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Q. Do you know where I can find a cute summer dress with the on seam pockets in plus size? I think that it is the sweetest fashion look out there this summer and I can’t seem to find one to fit my larger frame (my bust in particular). Any advice you have would be great!
-Seemingly Cute

A. All these dresses have the pockets you’re seeking that will fit your curvy figure, just remember, they’re a style to use once in a while. Don’t rely on the pockets since consistent use can change the look or fall of the dress.

White denim halter dressLinen-blend dressKate by Kathryn Conover Jumper & TeeKate by Kathryn Conover Contrast Trim Matte Jersey Dress

left to right: White denim halter dress, $44.99 at lanebryant.com; Linen-blend dress, $148 at bananarepublic.com; Kate by Kathryn Conover Jumper & Tee, $118 at nordstrom.com; Kate by Kathryn Conover Contrast Trim Matte Jersey Dress, $140 at nordstrom.com

Q. I’m a frequent visitor to your website, and I always find great tips.  I just found out that I’m expecting my first child in the fall, and I’m already starting to think about maternity clothes, but it’s pretty overwhelming.  Do you have any store recommendations?  Do you have any style tips?  I’m short and small framed, but with a larger chest - which will only get larger - and I don’t want to look like a walking tomato in six months!
-Forward Thinking Tummy 

A. Congratulations!  There are so many brands to choose from for your growing belly. Check for sales on sites before you shell out bucks for outfits you’ll only wear a few times. Look for pieces than can translate with an accessory change from day to evening. Try wearing items from your own wardrobe (like babydoll styles) mixed with maternity pieces and even consider buying large sizes of non-maternity clothing, which at times will fit better depending on how your body changes. Some of my favorite maternity sites include: cadeau.com, japaneseweekend.com, bellydancematernity.com, mimimaternity.com, apeainthepod.com, nordstrom.com and babystyle.com (great for sales). Plus there are the basics that work like collections from oldnavy.com, target.com and jcpenney.com.

You’ll also need new bras that give good support as your breasts grow larger. We love the choices on bareneccessities.com and figleaves.com.

Here are a few flattering pieces you’ll get a lot of mileage from:

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left to right: Belly Basics Maternity Double Cowl Neck Dress (also in black), $88 at nordstrom.com; Belly Basics Maternity Wrap Tunic (also in black), $78 at nordstrom.com; Ruched-Waist Skirts (many colors), $16.50 at oldnavy.com

Q. I have bought several blazers over the past 2 years and find that I enjoy wearing them with jeans and cute tops when I go out, but have a hard time transitioning them into my work wardrobe.  I would do button-downs in fun colors, but unfortunately, I have a larger chest and button downs just don’t work.  Any ideas on what to pair them with (or where to find button down shirts that fit?
-Topper

A. My advice for busty girls is always to buy a top that fits around the chest and then head to a tailor to have the rest of the shirt fitted to your body.  Or, for the perfect fit off the rack, Rebecca & Drew makes an ingenious line of shirts and shirtdresses that are sized by cup size that won’t gap on even the bustiest girls. Also, look for stylish knit tops and thin sweaters to wear under the blazer as an alternative.

0470068734269 275X275



Rebecca & Drew Swiss Dot Blouse,
available up to size 38D
$165 at
saks.com

Q. Wow!  Great web site.  I was unable to find the answer to my question, so here goes: I am a 48 year old plus size woman and work as a Legal Secretary for a corporate law firm.  The Powers-That-Be have decided to switch our holiday evening party to a luncheon this year at a trendy restaurant in Washington DC.  I am at a loss as to what would be appropriate holiday attire for this event.  I know it is more casual than an evening event, but I am not sure what would be appropriate for a luncheon. We will be at work in the morning, then walking to the restaurant from the office.
-Work Wear Wonder   

A. While the timing may have changed from evening to lunch, there is no reason you shouldn’t wear something more stylish for the occasion - especially since it’s at a trendy restaurant. This calls for a dress. Wearing a dress will help you stand out from the pants and shirt crowd, give you a youthful appearance and allow you the opportunity to break from the “what you wear to work every day” look.  Add some nice hosiery and heels and you’re ready for holiday cheer.  I’ve picked out some great dresses that are age and event appropriate:

 5245389 5192755Picture 1-11Picture 2-13
left to right:
Maggy London Faux Wrap Shirtdress, $138 at
nordstrom.com
Lily Three Quarter Sleeve Surplice Dress, $92 at
nordstrom.com
Ruched Surplice Dress, $116 at
kiyonna.com
Poet Sleeved Faux Wrap Dress, $128 at
kiyonna.com

Q. Living in New York, I am surrounded by stylish women. I’d like to adopt some of the popular styles, such as jeans tucked into boots and pencil skirts with heels, but I have a, shall we say, ample lower half and I’m not sure I can pull it off. Can pear-shaped girls wear those styles? Any advice on how to make it work?
-Curvy in NYC 

100506 Ashlee 200X400A. There are ways to make those trends look good on a curvy shape. If you’d like to sport jeans tucked into boots, look for a pair of jeans that are slimmer cut towards the ankle. BUT here’s the deal—these jeans are specifically to be worn with boots and a knit top or sweater that covers the hips or gathers around the hips.  Or wear a longer style button down that isn’t boxy in cut and wear it untucked and add a fitted vest.  You want to balance the top half with your bottom half without drawing too much attention to your curvy hips and thighs.  Ashlee Simpson’s look shown here would look great on a curvier girl.

As for the pencil skirt, there are styles that are cut straight rather than fitted.  While a-line skirts are truly best for just about everyone’s shape, particularly curvy girls, if you wish to try out the pencil skirt trend, look for fabrics that hug, slim and smooth your figure.  And don’t hesitate to add a little help underneath!  We’re big fans of Donna Karan’s Body Perfect shapewear pieces and Spanx undergarments since they are thin, comfortable and slim and smooth out all those imperfections.

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Both of these pencil skirt options from newport-news.com offer a figure flattering silhouette with added control properties that smooth and slim your shape. left to right: Fit & flare skirt (also available in plus sizes), $39 and Control pencil skirt, $39

Ashlee Simpson photo via InStyle

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