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Q. I’m 28 years old. I’d like to buy a bathing suit (2 pieces) for this summer but unfortunately I have a small chest. As I don’t want to look ridiculous, can you show me the best styles for people like me?
-Best Look Up Top


A. I doubt you’ll look ridiculous and stay positive, you have more choices and less chance to fall out of your top. Look for tops with a touch of padding, or an under wire demi-bra style that makes the most of adding to your small bust line. You have the body to wear cute, ruffled tops that are hot right now. Triangle tops and bandeau tops are easy to wear as well. Here are some of my tops picks of the latest arrivals:

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1. Love Surf Love Sunny Floral Bottom, $29.99 at urbanoutfitters.com
2. Insight Dream Quest Floral, $88 at urbanoutfitters.com
3. Kushcush Giselle Bikini in Aqua , $168 at couturecandy.com
4. Nina Brigitte Bikini, $141 at couturecandy.com
5. Billabong Safari, $68.50 at alloy.com
Q. Thank you for all the great advice you put in your column. I’m wondering if you can help guide me in the right direction with a white jacket I recently purchased from H&M. It’s made of sateen style cotton so it has a subtle sheen to it, it’s ivory and it’s full length in the sleeves. I love the look and fit of it, but I can’t seem to figure out what to pair it with, especially now, in the heat of summer. I sometimes feel like it makes me look like I stepped off the set of Miami Vice or am about to work as a waiter at a cocktail party. What should I do to avoid that look?
-White Jacket Worry


A. To avoid an homage to Crockett and Tubbs, the first step is to avoid wearing your white sateen jacket with pink or pastel t-shirts. Add patterned or rich bright hued solid cotton, voile, or sheer tops underneath and find belts that can be worn over the jacket and cinched at the waist. Collared shirts will also help draw the eye upward and attention away from the sheen of the jacket.
Q. I absolutely love your daily fashion advice! I’m sure my dilemma is not unique; I am a size 0 on top, a 4/6 on the bottom, and petite (5’2”). Can you suggest top styles that would offset my lopsided figure and also perhaps recommend some dress styles for a wedding I’m attending in August? I don’t mind getting clothes altered, but I just don’t know what styles to look for.
-Lopsided


A. While you are still considered small on your bottom half as well, you seek balance. Best way to solve a “lopsided” figure is to find tops that have a little extra going on from the chest area upwards, including collars, slight puffed sleeves and wider necklines. Just beware that you don’t go overboard since you are petite and don’t want to look like a dress up doll. Patterns also help to keep the eye moving, and be sure to avoid big and baggy. There’s nothing wrong with accentuating your waist while wearing a skirt or dress with a slight A-line shape that will flatter your slightly larger bottom half. I’ve found plenty of tops to choose from, plus some dresses than can be easily altered to fit your top and flatter you bottom half at a wedding.

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1. BCBGMAXAZRIA Women’s Musical Note Border Matte Jersey Top, $138 at bloomingdales.com
2. Aqua Women’s Sleeveless Ruffle “2-Fer” Top, $58 at bloomingdales.com
3. Marc By Marc Jacobs Women’s Cotton Sateen Jersey Top and Fiona Cotton Faille Skirt at bloomingdales.com
4. Nanette Lepore Feels So Right Floral Top, $285 at bloomingdales.com
5. INC International Concepts® Smocked Printed Peasant Top, $59 at macys.com

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6. Maggy London Silk Cocktail Dress, $138 at nordstrom.com
7.. Silk faille Mirabelle dress, $395 at jcrew.com
8. Strappy Florence dress, $179.99 at jcrew.com
Q. Where can I find some reasonably priced short-sleeved summer dresses? I love the ease and comfort of one-piece dressing, but I don’t want to wear strapless or spaghetti straps to work. I KNOW that I can wear a cardigan or a jacket—but there goes the ease of one-piece dressing! I am having a hard time finding them, and would love some help.
-A Little Arm Cover

A. There are short sleeve dresses galore, and just a click away on multiple listings in our sweet sites section. When the temperatures hit the 80s and 90s outdoors and the indoor air seems to be stuck on 60 degrees (damn those guys in suits who keep it so cold), we girls are left with a pile of cardys hanging over our desk chair. A short sleeve dress is the solution for looking polished and appropriate without being chilled to the bone. Check out some of my suggestions:

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1. INC International Concepts® Printed Shirtdress with Full Skirt, $109 at macys.com
2. Maggy London Military-Style Belted Short-Sleeve Dress, $128 at macys.com
3. Adrianna Papell Print Matte Jersey Dress, $118 at nordstrom.com
4. BCBGMAXAZRIA Contrast Belt Shirtdress, $238 at nordstrom.com
5. Silk wrap dress, $130 at bananarepublic.com
6. Silk floral-print dress, $110 at bananarepublic.com
Q. What are some ways to dress down a dress? Odd question, I know. I’m a small-busted petite woman with a timeless/classic style preference. Wearing a dress makes me feel feminine, but a little too dressed up. I hope this makes sense. I want to be comfortable this summer and wear more dresses, but don’t want to appear “dressy”. Is this even possible? I’ve had some success so far wearing casual, solid color sheath dresses with flats. -Non-Dressy Dressing
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A. Why so keen on looking less in a dress? What I love about dresses is the incredibly simple way to pull on one item and look so polished and feminine - and there’s nothing wrong with that. Buck up and feel good about looking good. With that said, the simplest way to “dress down” the look is to kick off the heels and choose flat sandals, ballet flats, or espadrilles. Add a button down shirt layered under a dress or a shirt or cardigan worn over the dress and add a belt over that layer at the waist.

Silk floral-print wrap dress, $130 at bananarepublic.com - wear with flat sandals to dress it down for daytime

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