be getting married in a few months.  The bride’s attendants are wearing black dresses as is the Mother of the bride.  The bride’s and attendants’ flowers will be a mix of fuchsia, orange and yellow, and the colors at the reception will be chocolate brown and fuchsia, with accents of orange and yellow.  I have been told I can wear any color, but not a pastel.  I don’t want to wear black, but am wondering what colors I might consider.  I was originally thinking some shade of brown, but I don’t know how that will look with the black and the floral accent colors. 
-Dress Decision 

A. Stop wondering about the colors of the flowers, the tablecloths and the bridesmaid dresses and start immediately thinking about you and what will make you happy and look good. Skip the pastels and start picking out dresses with colors that make you smile and add a warm color to your skin. Head to your favorite stores with formal dress departments and enlist the help of a personal shopper (they’re free at most department stores and they’re there to help). Bring along a savvy, stylish friend or two to help you make a decision. Shop online to get a sense of what you’re interested in. If you find a dress you love, buy it online and you can bring it to a tailor if you need some adjustments.  We’re fans of edressme.com, saks.com, nordstrom.com and bergdorfgoodman.com. For store shopping, make it a fun day with a plan of action, list your stores to visit, bring along pics from magazines and online sites and be sure to stop for lunch with your girlfriends to destress.

Q. I have bought several blazers over the past 2 years and find that I enjoy wearing them with jeans and cute tops when I go out, but have a hard time transitioning them into my work wardrobe.  I would do button-downs in fun colors, but unfortunately, I have a larger chest and button downs just don’t work.  Any ideas on what to pair them with (or where to find button down shirts that fit?
-Topper

A. My advice for busty girls is always to buy a top that fits around the chest and then head to a tailor to have the rest of the shirt fitted to your body.  Or, for the perfect fit off the rack, Rebecca & Drew makes an ingenious line of shirts and shirtdresses that are sized by cup size that won’t gap on even the bustiest girls. Also, look for stylish knit tops and thin sweaters to wear under the blazer as an alternative.

0470068734269 275X275



Rebecca & Drew Swiss Dot Blouse,
available up to size 38D
$165 at
saks.com

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