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91P1003_10_b.jpegQ. I’ve been eyeing the Siwy camilla cut-off shorts in white, but they are very heavily distressed and I am concerned that they won’t hold together after more than a few washes in the washing machine. Do you have any thoughts on the heavily distressed denim trend? Is the trend likely to last? Will heavily distressed denim fall apart super fast?

A. These cut-off shorts are super hot right now, having been worn by such celebs as Nicole Richie, Ashley Olsen, Kate Moss and Vanessa Hudgens. A cute, casual style, they look great with loose tees and blouses.

True, heavily distressed denim is very trendy right now, but it doesn’t show signs of fading (ha!) any time soon. We say, if you’ve been eyeing these shorts, then go for it. And when they do eventually go out of style, they’ll still look great worn to the beach.

As for caring for your distressed denim, most items are specially treated so they won’t fall apart with normal wear. When washing them, it’s best to turn them inside out and wash on delicate cycle (or better yet, hand wash) and hang them dry. Don’t put them in the dryer!

Siwy Camilla Cut Off Shorts in White $159 at chickdowntown.com. Get 10% off with coupon code: VIP10

Q. Help! I graduate from College in May. I am not really sure what to wear, I do live in Texas so It will probably be quite warm. Is a floral skirt and colored top appropriate? Are Maxis okay, considering they will be seen under the gown? What is the usual college graduation attire?

A. Congratulations on your upcoming college graduation. True, the traditional graduation gown does make it hard to look good, but it can be done! 

Since you’ll likely be celebrating after the ceremony with friends or family, you should wear something appropriate. We recommend a knee length dress or skirt or long pants to wear under your gown. A maxi dress can get tricky, so it’s best to avoid this look. One thing to note, it can get hot under that gown, so your clothes should be cool and breathable. Also, you may be walking on grass, so stick with wedge shoes or chunky heels.

Here are a few suggestions to help inspire your look:

251663_MAIN_LB_1.jpg.gifQ. I am looking for a spring jacket that I can wear everyday. I have seen a ton of cute trench coats, but I still need something even more casual. I love this jacket from Built by Wendy but cannot afford it. I found a somewhat similar jacket at J Crew but it won’t be available for another two months! By then, it will no longer be needed! Can you please help me find similar affordable jackets?  



A. Based on the two jackets you mentioned, you’re looking for a super casual anorak or cargo/safari/military style spring jacket. We found several affordable options for you:


Q. In shopping for summerwear, I have yet to buy into the maxi dress phenomenon. I see stars (Angelina Jolie, Katie Holmes) in them all the time, and they are all over my favorite stores but I worry about purchasing one for myself because of my large chest and plus size shape. I feel like a maxi dress is a nice way of calling something a muumuu! Is there anyway to avoid looking preggers in one of these?

A. The maxi dress continues to be a big trend this season. Maxi dresses are meant to fit loosely, so they’re a great option for curvy women, and there are many plus size options available. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect maxi for your plus size/chesty shape:

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  • Make sure that the fabric flows loosely over your body - you don’t want any pulling or gathering over your hips or tummy - but make sure there isn’t too much fabric so it looks like you’re wearing a muumuu.

  • Look for styles that fit your chest well and allow you to wear a supportive bra underneath. You probably want to avoid spaghetti strap styles which tend to fit smaller chests.

  • Bold patterns are ideal for camouflaging lumps and bumps, so don’t be afraid of prints and color.

  • If you’re on the shorter side, wear wedge heels, espadrilles or the new chunky heeled gladiator to add some height and elongate your figure.

The surplice front maxi dress shown here ($89.50 at lanebryant.com) is a great style for you to try. It has ample room up top for a large bust, a flattering empire waist style and a gorgeous boho print that’s right on trend. It’s loose without having too much extra fabric.

Here are some more plus size maxis for you to try:

Q.I have a question about cardigans… I’m not sure how to pull them off without looking/feeling too “old”. How many buttons should be closed, what should be worn under them, and with what shoes and jeans? I want to look trendy and not like a teacher. :) Thanks so much!

A. It’s no secret that we love cardigans in all shapes and sizes. In fact, we’ve written about them often, including here, here and here. While some cardigans tend to look classic, ladylike and somewhat mature, there are so many fun and young ways to wear a cardigan. Below are some ideas:

Whether you choose a long boyfriend style cardigan or a cropped ladylike cardigan, the above images prove that it’s all in the way you wear it. There are no hard and fast rules as to how many buttons to button or whether to wear it open, it all depends on your personal style. Typically, a buttoned up crew neck cardigan tends to look just that, buttoned up (and probably too mature). Instead, try wearing it open over a basic tank top, a feminine blouse or a pretty dress.

Cardigans are perfect paired with everything from jeans (skinny styles to baggy boyfriend jeans) and trousers to shorts and cargo pants. Shoe choices are endless, depending on the rest of your look. So grab a cardigan that suits you and have fun with it!

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