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Q. I am in a wedding later this month in which I am part of the “house party” or, as I like to call it, the “B-Team Bridesmaids.” Luckily, we can pick out our own dresses - the bride just asks that they all be solid black, around knee-length, and free of anything too flashy like beading or sequins. This will be the first time I see my ex after a terrible break-up six months (and 30 lbs) ago, so I really want to look GREAT. Please help me find a simple, stylish, and extremely flattering LBD! I definitely don’t want to show too much skin at my friend’s wedding, but I’d love to find something a bit sexy, like a one-shoulder, strapless, or halter neckline. What do you think? Where is the line between looking hot at a wedding and looking inappropriate?

A. Congrats on the dramatic weight loss! Here are some little black dresses to “wow” your ex - sexy, yet tasteful enough to wear to your friend’s wedding:


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Q. I recently bought a vintage Ralph Lauren navy boyfriend blazer. I am interning at an art museum this summer and would love to wear it then. However, I’m a bit unsure of how to incorporate it into my ‘business casual’ wardrobe. The only look I’m familiar is with boyfriend blazer is wearing them with skinnies and shorts—but can’t wear those at the museum!

A. The soft, slouchy, slightly boxy boyfriend blazer can be tricky to pull off in the workplace where “neat” always looks better than overly relaxed or sloppy. Yes, a boyfriend blazer looks great with skinnies and shorts, but at the office, you are better off with pencil skirts, slim trousers and shift dresses. Just remember to keep the rest of your look clean, unfussy and tailored close to the body. Below are a few ideas for inspiration:

Q. I am a stay at home mom with 2 small children - my day to day life consists of running between preschool, classes, parks and playdates. My uniform is often jeans and some sort of comfortable top. The problem is I am having trouble finding a t-shirt or top that is flattering. After two children I am left with the dreaded pouch and protruds out and could be mistaken for an early pregnancy. All I am left with are tighter fitting tees or buying too big and therefore looking big all over. I was wondering if there were some good options out there for those of us who are home. Please keep in mind that most of us are on budgets or can’t imagine spending $80 on a shirt that will most like get snot, dirt, or food on it from our darling children.

A. It’s time to think outside of the basic t-shirt box and look for blousy cotton tops or a-line shapes that won’t cling to your tummy - they have a bit more style than the classic tee but are just as easy to wash and wear, and look great with jeans, shorts or casual cropped pants. Here are several options for you, all machine washable and under $50:


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Q. I am 53 1/2 yrs old. I am the classic apple shape with a 34”waist and 39” hip with no butt ,slim thighs no hips but a big waist in comparison. I have the classic “muffin” top going if I get my jeans to fit my bottom 1/2. I am a size 6/8 on the hips/thighs and a 10/12 on the waist. What can I do? I have been looking for jeans, not low rise but just above the hips. I am at my wits end with this problem. Please help me to find a great jean!

A. Finding jeans to fit the classic apple shape can be a challenge, though not impossible. To start, look for higher waist jeans with stretch that will help “contain” your tummy and waist, rather than spilling over and creating the dreaded “muffin top”. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans is a company that specializes in higher waist “control” jeans designed to slim the lower abdomen and lift the rear without the feeling of being stuffed in binding, tight and uncomfortable material. Look for skinny or straight leg styles that will flatter your slim hips and legs.

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In addition to high waist control top or stretch jeans as a flattering option, we’ll let you in on a little secret: maternity jeans . There are so many great fitting, stylish maternity jeans that are specially made with a super comfortable elastic panel. This allows you to buy the size 6/8 jeans that fit well through your hips and thighs while the panel conforms to your size 10/12 waist. Wear a top that covers the stretch panel and it will be your little secret! It sounds crazy, but there are many women who continue to wear jeans that were bought for early in their pregnancy because the stretch panel is unbelievably comfortable - perfect for running around after little ones. There is even something called a “post pregnancy” jean which may be an even better option for you than a maternity jean.

Consider having jeans custom made for you. It sounds extravagant, but sites like makeyourownjeans.com will create a pair of jeans just for you for as low as $50. Just plug in your sizes, choose your style and wash preferences, and you’ll have a perfect fitting pair of jeans in a few weeks.

If none of the above work for you, another option for controlling muffin top is to wear a longer length torso trimming tank, like those from Yummy Tummie. You can tuck the tank into your jeans and feel confident that everything is being sucked in.


Q. I found a very simple cut rayon tank dress with a very small floral print at a thrift shop and it hits about mid-thigh. Can I wear this as a belted tunic over skinny jeans? What would be the most updated way to use this dress? Accessory ideas, shoes, etc. would also help.

Also, I have a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses from 1987. Would I look dated if I wore them? They are good quality sunglasses and they just sit there. It seems the big glasses are back in again, am I right?

I like to be Thrifty but stylish.

A. Sounds like your floral tank dress was a great find! A classic shape in a classic print that just also happens to be very in style this season. You can certainly belt the dress and wear it with skinny jeans, or of course wear it as a dress with flat summer sandals or feminine heels or wedges. We’ve shown some ideas below using two floral tank dresses that can be found on the racks now.

As for your original Ray-Bans - not only can you wear them now, but people are paying big bucks for vintage originals and the new “original” reissues.

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