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Q. I found a very simple cut rayon tank dress with a very small floral print at a thrift shop and it hits about mid-thigh. Can I wear this as a belted tunic over skinny jeans? What would be the most updated way to use this dress? Accessory ideas, shoes, etc. would also help.

Also, I have a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses from 1987. Would I look dated if I wore them? They are good quality sunglasses and they just sit there. It seems the big glasses are back in again, am I right?

I like to be Thrifty but stylish.

A. Sounds like your floral tank dress was a great find! A classic shape in a classic print that just also happens to be very in style this season. You can certainly belt the dress and wear it with skinny jeans, or of course wear it as a dress with flat summer sandals or feminine heels or wedges. We’ve shown some ideas below using two floral tank dresses that can be found on the racks now.

As for your original Ray-Bans - not only can you wear them now, but people are paying big bucks for vintage originals and the new “original” reissues.

Q. Can I wear a turquoise silk/satin dress with hot pink platforms of the same fabric? I really don’t want to wear gold or silver shoes, so boring and expected. I think the contrasting colors look fun and sexy together. And, if I can get away w/ these colors, the real question is, what color wrap can I wear w/o looking like a crayon?

A. You can definitely wear your hot pink shoes with a turquoise dress, in fact, mixing colors is a big trend this season. The key to mixing colors successfully is to pair bold colors with other bold colors and pale colors with similarly pale colors. In other words, a pale pink shoe would not work as well as a bright pink shoe with your bright blue dress. Mixing in a third color can be tricky, so it’s best to keep your wrap neutral: ivory, white, gold, silver, nude, etc.

91P1003_10_b.jpegQ. I’ve been eyeing the Siwy camilla cut-off shorts in white, but they are very heavily distressed and I am concerned that they won’t hold together after more than a few washes in the washing machine. Do you have any thoughts on the heavily distressed denim trend? Is the trend likely to last? Will heavily distressed denim fall apart super fast?

A. These cut-off shorts are super hot right now, having been worn by such celebs as Nicole Richie, Ashley Olsen, Kate Moss and Vanessa Hudgens. A cute, casual style, they look great with loose tees and blouses.

True, heavily distressed denim is very trendy right now, but it doesn’t show signs of fading (ha!) any time soon. We say, if you’ve been eyeing these shorts, then go for it. And when they do eventually go out of style, they’ll still look great worn to the beach.

As for caring for your distressed denim, most items are specially treated so they won’t fall apart with normal wear. When washing them, it’s best to turn them inside out and wash on delicate cycle (or better yet, hand wash) and hang them dry. Don’t put them in the dryer!

Siwy Camilla Cut Off Shorts in White $159 at chickdowntown.com. Get 10% off with coupon code: VIP10

Q. In shopping for summerwear, I have yet to buy into the maxi dress phenomenon. I see stars (Angelina Jolie, Katie Holmes) in them all the time, and they are all over my favorite stores but I worry about purchasing one for myself because of my large chest and plus size shape. I feel like a maxi dress is a nice way of calling something a muumuu! Is there anyway to avoid looking preggers in one of these?

A. The maxi dress continues to be a big trend this season. Maxi dresses are meant to fit loosely, so they’re a great option for curvy women, and there are many plus size options available. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect maxi for your plus size/chesty shape:

surplicemaxi.png

  • Make sure that the fabric flows loosely over your body - you don’t want any pulling or gathering over your hips or tummy - but make sure there isn’t too much fabric so it looks like you’re wearing a muumuu.

  • Look for styles that fit your chest well and allow you to wear a supportive bra underneath. You probably want to avoid spaghetti strap styles which tend to fit smaller chests.

  • Bold patterns are ideal for camouflaging lumps and bumps, so don’t be afraid of prints and color.

  • If you’re on the shorter side, wear wedge heels, espadrilles or the new chunky heeled gladiator to add some height and elongate your figure.

The surplice front maxi dress shown here ($89.50 at lanebryant.com) is a great style for you to try. It has ample room up top for a large bust, a flattering empire waist style and a gorgeous boho print that’s right on trend. It’s loose without having too much extra fabric.

Here are some more plus size maxis for you to try:

Q.I have a question about cardigans… I’m not sure how to pull them off without looking/feeling too “old”. How many buttons should be closed, what should be worn under them, and with what shoes and jeans? I want to look trendy and not like a teacher. :) Thanks so much!

A. It’s no secret that we love cardigans in all shapes and sizes. In fact, we’ve written about them often, including here, here and here. While some cardigans tend to look classic, ladylike and somewhat mature, there are so many fun and young ways to wear a cardigan. Below are some ideas:

Whether you choose a long boyfriend style cardigan or a cropped ladylike cardigan, the above images prove that it’s all in the way you wear it. There are no hard and fast rules as to how many buttons to button or whether to wear it open, it all depends on your personal style. Typically, a buttoned up crew neck cardigan tends to look just that, buttoned up (and probably too mature). Instead, try wearing it open over a basic tank top, a feminine blouse or a pretty dress.

Cardigans are perfect paired with everything from jeans (skinny styles to baggy boyfriend jeans) and trousers to shorts and cargo pants. Shoe choices are endless, depending on the rest of your look. So grab a cardigan that suits you and have fun with it!

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