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Q. I love your website, you have excellent fashion advice. I have a question about skinny jeans, well a few questions really! I love the look of them, but do you have to be a size 2 to pull it off? I’m a size 6/8 with a booty. What tops are best to wear with them? And what about shoes? Are flats ok? They seem to make your feet look bigger but heels aren’t practical everyday.
- Skinny on Jeans

A. A girl doesn’t have to be a size 2 to wear skinny jeans, but she does need to have minimal curves in order not to emphasize a triangle effect - meaning looking much bigger around hips and butt while looking skinny around the ankles. Generally a variety of top styles work, but to help slim the look, avoid billowy tops. Shoes will depend on the head to toe look. And true, flats can be tough to pull with skinny jeans. Just remember that all trends do not work for all people and you should dress in what suits your figure best.

Q. I want to buy a basic black dress that I can dress up at night with pearls and cute bag/shoes. I would also like to be able to wear it to work with a jacket or cardigan. I am in my early 50’s, size 14/16 and although I feel like I carry most of my weight in my hips/thighs I also have a fairly large bust area. Can you advise any items that I could purchase?
- Basic Black

A. I found several options that will work for your curvy figure and move fluidly from work to evening. They won’t hug your hips and thighs and are flattering for a busty gal.

Goddess-inspired pleated dressSutton Studio Exclusive Wrap Dress - Women'sBUBBLE-HEMMED DRESS Lily Cap Sleeve Faux Shrug DressRuched Surplice Dress


1. Goddess-inspired pleated dress, $59.50 at lanebryant.com
2. Sutton Studio Exclusive Wrap Dress - Women’s, $249 at bloomingdales.com
3. Bubble-Hemmed Dress, $79 at ullapopken.com
4. Lily Cap Sleeve Faux Shrug Dress, $124 at nordstrom.com
5. Ruched Surplice Dress, $116 at kiyonna.com

Q. I’m the maid of honor (and only attendant) for an April wedding in Florida. Most of the dresses that I like have a halter-style bodice, which definitely flatters my figure. The bride’s gown is also a halter-style, and neither of us is sure if my dress will complement hers, or if it will look strange for them to be so similar. She’s in white, I’ll be in black, her halter is smooth satin with some beading, mine would be more of gathered silk or ruched chiffon, and so the only similarity would be the basic shape. What do you think?

A. I think you’ll be fine wearing the halter style. What would help distinguish them further is if your dress were cocktail length.

Q. I have a question about skirt lengths. I just bought 2 amazing skirts that I just love, but I’m short and don’t know if they are too long. I am 5’3” and a size 12. The first skirt is black and has beautiful embroidery on the bottom, but it’s probably 5” below my knee. The second is a nice brown with embroidery also on the bottom, but is about 3” below my knee. Are these going to be too long for me? What are the guidelines on skirt lengths, not talking about mini-skirts!
-Short & Chic

A. The average woman’s height in America is 5’3” so you’re not alone in your confusion in finding flattering pieces. Generally, the best skirt length to give the illusion of height would be a skirt that hits around the knee. The skirt that is five inches below the knee may “shorten’ you further so why not keep the 3” inch embroidered version and find a second skirt that flatters, but doesn’t repeat the embroidery detail. Mix it up in your wardrobe. The best balance would be to pair it with a high heel or wedge.

Q. I’m a young college student who is in a search for an affordable dress - something fairly casual, but something that can be dressed up as well. The trouble is, I’m bottom heavy. I’m a plus size on bottom due to my thighs and hips, but nothing ever correctly fits me at the waist, which means all my skirts either sag or are a little too tight at the waist; at the top I’m usually a regular size. I fell in love with the Ruffle Cotton Dress from Boden, but am not quite sure if it would work on me. I have a decent size chest but am not a big fan of showing off my arms or my underarms. Could you help me find one?
- Right Fit

Ruffle Cotton Dress

A. This dress from Boden is young, flirty and has those extra details like ruffles and the wrap style that will help to define a waist. And with the short sleeves you’ll get a little coverage for the arms and under arms. Sticking with Boden, here’s another dress that should work with your figure - it will lay smoothly over your hips and thighs, has the flattering v-neck and gives arm coverage. Plus, I found a similar wrap style from Banana Republic in a pretty eyelet pattern.

Sexy Jersey DressEyelet wrap dress

1. Sexy Jersey Dress, $98 at boden.com (available in 4 colors)
2. 2. Eyelet wrap dress, $140 at bananarepublic.com (available in 2 colors)

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