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Q. For two seasons I’ve been looking for a dark hued denim A-line skirt.  I’m not finding one anywhere!  Lots of dark denim pencil skirts, or long, long Mormon looking skirts out there, but no A-line.   Am I just out of the loop and crazy to think it’s out there— or still fashionable?  I got one three years ago and it became a staple in my wardrobe.  Great for summer, great for winter with boots and tights.  I’m afraid I’ll never find another one—- or even worse, that I’m out of fashion!
-Denim Desperate

A. You’re not going cuckoo. There are options for a flattering fit in an A-line denim skirt. And clearly with the right top and accessories you can wear any of these all year long with everything from sandals to tights and boots.

Esprit Pleated Denim SkirtPaper Denim & Cloth Denim Skirt Citizens of Humanity 'Cadet' Stretch Denim SkirtLauren Jeans Co. Stretch Denim Five-Pocket Skirt


1. Esprit Pleated Denim Skirt, $59.50 at espritshop.com
2. Paper Denim & Cloth Denim Skirt, $51.99 at macys.com
3. Citizens of Humanity ‘Cadet’ Stretch Denim Skirt, $196 at nordstrom.com
4. Lauren Jeans Co. Stretch Denim Five-Pocket Skirt, $79.50 at macys.com

Q. I’m looking for a great denim skirt - A-line or pencil, not too short, not too long-for a thirty-something.
-Denim Dash

A. Your question has perfect timing.  I’ve been on the search myself for a new denim skirt, one that fits my waist, my slight curves and is appropriate for my age. I’m excited by these shopping choices and have already ordered the one from Adec from shop.com and the Adriano Goldschmied from shopbop.com.  I need to try them on before I make my final choice. I do believe they’ll fit the waist without shifting around and have a little give to walk comfortably, plus they’re just the right length for work or weekend.

 Citizens of Humanity 'Novak' Stretch Denim SkirtEarnest Sewn Maya High Waist Stretch Pencil SkirtAG Adriano Goldschmied Precise Pencil SkirtADEC 2 Black Wool Denim Pencil Skirt


1. Citizens of Humanity ‘Novak’ Stretch Denim Skirt, $150 at nordstrom.com
2. Earnest Sewn Maya High Waist Stretch Pencil Skirt, $230 at shopbop.com
3. AG Adriano Goldschmied Precise Pencil Skirt, $136 at shopbop.com
4. ADEC 2 Black Wool Denim Pencil Skirt, $79.99 at shop.com

Q. I am a 28 year old from India. I feel like I am stuck in a style rut. I am 5’ 2" and weigh about 140. I have an extremely curvy body  - slim waist and "big" everything else. I want to know what are the basics I should have in my wardrobe. I have never worn a skirt or a sleeveless top before because I feel I am too fat. I want to try out something new, but I am terribly confused.
-Body Discomfort

A. Your basics are similar to most women, regardless of their size. You need a pair of jeans (look for a boot cut style), white button down shirt, v-neck sweater, black pants, a coat that hits just above the knee, and heels and boots for Fall/Winter that have a medium size heel. Dress in more monochromatic colors - same or similar colors from head to toe - to elongate your look. Skip chunky and heavy jewelry. Avoid anything with ruffles and bows or thick sweaters that may add bulk. And skip skirts that hit mid-calf you’ll only look shorter. Look for tops that hit below your waistline and embrace vertical lines in tops and pants.

Make a point of shopping in petite departments of stores and seek out designers who offer petite sizes like Liz Claiborne, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Lands End, J. Crew, Petite Sophisticate and J. Jill.

Here are a few items to consider adding to your wardrobe:

Petite Donegal Tweed Military JacketBr526769-08P01V01Petite Collection Silk Blend Box Pleat SkirtPetite animal-print skirt

1. Petite Donegal Tweed Military Jacket, $159 at lizclaiborne.com
2. Petite shawl collar sweater, $68 at bananarepublic.com
3. Petite Collection Silk Blend Box Pleat Skirt, $128 at lizclaiborne.com
4. Wear this skirt with opaque tights and solid pumps or knee high boots. It probably won’t be nearly as mini on you. You’re only 28 so don’t dress too old for your size yet. Petite animal-print skirt, $78 at bananarepublic.com

Petite Collection Embellished Voile Empire DressPetite floral faux-wrap dressPetite lightweight wool A-line dressPetite feminine military coat

5. Add a cardigan to this dress for cooler temps. The wide shoulder “straps” will hide bra straps and give your better coverage. Petite Collection Embellished Voile Empire Dress, $298 at lizclaiborne.com
6.  V-neck styles are the most flattering for busty gals. Petite floral faux-wrap dress, $128 at bananarepublic.com
7. Dare to bare your arms in this adorable dress that can work for day or evening. Petite lightweight wool A-line dress, $148 at bananarepublic.com
8. Petite feminine military coat, $228 at bananarepublic.com

Q. I love your column and thought you might have some ideas for me.  I recently moved to Brooklyn and we are pretty much here to stay. We love the city and my husband and I are both in creative fields that have a lot of opportunities here.  Problem is, I am in the process of changing careers into a creative field from a business one. Also, very soon I will be in school so funds will be limited.  I am stunned by the kinds of clothes women wear in the city and how they can afford to have these amazing budgets, look totally unique and put together. I am almost reluctant to leave my house sometimes I feel so dingy. Any pointers on how to get out of this? A bit about myself - I am a confirmed minimalist, I have a lot of black and white in my closet, I have recently purchased some yellow and green tops but I am also trying to lose some weight so I can’t really go out and buy a huge wardrobe, maybe a few pieces that will last me through my last 10 lbs.
-Fitting In

A. Stop being a scaredy cat and get out and join the locals. Embrace your minimalist style and beef it up with accessories. Wear your black and white plus those new yellow and green pieces and pair them with a new pair of boots, colorful enamel bracelets, a printed scarf and a belt that has a cool buckle. You needn’t pay big bucks for all your new wardrobe pieces.  True New York chic gals mix up a wardrobe with good quality classics, a vintage piece or two and certainly super trendy, cheap tops from H&M and Forever 21.  Plus, make a few trips a year to Century 21, Loehmanns and TJ Maxx.  We’re willing to take chances!

Take your black turtleneck sweater (which I’m sure you own) and pair it with wide leg denim trousers, a fitted jacket and high heeled boots. Pair your white button down with the same denim trousers and add a menswear vest and pumps. Take your turtleneck and wear with a black pencil skirt or A-line skirt and add a wide belt cinched at the waist. And when you’re ready to discover some new designers, stop by Bird in Brooklyn for cool labels like Lover and Karen Walker. The key is to stay comfortable and not overdone while trekking between school and your new creative infused job.

Q. I absolutely love your column on StyleBakery. Here’s my situation: I work in an office with absolutely no dress code. People wear anything from flip flops and sweat pants to traditional business casual wear. I’m a 23 year old graphic designer, and one of the youngest ones here. As I try to advance in the company, I’d like my wardrobe to reflect that I’m professional and ambitious, and still be able fit in with the VP who wears golf skirts, or the Director who wears trousers and a button-down. Any ideas?
-Office Uncertainty

A. Sweat pants at work - really?  Clearly that person would rather be home on the couch.  Don’t follow that person’s lead for wardrobe cues. You’re in a creative field where many have obviously taken liberties with no dress requirements. Avoid the influence of others’ unfashionable wardrobes and make your workplace wardrobe consistently stylish with dark denim trousers, fitted jackets, cool sweaters, a sweater dress belted at the waist, wrap dresses or comfy jersey styles and add a tweed pair of pants as well.  Looking good and getting the job done well will advance your career further than just getting the job done in sweats and flip flops.

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