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Q. Thank you for your consistent savvy fashion advice.  This is the third time I am asking a question and you have always given me superb tips.  I will come back for more! I am in search of the perfect black pants—if there is such a thing.  Something versatile that I could wear year round, can be dressed up or down, and is wrinkle and lint-resistant, too.  Is that too much to ask?
-Fit Fantastic

A. Unfortunately, due to everyone woman being shaped differently, I can’t guarantee the perfect pair. I’m a big fan of Vince, Alice+Olivia, Chaiken, Jolie Anlo and sometimes Theory. I suggest that once you find the right pair, consider buying two pairs since black pants are truly classics. As for lint resistant pants, this means avoiding wool pants that seem to “catch” everything and avoiding sweaters that shed. Advertised wrinkle resistant pants generally mean that the fabric fibers are treated with a chemical to help resist wrinkles, this also means that the resistance usually lasts only about 30 washings. Polyester and jersey fabric blends usually mean fewer wrinkles.

A few options for you:

Alice + Olivia Wide Waist High Waisted Pant with Belt Chaiken Profile Cuffed Full Leg Trouserspad	Theory Max C Tailor Pant

1. Alice + Olivia Wide Waist High Waisted Pant with Belt, $299 at
2. Chaiken Profile Cuffed Full Leg Trousers, $198 at
3. Theory Max C Tailor Pant, $242 at

Q. I’ve got the back gap problem. Whenever I sit down or bend over wearing my low-rise or mid-rise jeans they gap in the back. Since I don’t own a wardrobe consisting of all long tops what can I do so I’m not exposing more than I want?
- Butt Bashful

hip-TA. I’ve actually donated sweaters and tops to my favorite consignment while spending more money in search of longer length tops since, like you, I’m not a fan of showing it all off. Tired of layering on tissue thin tanks and spending more money, there is a simple solution. Two women, Christine and Kelly, came up with the bright idea of taking various fabrics to match a woman’s wardrobe and created a pull on “cover” for the back gap problem. Check it out at

Q. I would like to buy my mom — who is a very youthful looking 64 — a pair of stylish but age-appropriate jeans.  She’s way too cute for those light-washed denim capris she’s been sporting for the past two decades. A bit about her: She’s pear shaped (very shy about her midsection and rear), has great legs, and is average-to-short.
-Divine Denim

A. Please hide the light-washed capris. Your youthful mom needs to embrace dark denim washes that are far more sophisticated and chic. I, too, motivated my mom into banishing her tapered lighter jeans and found dark denim boot cut styles for her instead.

I’m a fan of jeans that have a bit of stretch to help hold in the tummy area. Make sure the back pockets are centered on her butt and not high or low. Avoid patch pockets and look for jeans that are mid-rise. Mom doesn’t need to worry about bending over, nor do you want her to wear the higher waist styles that can age her. And definitely go for boot cut or a very slight flare to balance her pear shape. A tapered or skinny leg will only make her hips look larger.  Once you’ve found the right jeans, then have her search for a stylish pair of trouser jeans that she can sport out for dinner and a movie. Encourage your mom to wear a heel (even if it’s a low one) with her new jeans, she’ll look instantly slimmer and feel younger.

Since your mom might balk at the high priced jeans you and I might buy, I found more affordable options:

 Not Your Daughter's Jeans Tummy Tuck Stretch JeansLevi's Perfectly Slimming Jean, Rinse WashLauren Jeans Co Modern Boot-Cut Sydney Jean Worn Jeans 'Lizzie' Stretch Trouser Jeans
 Fire 'Hillary' Wide Leg Pants Wardrobe Stretch Denim TrousersNine West Wide-Leg Denim Trouser

1. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Tummy Tuck Stretch Jeans, $118 at
2. Levi’s Perfectly Slimming Jean, Rinse Wash, $34.99 at
3. Lauren Jeans Co Modern Boot-Cut Sydney Jean, $89.50 at
4. Worn Jeans ‘Lizzie’ Stretch Trouser Jeans, $98 at
5. Fire ‘Hillary’ Wide Leg Pants, $42 at
6. Wardrobe Stretch Denim Trousers, $68 at
7. Nine West Wide-Leg Denim Trouser, $79 at

Q. I need to find an attractive yet durable gym bag that mimics a zip tote. Something that’s reminiscent of Longchamps style is preferred.
-Active Tote

A. Why not carry a Longchamps bag? It’s the style you’re longing for and it will carry your athletic gear in classic style. Gym bags don’t necessarily come cheap and you obviously want a bag that is simple in style and won’t compete with your handbag or coat.  I found multiple styles, many of which come in several color choices to pair with any other bags you may be lugging:

Longchamp Small Nylon Foldable ToteLeSportsac Small Travel ToteKenneth Cole Reaction "Sportster" ToteunXpected Hobo Tote LXSherpani MetaPinnacle Club Sports BagPUMA Fitness Sports BagLug Chocolate Puddle Jumper Gym Bag
Lug Chocolate Puddle Jumper Gym Bag

1. Longchamp Small Nylon Foldable Tote, $115 at
2. LeSportsac Small Travel Tote, $68 at
3. Kenneth Cole Reaction "Sportster" Tote, $38.25 (sale) at
4. unXpected Hobo Tote LX, $49.99 at
5. Sherpani Meta, $75 at
6. Pinnacle Club Sports Bag, $203.95 at
7. PUMA Fitness Sports Bag, $55.95 at
8.  Lug Chocolate Puddle Jumper Gym Bag, $72 at

Q. I’m such a huge fan of your website, please keep up the fantastic work!  I was wondering where I could find a classic checkered houndstooth coat very similar to the one Charlotte had in season six of Sex and the City. Most of the ones I see are modern variations of it, and I’d like a classic look.

A. While I am a big fan of Sex and the City, have seen the whole series and watch the reruns late night, I don’t know exactly which coat you are describing. I still went in search of a range of classic wool houndstooth coats that may appeal to you:

Plaid Winter Wool CoatCynthia Steffe Houndstooth Trench Charles Gray Belt Front Coat
 ABS by Allen Schwartz Plaid Trapeze Coat Mackage Wool Houndstooth CapeletSoia & Kyo Billy Plaid Coat

1. Plaid Winter Wool Coat, $99 at
2. Cynthia Steffe Houndstooth Trench, $210 at
3. Charles Gray Belt Front Coat, $290 at
4. ABS by Allen Schwartz Plaid Trapeze Coat, $407 at
5. Mackage Wool Houndstooth Capelet, $357.90 at

6. Soia & Kyo Billy Plaid Coat, $350 at

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