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Q. I’ve seen Dolman sleeve tops and dresses everywhere this season, but I’m not convinced that they’d be flattering. Can a petite woman (5’) with a larger chest (34D) get away with so much extra fabric under the arms?

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A. Dolman sleeves are a big trend this season, but they can be tricky to wear for petite women or women with full busts. However, you don’t need to avoid this trend completely. Dolman sleeves vary in size from giant batwing styles to more subtle kimono sleeves. Generally, you should opt for sleeves with a smaller drape. It’s also important to consider the neckline; look for v-necks and scoop necks which are more flattering for a large chest than a higher neckline. Finally, you may find that a short sleeve or 3/4 sleeve is more flattering than a long dolman sleeve. 

A high neckline and exaggerated sleeves are not the best option for a petite or large busted figure
Better choices are smaller dolman sleeves with v-necks or scoop necks:

Q. I am attending a wedding in February (in Chicago). It is a morning wedding with a luncheon following. I have a cap sleeved navy silk sheath dress with a black patent leather belt. My question is do I wear hosiery? If so, what color? Peek a boo shoes or classic pumps?

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A. February in Chicago can be quite cold. Black solid tights or black textured tights paired with either peep-toe pumps or classic pumps is your best bet. The black/navy combination is a perfectly chic option for your daytime wedding.

Q. I am a woman who has wide calves and big ankles. This is something that I have struggled with my whole life. I do not like to wear skirts or dresses because of this complex - too self conscious. I have a wedding coming up and need to wear a short dress as it will be in a house. Can you please advise what are some great shoes and dresses I can wear in order to help minimize the size of my legs.

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A. There are several strategic ways to minimize the size of your calves and ankles:

1. Avoid shoes with ankle straps. A classic pump or d’Orsay pump with a high heel will help to elongate and visually slim your ankles and calves.

2. Opt for a monochromatic leg. If you are going bare legged, then opt for a nude shoe; otherwise, try black hosiery with a black heel.

3. Draw the eye upward. Choose a dress with embellishments or interesting details towards your face, or opt for a statement necklace or dramatic earrings to divert attention from your legs.

4. Wear a long dress. You mention that you need to wear a short dress since the party will be at someone’s home. There are plenty of long or maxi dresses you can wear that aren’t considered too dressy.

5. Choose a dress or skirt that flares out at the bottom. A fuller skirt will make legs look slimmer by comparison.

6. Make sure your dress hits at or above the knee. The shorter you are comfortable going, the slimmer your calves will look. Anything below the knee will draw attention to the widest part of your calves, creating a matronly look.

You can also opt for dress pants with a party top to avoid the leg issue altogether.



Wear black pumps with black hosiery for a lean, monochromatic leg
Nude heels with no ankle straps elongate and slim your legs
Draw the eye upwards with interesting details or a statement necklace
A full skirt makes legs look slimmer
Avoid hems that hit below the knee at the widest part of the calf. Anything at or above the knee is best.
A maxi dress is always an option

Q. Hi! I’m coordinating my cousin’s wedding in St. Louis at the end of March so I want to be chic & stylish but comfortable (no strapless) as I will be working. Any suggestions? I’m curvy (size 8) and petite (5’3”). Thanks!

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A. You didn’t mention a color preference, or whether the wedding is black tie or not, so we’ve pulled together a variety of dresses for you to choose from. All of them are flattering for a curvy petite figure, and most importantly, you won’t have to worry about adjusting straps.

denimleggings.gifQ. I love the look of denim leggings but don’t want to spend a lot on something that might be a short lived trend. Can you recommend some that won’t break the bank?

A. When worn right, I am a huge fan of denim leggings. To make the most of the trend, look for leggings that are made of denim, rather than cotton leggings the look like denim. The best part is, there are many affordable options out there. Here are some of our favorites:



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