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Q. I’ve seen lots of adorable denim shorts in magazines and on celebrities lately, and I love the look - both the ragged-edge cut-offs and cute cuffed styles. What style is most flattering on those of us that aren’t model-skinny?

Any tips for doing it myself and cutting off a pair? I have several drawers full of old jeans at home (it’s an addiction), many of which I rarely wear because they are either no longer in style or don’t fit perfectly. I’d love to transform an unused pair into cute shorts!

And how can I wear them without looking sloppy? Somehow all the magazines make jean shorts look like part of a purposeful outfit rather than bummy weekend wear - what’s the secret?

A. Denim shorts are indeed a big trend this season, available in long knee-grazing lengths and short “Daisy Duke” lengths, with or without cuffs and in all washes ranging from dark to super distressed. In other words, when it comes to denim shorts, practically anything goes.

When it comes to finding the most flattering style for your figure, it’s all about your thighs. If your thighs are slim and toned, you’re one of the lucky few who can wear most styles. For the rest of us, we recommend choosing a length that covers the widest (or bumpiest) part of your thighs. Petite women look best in lengths that hit mid-thigh or above to help lengthen legs. Below are some styles in varying lengths and washes:

Denim shorts can also be quite versatile: wear them with tank tops and t-shirts with beachy sandals, or feminine blouses and boyfriend blazers with heels and wedges. Below are some looks for inspiration (first 2 images:; image at right:

If you have piles full of old jeans, we absolutely encourage a DIY approach to this trend, especially since designer pairs can cost $200 or more. To figure out what length you want your shorts to be, start by trying on your jeans and marking with a pen where you would like to begin cutting. Remember, you can always cut more off, so it’s better to start with a longer length to be safe. If you plan to cuff your shorts, be sure to leave ample length for a double cuff (this will hide the raw edge). For a neater cuffed look, iron your cuffs and secure them with a stitch or two to keep them from unrolling. For a messy frayed edge, wash and dry your shorts a few times and the edges will begin to unravel.

If you want to distress your shorts, check out this article for tips. Good luck!

3279-442574-d.jpg.jpegQ. I was wondering what I can wear with these ankle boots and if there was anyway I can wear them this summer without looking TOO ridiculous.

A. These are great boots that you will get a lot of wear from, however, they really are too heavy to wear in the summer. Tuck them away and take them out at the end of September to wear with everything from dresses to skinny jeans (check out this article for ideas on how to wear them).

Q. I’m over 50 and in search of an age-appropriate dress to wear to work this summer. I’m not comfortable wearing sleeveless, so it should have short sleeves, and I’m also a bit self-conscious about my stomach. The dress should hit around the knee and be easy and comfortable to wear, yet impressive enough for my job in sales. Thanks for your help!

A. Sure thing! Here are several short sleeve, knee length dresses for you to choose from:

Q. I need your help. I don’t know what shoes to pack for a week long walking tour in Europe. I don’t want to be so sporty that I coordinate my outfit around a pair of tennis shoes, but I also can’t find a pair of sandals that are supportive enough to withstand eight hours a day of walking. Am I too worried about fashion over function? I just can’t bring myself to spend an unfashionable week in tennis shoes and tourist clothes in one of the most fashionable continents on the globe! :) Any suggestions?

A. Unfortunately, the European image of the typical American tourist is a t-shirt, shorts, fanny pack and sneakers. I applaud and completely support your desire to look stylish while feeling comfortable. You’ll be thrilled to know that there are plenty of options for comfortable, supportive - and, yes, chic - sandals to wear during your European tour.

Below are some sandal options, as well as some stylish sneaker alternatives (no tennis shoes in the bunch!). Just be sure to give your final selections a good test run before you leave for your trip - you don’t want any blisters ruining your day!

Q. I’m small-chested (34A) and whenever I wear my strapless bras (and i’ve tried a number of them: Victoria’s Secret, Gap, etc.), if i have them on under a snug fitting top, i get a highly unattractive “dent” across my breasts where the top of the cup meets my skin. Yes, i’ve tried the bras specifically designated as “smooth” for supposedly seamless coverage. Can you please help me? Thanks!

A. My guess is that the bras you’ve tried so far have been bandeau-style (straight across at the top) which can often give the appearance of a dent. Instead, look for bras that dip down in the middle that help give more of a lift than a flattening effect. If you are still experiencing a “dent”, then it is possible that you are choosing a cup size that is too small, try a 32B or 34B instead.

If these solutions still don’t work for you and you are truly an A cup, then I suggest skipping the bra entirely and wearing one of the nipple covers we recommended here.

Here are some strapless suggestions to try:

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