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69196 Gr7216Q. I am going to be married in the near future (we are considering eloping, so it’s a bit casual). To that end, I picked up the J. Crew whitney silk faille dress in pale green and am trying to figure out how to accessorize it. I’m thinking strappy heels and some sort of wrap with dangly earrings, but I’m not sure what to do color-wise since the dress is a light sage green color and I don’t particularly want to wear white with it. Would metallic sandals work? Where would I look for something like this (especially as I tend to need a 12W)?
-Wedding Shoe Woes

 
A. Just because you’re considering eloping doesn’t mean your wedding attire has to be casual.  It’s your day to shine whether it’s walking down the aisle at the Little White Chapel in Vegas, with your closest family on a hilltop in Hawaii or having a small gathering at an intimate restaurant.   

Shopping for a larger size shoe can frustrating since many designers do not produce larger sizes and when they do, they produce fewer styles and stores buy smaller amounts of the styles compared to sizes 7 and 8. It may take a little more sleuthing to find a stylish heel that accompanies the chartreuse dress, but my suggestions lean towards a metallic heel and these shoe picks all come in your size:

Lgspcoco

Special Occasions ‘Coco’ 
$143 at designershoes.com

827-228787-D

Annie Selena 
$58.95 at zappos.com 

164062

J. Renee ‘Inga’ Sandal
$82.85 at nordstrom.com

Q. I’m going to a spring wedding, but I’m having a hard time finding dresses.  What are some good stores or sites that have dresses that are below $100?
-Dress for Less

A. I love, love, love any chance to wear a dress. It’s one of my favorite things, but they can end up costing a pretty penny.  I scoured several sites for dresses  that were within your budget and wedding appropriate. Also, do a little online budget shopping yourself at sites like edressme.com, fashionbug.com, rampage.com, bebe.com, jcrew.com, urbanoutfitters.com and the junior section of nordstrom.com for inexpensive dresses.

1603_59592_dtsleeveless satin dress
$39.99 (sale) at laredoute.com

Edressme_1882_12679475
black double v
flair dress
$72 at
edressme.com

P201671bKimchi & Blue
Velvet Beaded Dress
$59.99 (sale) at urbanoutfitters.com


Q. I am a fashion consultant and have a client who is large in the bust area.  She is size 38 DD, but says her bras just don’t fit well.  Her dilemma is she wears great suits but the wrong blouses and sweaters underneath.  I want to help her accentuate her bosom, not hide it.  She is a corporate secretary and has to dress business conservative.  She wears too much black.  What can I suggest as far as blouses are concerned to give her a polished look without buttons bulging in her blouses?
-Fighting Button Bulge

A. The first order of business is to find your client good fitting bras.  A good bra can lift her breasts, minimize her bust and make her clothes look and fit better.  Many department stores like Bloomingdales have bra fit specialists who can help your client find the RIGHT bra. 

With a large bust, she should choose v-neck sweaters and avoid turtlenecks and crewnecks. She may also have to buy one size up in a blouse so she can button without the pulling effect and then head to a tailor to have any extra fabric taken in.  Better to know your local tailor and spend a few extra bucks to look good than wonder about your appearance and the impression you’re giving at the office with ill-fitting clothes.  And if she thinks black makes her appear smaller or more slender, then let her know that even red and navy blue can too when it’s worn head to toe.   A solid colored suit that’s not black paired with a subtle patterned blouse or knit top can make others turn and take notice in a positive way.

Q. I just bought a pair of brown and off-white plaid capris and an off-white sweater to wear with them.  My dilemma is the shoes…what kind of shoes can I wear with them?  And do tights look ok with them?
-Putting My Best Foot Forward

A. I’m not a big fan of capris during the winter months unless they’re a true cropped pant or gaucho that you can wear with knee high boots, in which case you’ve got many choices. Unless they’re a short length, stick with flats, wedges and kitten heels - and preferably worn with bare legs.

985197768d
Steve Madden Sybel
$63.95 at zappos.com

165461Seychelles ´Habit Forming´ Pump
$74.95 at
nordstrom.com

173913
Taryn Rose Bijou Flat
$380 at nordstrom.com

Q. I want to break into fashion, but I haven’t graduated school yet, and I’m married.  But for the past few years I’ve been wanting to design clothing and have others wear them.  Now that’s all I ever seem to talk about.  I get so upset because nobody will help me, and I feel that I’m so lost, it seems as though it’s completely taken over me.  Please help me on how I’m able to get my fashions out there.  Thanks.
-Fashion Break

A. First question: are you in school studying fashion design?  If not, why not if that’s your passion?  If you’ve just realized that designing is your dream and you’ve still got some courses left, meet with an adviser about taking some marketing, advertising or business courses that will help you develop a plan on how to reach customers or employers when you graduate.  Many colleges offer co-op opportunities that allow you to make money at a job and receive college credit as well.  Or how about an internship? Either way, next question: do you know how to sew, make a pattern, drape a muslin? This is where the co-op or internship fits in.  Work with a dressmaker, a tailor or seamstress in your city or town.  Buy some patterns and visit fabric shops and start making your own clothes and see if you get compliments on the fit, color choices and fabrics.  Take apart or reconstruct clothes you already own.  Pay attention to detail and check out what other designers are doing each season.

Also, realize that not every great designer creates their own collection; many work for other designers to learn the business and build a resume.  Many get those jobs with minuscule starting salaries.  And there are many people who hold regular jobs, but become custom clothiers (meaning they can create great skirts, tops, dresses, etc. each season in different fabrics or customers go to them with specific needs) on the side until they can financially sustain themselves.

It’s great to be hyped up and excited about taking on a new career or challenge and remember, it’s your dream so go after it, but don’t assume that other people are there to give you a helping hand.  Some people may be holding back on encouragement or giving support until they see you take steps towards actually realizing your goals. Do some research, good luck and stay jazzed about your dream.

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