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Q. I have an animal print (cream and brown) mid calf length dress that i need shoes for. My legs are heavy in the calf area and I am relatively tall (5’7”). I am not overweight but certainly not skinny.

A. You’re best shoe option is a nude colored heel or wedge sandal, without ankle straps. These will help to lengthen and visually slim your leg, while pairing beautifully with a cream and brown animal print dress. You may also want to consider hemming your dress so it falls closer to your knee (either at, below or just above the knee) since a mid-calf length tends to make calves look larger.


Here are some nude shoe options for you:

Q. I have read articles and advice on jean styles for women over 40 that has been stating that women over 40 should not wear jeans that have heavy embellishment or embroidery on them, especially back pockets. I also read that pocket flaps or buttons should be avoided. I am wondering if the style of jean that I wear is considered appropriate. I wear the Levi’s classic relaxed boot cut jeans in a medium dark wash. They do not have any of the above mentioned. The ones I wear also are a mid rise waist since I am a size 16. I have heard that the above mentioned styles should be reserved for 20-somethings. What do you suggest?


A. I don’t believe that women over 40 are relegated to “mom” jeans while younger 20-somethings get to wear the fun trends. There are exceptions of course, like some of the really destroyed or decorated styles which tend to look very young. More important than embellishment or embroidery is that you choose a denim silhouette which flatters your figure. Your shape should determine your jeans more than your age. While pocket flaps and embroidered pockets are perfectly fine for someone over 40, they are not a flattering choice for many women as they tend to enhance your rear.

The medium rise classic boot cut jeans in a medium to dark wash that you currently favor also happen to be one of the most universally flattering styles for a variety of figure types, regardless of age. If you feel good in them, wear them! Don’t worry too much about the trendy jean of the moment, wear what looks good on you. For more tips on finding the right jeans for your figure, check out our denim fit guide.

Q. I’m going to a wedding in Aruba and I’m not sure what to wear. Any suggestions for a Caribbean Chic or Beach Formal wedding?

A. Sounds like fun! Beach weddings are the perfect opportunity to invest in a pretty summer dress that isn’t so formal, so you’re more likely to wear it again. Embrace the island locale and search for a dress that is light, airy, colorful and unstructured - dresses that are too stiff or formal will look out of place in the tropics. Anything goes when it comes to length, from soft mini dresses to flowing maxi dresses, and don’t be afraid to show a little skin - even if it’s just a bare shoulder.

Pair your pretty dress with sexy metallic sandals or wedges and summery jewelry.


Q. Well, here I am, 75 (and a half), and still not exactly a fashion plate and increasingly wondering what IS appropriate attire for my age. Even my favorite - jeans - seem to have been taken over by the very young, very fit, who can wear the low waistlines I could wear years ago. I love, love, love flat knee high boots but have never owned a pair. I’m 5’5”, 130 pounds. Would I look ridiculous stepping out in a pair of those boots I’ve so long longed for?


A. Yes! You can absolutely wear flat knee high boots. In fact, a classic riding boot can be a very sophisticated look, suitable for someone of any age. Avoid styles with trendy embellishments like studs or excessive hardware, as these tend to look more youthful. Try pairing a simple, clean boot with slim jeans (yes, you can wear those too!) or pants and a button front shirt and blazer for a gorgeous age-appopriate look. Now is the perfect time to shop for knee high boots which are not usually considered a summer item, so there will be many styles available on sale.

Q. I’m going to be attending a wedding this summer that is at an extremely formal/fancy venue. Although they didn’t list attire, I am told by the bride that a long dress would be the most appropriate. Knowing this crowd, the guests will be dressed to the nines so I want to make sure I don’t look out of place. I want to spend $120 or less if possible, but I know it is hard to find an evening dress for that cost that doesn’t look like i’m in a cheap fake satin prom dress. I also don’t want to buy something that I’ll never wear again. I’m 5’3, small chest, tiny overall. Please help!

A. I’m not sure I agree that only long gowns are appropriate for a formal wedding; an elegant cocktail dress is usually appropriate as well. However, since the bride specifically mentioned a long dress, it’s best to accommodate her wishes if possible. The good news? We found several options in your price range that won’t look like you’re wearing a cheap prom dress or a tacky bridesmaid dress. The bad news? There’s a good chance you won’t wear your dress again - at least until you receive another invite for a formal affair.

Our favorite pick from the options below is a simple, classic strapless long dress. We found two options that are under $100 which leaves some extra money for a fabulous necklace and some chic shoes. The silhouette and dark color make even a simple shape and not so expensive fabric look elegant, and you’ll be more likely to wear it again than a more fussy dress.

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