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Q. It’s the beginning of the rainy season where I live and I need help finding a cute and fashionable umbrella to take around. I’m really into the clear ones with designs on them and can’t seem to find any. Can you help??
-Stay Dry Stylishly

Nmd2489 An A. We girls at are big fans of the Burberry bubble style clear umbrella that comes in several color combos.  We wax nostalgic about having worn yellow rain slickers to elementary school and splashing in puddles. Of course, I still splash in puddles with my toile rain boots on!  With a clear umbrella you can stay dry and still see what’s ahead of you.  I’ve found a few “clear” choices for you along with a pattern that just jumped out at me.

Burberry Clear-Panel Umbrella, $115 at

see also the Kate Spade clear stick umbrella for $95 at

Rb01 White-1

We found a few cute clear umbrellas
at, like this clear bubble stick
version for $17.90


Echo Print Umbrella
$45 at
(also in a great striped print that I love!)

Q. I have been very frustrated by my inability to find fashionable jeans that fit those of use who wear bigger — but not “plus” — sizes. I am generally an 8 or a 10 but I find that I can’t fit into the biggest size made by most premium denim brands, generally a 32. If I can even get them over my admittedly large hips and thighs, the waist inevitably gaps by many inches, far too much to fix through alteration. No one who looks at me would say I’m obese, but I certainly felt that way after spending a good 2 hours in an upscale department store recently. Must I resign myself to Gap or Lee jeans from here on in? I’d really like to have a pair of sharp jeans that I can wear in a professional situation, and Wranglers just don’t cut it.
- Jeans Disjointed 

A. I feel your pain - jeans and swimsuits are THE HARDEST items to shop for and the most disappointing when you can’t find your dream purchase.  I have left many dressing rooms feeling like a reject when I couldn’t find a pair that fit me. 

First, make sure you are trying on the most flattering fit for your figure. Look for jeans with a slight flare to balance out your hips and thighs and avoid tapering or skinny jeans at all costs.  Be sure the jeans have pockets. Also, think about denim with stretch— or Lycra—one of the greatest inventions put into women’s clothes. Don’t bring a girlfriend with you unless she is super stylishly savvy and honest. And don’t assume that expensive jeans are more worthy - I have jeans in my drawer from Old Navy for $20 to Citizens of Humanity for nearly $200 and plenty of price points in between. I love them all for different reasons, whether it’s the fit, the length or the wash. It’s more important to find the right fit that looks good on your body than spending the big bucks for the latest “hot” jean. 

As for designers to look for, there are so many brands out there, it’s hard to keep up with the claims. Before you become hardened towards jeans, go shopping at these stores:  Lucky Brand Dungarees (they have claimed they can find you a great fitting pair in four try-ons) and Levi’s, where you’ll find a wealth of sizes and fits with knowledgeable salespeople. Or, head to a store that has a designated area just for the jeans with pros on staff that know all the styles. In New York we have Barneys with their Jeans Bar - I adore the guys at Barneys co-op, they are honest and can remember the difference between my first pair and my fifteenth.

Most importantly, be patient. Even if you have to try on 50 pairs to find the perfect one, it will be worth it!

Q. I love, love, love the dress you wore on the Tyra Banks show.  Can you tell me who makes it?
-Dress Impressed 

Detail1 1426-1A. Thanks for the compliment about the dress I wore on Tyra Banks.  These days, I am dress-buying obsessed and someone probably needs to restrain me! This nifty dress is by Conspiracy 8 and comes in two color ways: black with blue trim or chocolate with orange trim (currently on sale for $123 at It is fairly low cut so be prepared to show a little cleavage, my fave right now is to pair it with the new Wonderbra Light Lift bra.

Wonderbra Light Gel
Push-Up Underwire Bra
$21.99 at

Q. What websites can I shop for trendy but affordable apparel for juniors?
-Junior Budget

A. You have so many choices, many of which you can find on our sweet sites section.  Check out,,,,,,,, and Have fun shopping!

Q. I’m looking for a cute hat to wear on cold and rainy days that won’t leave me with terrible hat head (i.e. no tight fitting, knit hats). I am looking for a newsboy cap or a fedora-type hat. I know they’re very hot right now and can be found almost everywhere, but my problem is, I have a small head and most hats are too big for me. Even hats that are labeled "small" are too big. I need a hat that won’t blow off on windy days or when I’m riding my bicycle. Can you help me find an adjustable or small size hat?
-Hat Attack

A. I’ve never had your problem - most hats are too tight on my head so I’m always looking for the medium or large size.  And I, too, like them a little loose so I can “try” to avoid hat head.  But if you’re looking to be able to keep that hat on when it’s windy or when you’re riding your bike, you need a hat with a buckle so it’s loose on some days and tighter on others.   Before shopping for a hat, especially online, take measurements of your head so you can find the right circumference or diameter that will fit.  And don’t assume that a knit hat is not right for you, I have a knit newsboy cap that is loose on top, but fits around my forehead so my hair doesn’t get flat.  Also, don’t forget to spray a little hairspray on hair or in the hat to avoid static and loose fly-aways during the dry, crackly months of winter.

Twill Cabbie with Buckle
adjusts for all head sizes
$18 at


Suede Cabbie with Buckle
adjusts for all head sizes
$19.99 at


Burberry Wool Bucket Hat
check out their hat size
guide for the right fit
$195 at


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