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Q. I am short (5’2) and pear-shaped but with a chest. Every top is too long for me but I feel like I can’t tuck it in because I have a short torso AND a tummy. All I see are long tops or cute ones tucked in. What are we to do?

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A. It’s very difficult for women with a short torso and an ample chest to tuck shirts in, we end up looking “all boob”. Add a tummy to the equation and it becomes even more difficult. Your best bet is to look for tops that can be worn untucked, that skim your figure without being tight, or are loose fitting without being boxy. An untucked top will also help to balance out your pear shape. Be sure to look for petite sizes which are specifically designed for your 5’2” frame that won’t be too long. Here are some flattering summer options for you:

strip-shirt_300.jpgQ. My button front shirts always gap across my boobs. I wear minimizers, so what else can I do?

A. Wearing the right bra is part of the equation, but it’s often not enough to help prevent shirts and blouses from puckering between the buttons, a common problem for women with larger chests. Here are a few tricks for making a button-down shirt work for you:


  • Find a button-front shirt that fits well and doesn’t pull across your chest, even if it’s too big everywhere else. Take it to a tailor to have the rest of the shirt properly fitted. Your new “custom” shirt will be well worth the extra $10 or $20 for a proper fit.

  • If your shirt fits fairly well across your chest but still gaps, use invisible double stick clothing tape to help prevent the puckering. Or for a more permanent solution, you can try sewing a small piece of velcro in between the buttons.

  • Try wearing a pretty camisole under your shirt. Unbutton the buttons that are gaping for a quick and stylish solution.

image via realsimple.com

Q. I am 5’3” tall, 30 1/2 inch waist, 39” hips and a full rear end. Although I do not follow trends but wear what works for me, I saw some very nice inexpensive skinny, distressed jeans on the NY&Co. site. Would skinny jeans work for my shape or should I stick with boot-cut and trouser cut styles?

A. Yes, curvy women can wear skinny jeans! Just be sure to style them in a way that flatters your figure. We covered this topic in the fall, but here’s how to wear it for spring:

The cuffed distressed pair shown here from nyandcompany.com looks great with a pair of heeled sandals, tall wedges or the season’s new platform clog. The heels will add height and instantly slim your legs.

If you’re looking to minimize your hips and thighs, try a pretty summer tunic or a lightweight boyfriend cardigan paired with a tank. If the length of your loose-fitting top hits right below the widest part of your thigh, it will have a slimming effect.

Q. I am in need of a jacket for spring and summer showers and cooler days. I’d like to purchase just one coat or jacket that would work for my office attire and my casual weekend wardrobe. I am a pettite and can easily look lost in too long of a style. Any suggestions?

A. Look no further than a short or cropped trench coat. Eternally chic, and effortlessly versatile, a trench easily transitions from work to weekend, looking just as fabulous with a dress as it does with jeans. Look for belted or single breasted styles that are slim-fitting and hit mid-thigh or above for the most flattering silhouette for your petite figure.

Here are some options for every budget:


Q. I really, really want to get into this boyfriend blazer trend. I read about how versatile they are on fashion blogs, I see ladies rocking them at bars on my nights on the town; but, every time I see one in a store all I see are 1980s blazers-and-shoulder-pads turning women into linebackers in skirts and dresses. I’m plus size and pretty broad shouldered already with a large chest, can I really pull this look off on a night out or a casual day at work without having do to the Super Bowl shuffle?

A. You can absolutely wear a boyfriend blazer. The key is to choose a style without shoulder pads, since you’re already broad, and to look for a long, slim cut which will give you a leaner appearance. Anything that is boxy or too short will make you look wider. Be sure to wear a slim bottom and wear heels, if possible, for the most flattering look.

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