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Q. I am searching for a pair of control top leggings. I have plenty of regular leggings but have recently gained weight and would like to minimize my newly acquired hips, thighs and stomach. I have searched the internet but am having a hard time finding a pair that is not for maternity and not $100. Do you have any suggestions?

A. There are several control top and shaping leggings available, including denim leggings. Here are some of our top choices, from $29 to $76 at

Lisse Leggings: Shaping Control Top Leggings
Shape fx: Tummy Control Skinny Leggings
Miraclebody: Denim Shaping Leggings
Yummie Tummie: Knitted Shaping Leggings

Q. Are cargo pants in or over for the fall? If they are passe, is there something that has replaced them?


A. You will be thrilled to know that the military trend is marching right into fall, and that includes cargo pants. Whether you bought a pair of skinny cargo pants or a silky relaxed pair this summer, or are interested in investing in a few new pairs for fall, there are several ways to wear them this season.

Try pairing skinny cargo pants with a draped tank or t-shirt and a strong blazer. Finish the look with ankle booties or a platform pump. If you prefer a looser fitting cargo, look for one in a slinky knit or silky fabric which gives them a dressier appearance. Pair it with a slim fitting top and a this season’s must-have desert boot or lace-up bootie for a modern military look for fall.

Here are a few images for inspiration (click on each image to shop the look):

Q. I have a problem finding knee high boots because my feet are disproportionate to my body. Although I stand at 5’9, my feet are a size 7. This means that any knee high boots I try on are too small to zip around my calves. The other issue is that I’m only 24 and most of the wide calf boots I’ve found are matronly. Are there any boots out there offered in wide calf sizes that are also fit for a 24 year old?

A. There’s no need to sacrifice style when searching for a wide calf boot. Here are several different styles that we’re loving this season, all with a generous calf width:


Q. I really love the full skirt trend for fall but thus far, have been challenged to find affordable renditions of Louis Vuitton’s gorgeous silk and wool skirts. Any suggestions for finding wallet-friendly skirts and for keeping the look a bit more modern than ’50s?

A. Calf-grazing skirts ruled the Louis Vuitton runway for fall, as well as several other designers’ shows. Long and full, there is most definitely a ’50s influence to this skirt style. To give the look a modern spin, pair it with a simple, minimal top, or a sharp fitted jacket. Pumps, kitten heels or even flats are the ladylike shoe of choice to finish the look. Be sure to choose a hem length that flatters your leg, showing off the slimmest part of your calf and ankle.


Here are some budget friendly long full skirts to try this season:

Q. I will be traveling to Italy this November, spending time in Florence and Rome. Mindful of keeping room in my luggage to bring back lots of goodies, I am struggling with what to pack. So far, I purchased these boots and I am interested in building a number of looks (casual and slightly more dressy) around them. I hope to avoid looking like a typical tourist (jeans and tennis shoes). I am petite (5’2” and 110 lbs.) and am comfortable in most colors. Please share some suggestions for affordable outerwear (light-to-medium weight), pieces for layering, and what kind of pants/leggings to wear.

A. Your boots were a great purchase - comfortable and chic. To coordinate with your boots, your best bet is to pack a few pairs of skinny jeans and leggings to pair with some mix and match pieces to layer on top. Pack a leather jacket and a scarf and you should be ready for any weather. Add a cute day-to-evening dress that works with your boots and you’ll be set.

Here are some pieces in a neutral palette that will help you to create several different looks. The knit dress can be worn with bare legs or tights, or wear it as a sweater with the jeans and leggings. Add a belt over the dress and cardigans to vary the look:

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