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Q. I have fallen in love with an orange-red maxi dress that i found on Forever 21, fits very well and seems extreamly comfy…but was wondering what I could wear over it. Usually I’d just wear a black or white cradigan over it, but am looking for something that would make the dress pop, and not look like a walking rainbow. Please Help.

A. You could go with a cardigan if you like (white, cream, yellow, etc.), but one of our favorite things to throw on over a maxi dress is a little denim jacket. It is the perfect complement for a long summery dress. Another option is to tie on a lightweight scarf. And when the weather cools, we love a leather moto or biker jacket.

Q. I’m looking for a stylish summer dress than i can wear to work (business casual) and wear to weekend events. I like to dress up but have trouble finding dresses that are flattering to my petite (5’2”) curvy (size 4-6) frame. Dresses either have too much fabric and make me look bundled up or are too revealing. Please help me find something in between that is stylish too!!

A. You are on the right track by choosing a dress to wear to your business casual office and on weekends. Not only are dresses versatile, they are also the easiest thing to throw on in the morning - no worrying about matching up tops and bottoms - just one piece and you’re good to go!

Since you are petite, it is important that you shop stores that carry petite lines. This will ensure that dresses are cut to fit your shape, without all the extra fabric you’re complaining about. You’ll also save a bundle on trips to the tailor! We especially like Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and J Crew for their selection of petite sizes. Take note, though, you’ll often have to shop online for the largest selection since many stores only carry limited petite (and tall) sizes.

Here are some dresses we found for you to wear to work and on weekends. If you’re concerned about a dress being too revealing for work, try layering a cami underneath to cut down on cleavage, or wearing a cardigan over the dress to cover up arms if necessary.

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!

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. Do you have any suggestions for some cool, kick-around pants? All the pants I own fall into two categories: dress pants or jeans. I’d love a cool looking pair of relaxed pants to wear with my flats or “fashion” sneakers on the weekends. Any ideas?

A. Our favorite kind of pants! This season, we’re loving the Ripstop Utility Pant from (below) for its versatility and comfort. You can wear it with sneakers and flat sandals or dress them up with heels and a pretty top. They come in a variety of colors as well as petite and tall sizes. We also like washed linen drawstring pants, cuffed stretch jeans and cargo pants.

Here are some more casual weekend pants for you to choose from - all under $100:


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