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Q. I’m 5’1 and curvy at around 125 lbs.  I know that for petite women, wide leg denim is a no-no, but I wanted to know if there are any exceptions to this rule.  I love the way it looks. Is it possible for me to wear wide leg/low rise wide waistband jeans if I get them on the longer side (tailored) and I also wear heels with them? By the way- I do have saddlebags.
-Curvy Frame
Banana Republic Petite classic dark wash wide-leg trouser jean

A. Depending on how wide the jeans are, you may be able to pull off the look. Super wide may be too much for your height to carry, but a little width (like in the pair shown here from bananarepublic.com) can help balance out hips and saddlebags. The key is to choose pants that have the right placement of pockets and the wide waistband will help minimize the butt and tummy area. And definitely keep them on the longish side and wear with heels or heeled boots to help elongate your legs. Be sure to take a good look in the mirror - you’ll know if the style works for you.

Q. I am sending this question for my boss.  She is wearing a mid minidress and she wants to know the correct heels to wear with it.  Also, what is the lowest heel height to the maximum height that is appropriate?
-Heel Height

A. With a mini, there are plenty of options: she can wear ballet flats for a Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby” young look; or pair knee high slim boots with opaque tights; or wear peep-toes or high heels for an evening out look. If she is petite (5’3” or shorter), I would advise that she avoid heel heights over 3 inches since it will look like she’s grasping for height with a stiletto.  But generally, her heel choices will depend on what her activity is or where she’ll be going in her dress.  The more casual the plan, the lower the heel height.

Q. I recently began a new job that requires me to wear suits to work every day. Since colder weather will be approaching soon, I’m wondering what kind of a jacket is a good fit to wear on top of my suits. All of my present jackets are too small to fit over the rather bulky layers that the suit creates.
-Suit Cover

A. You’re looking for a true Fall/Winter coat that is meant to protect your clothing.  If you intend to wear pantsuits and some skirt suits five days a week, you’ll need a coat that falls past your hips to cover the suit jacket. A trench is a great option if you choose one with a zip or button-in lining.  Although a trench, even with a lining, will not keep you very warm in the middle of winter if you intend to be outside often. 

Also look for coats with a slight A-line cut to give you more room and choose one that is a size larger than your clothing since you are covering more bulk than just your body. Best chances of finding the right coat to fit over your suit is to do some shopping with your suit jacket in hand.  Fall jackets are usually lightweight wool or leather and meant for wearing over tops and thin sweaters.

Some suggestions:

Double-faced wool Bella coatCamelhair WalkerKenneth Cole REACTION Extended-Tab Coat

1. Double-faced wool Bella coat, $350 at jcrew.com
2. Camelhair Walker, $400 at bloomingdales.com
3. Kenneth Cole REACTION Extended-Tab Coat, $219 at macys.com

Larry Levine Double-Breasted Walker CoatLondon Fog Trapeze BalmacaanLondon Fog Long Trench Coat with Liner

4. Larry Levine Double-Breasted Walker Coat, $217.50 at macys.com
5. London Fog Trapeze Balmacaan, $198 at nordstrom.com
6. London Fog Long Trench Coat with Liner, $158 at nordstrom.com

Q. I am seeing a lot of patent shoes for the Fall. I always thought patent shoes were only for Spring and Summer. What’s the best way to wear them? And, can I wear my red patent peep toes into September?
-Patent Potential

A. Patent leather shoes, accessories and even clothing with patent embellishments are a huge trend that continues into Fall. It escaped the “only wear” in Spring and Summer several years ago and now there are countless stylish options to wear all year long. So wear your peep toes this Fall and pair them with opaque tights when the temperature dips. And check out these shoes to shine in this Fall:

Stuart Weitzman
ChatupVince Camuto Heaven

Jessica Simpson 'Thalia' Bootie AK Anne Klein Willa

left to right:
1. Stuart Weitzman Chatup, $280 at zappos.com
2. Vince Camuto Heaven, $125 at piperlime.com
3. Jessica Simpson ‘Thalia’ Bootie, $118.95 at nordstrom.com
4. AK Anne Klein Willa, $79 at piperlime.com

animal print dressQ. I am attending a friends wedding in Chicago and just purchased the following dress for the event. Please note that the dress is longer on me. It ends about one inch above my knee. Do you think it appropriate to wear to a wedding? I am really unsure.

-Animal Print Wonder

A. Thank goodness it is longer on you. The dress is definitely working its sex appeal. It seems more fitting for a club than a friend’s wedding, sorry.

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