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Q. I’m looking for a bikini top to wear with black boy short bottoms for my new swimsuit. I am only 5 ft tall and somewhat curvy (curvy = breasts and love handles). I have a pretty small frame but I have a C cup, so finding bras and such is hard for me. I’m looking for something that ties at the neck and back to give me the most support and best fit. I’ve read in a lot of magazines that the best swim top for a bigger-busted woman is a halter with a wide band underneath. I’m not really crazy about this look, and while it does give the most support, I think all that cloth makes my breasts look even larger (something I REALLY want to avoid). I’d be interested in trying a triangle cup or bandeau, but can I do that with my cup size and not being the skinniest girl on the block?

A. Truth is, swimwear fits and styles are fickle and finding ones that fit all our different bodies can be frustrating. Jeans and swimwear are the most difficult items to shop for. I did my best to come up with options for your top that should support and fit your C-cup breasts. For a curvy girl I’m surprised you chose a boy short, which on most women adds curves, when you’re trying to downplay certain areas. I’m guessing the short has a higher cut leg. A bandeau top can be hard for many women to wear - they are great for avoiding some tan lines, but it can smoosh some of us and not give enough support for others.





1. Vix Swimwear Savana tube detail triangle bikini top, $78 at
2. Calvin Klein Perfect Fit Core Solids molded halter bikini top, $78 at
3. Sofia Swimwear by Vix Alli halter bikini top, $55 at
4. Moontide Reversible Frolic banded tie halter top, $60 at

5. Calvin Klein Perfect Fit Core Solids seamless retro bikini top, $78 at
6. Shoshanna Solid Bandeau Bikini Top, $110 at
7. Juicy Couture Beach Smocked Bandeau Bikini Top, $94 at
8. Shoshanna Modern Diamond Ring Halter Bikini Top, $85 at

Q. I recently purchased a Velvet (brand, not fabric) deep-V, sleeveless, empire waist, black dress. I live in Minnesota, and would like to wear it out for the evening. Would it be okay to wear a Michael Stars burgundy sparkle turtleneck under it? Is there anything else you could suggest? I don’t have any fitted jackets or cropped sweaters.
-Wear it in Winter

A. Layering is key when it comes to extending our wardrobe from winter to spring and summer. Consider layering with a turtleneck sweater, v-neck top or even a collared button down shirt - think chic preppy. Add a long necklace that dangles as long as the deep v of the dress for extra lengthening effect. In many cases, it all comes down to trial and error. So try on the sparkled turtleneck and if you like it then wear it. Confidence can win most style battles.

Q. I am going to Bermuda on a work incentive trip. Most of the events are “resort casual” during the day, but everyone tends to dress up a bit for the evening events. I am looking for some long dresses that I can wear with sandals plus look appropriate around my co-workers. And I need to wear a bra. I am a size 6/8 with some curves, so a defined waist is usually best.
-Dress It Up

A. All these maxi dresses are certainly fun, flattering and can be worn with strappy or flat thong sandals. And as requested all can be worn with a bra - thin straps or strapless.

Jaclyn DressGabriella Dress Strapless Resort Dresses
by Vivienne Tam BCBGMAXAZRIA Eyelet SundressPrinted Long Halter Dresses

1. Jaclyn Dress at
2. Gabriella Dress, $49.50 at
3. Strapless Resort Dresses by Vivienne Tam, $306 at
4. BCBGMAXAZRIA Eyelet Sundress, $268 at
5. Printed Long Halter Dresses, $82 at

Q. I am traveling to London in April and need advice on what to wear. I don’t want to scream AMERICAN Tourist! I am traveling with my sister and we will attend one semi formal dinner, hit a few clubs, and do a lot of sight seeing! I am a stay at home mom and live in my jeans, clogs, and sweaters (right now) switching to jeans, skirts and tees in the spring and summer. I live in the south, so our April is normally warmer and wet. I have read that April is one of the driest in London. I want to look chic, hip and be comfy! Can you give me some ideas for some pieces that I can buy to travel?
-American in London

A. Leave the clogs at home. Keep your look classic so you don’t become befuddled with matching and trying too hard to look cool. Sometimes the simplest pieces with the right accessory packs more punch. Pack a trench with a removable lining so you can be comfortable whether it’s chilly or warm. A trench will work with jeans and dresses. Also pack bottoms that can be worn more than once like dark denim trouser jeans that can be dressed up with a flowy top and pumps for evening and a button down shirt in white, navy or black with a layering of charm necklaces or a patterned scarf, statement belt and comfortable shoes for walking all day.

Pack two dresses for evenings out that can look different when you change the accessories and heels, preferably one should be solid. Pack a shoulder bag that can fit a small purchase while out sightseeing and a clutch for evenings when you’ll just need a few essentials. You’ll need two pairs of heels and two pairs of shoes. The shoes for day need to be stylish - no chunky athletic sneakers. Look for shoes with extra padding built in if you don’t already own something that will work. You may be able to get away with a cute sneaker style that is not meant for the gym.

Old Navy Denim Sailor SkirtsQ. I love your website. I learned a lot from your answers to all the questions but now I need some help. I recently purchased this denim Sailor skirt in blue steel from Old Navy. I want to know what kind of tops would go nicely with it for a casual look since I can’t wear jeans to work. Also what type of shoes, flats or heels? The skirt falls exactly on my knees. I’m petite with an athletic build (12P on top and 8P on bottom).

-Denim Dressed Up

A. You can be casual with a button down shirt tucked in and add a wide belt around your waist or kick it with stripes or patterns in a top or cardigan layered over a cami style top or short sleeve shirt. As for flats or heels, that will depend on your desired comfort and what top you’re wearing. I’ve given a few indications of shoe choices with the tops I shopped.

Pair it with:

Trastevere paisley cardiganCoppelle paisley Alessia blouseBr547639-00Vliv01Bella swirl print keyhole blouse Sparkle Striped Boatneck Tee

1. Trastevere paisley cardigan, $100 at wear simple flat sandals when the weather gets warmer
2. Coppelle paisley Alessia blouse, $88 at wear with espadrilles or navy patent wedge (closed or peep toe)
3. Petite silk ruffle-sleeve top, $64 at bananarepublic.comwear with cream or chocolate heels
4. Bella swirl print keyhole blouse, $34.30 at wear with a black or navy mid-heel pump or patent leather slide. choose sandals in the summer.
5. Sparkle Striped Boatneck Tee, $14.99 at urbanoutfitters.comwear with an espadrille or strappy sandal

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