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Q. I am a woman who has wide calves and big ankles. This is something that I have struggled with my whole life. I do not like to wear skirts or dresses because of this complex - too self conscious. I have a wedding coming up and need to wear a short dress as it will be in a house. Can you please advise what are some great shoes and dresses I can wear in order to help minimize the size of my legs.


A. There are several strategic ways to minimize the size of your calves and ankles:

1. Avoid shoes with ankle straps. A classic pump or d’Orsay pump with a high heel will help to elongate and visually slim your ankles and calves.

2. Opt for a monochromatic leg. If you are going bare legged, then opt for a nude shoe; otherwise, try black hosiery with a black heel.

3. Draw the eye upward. Choose a dress with embellishments or interesting details towards your face, or opt for a statement necklace or dramatic earrings to divert attention from your legs.

4. Wear a long dress. You mention that you need to wear a short dress since the party will be at someone’s home. There are plenty of long or maxi dresses you can wear that aren’t considered too dressy.

5. Choose a dress or skirt that flares out at the bottom. A fuller skirt will make legs look slimmer by comparison.

6. Make sure your dress hits at or above the knee. The shorter you are comfortable going, the slimmer your calves will look. Anything below the knee will draw attention to the widest part of your calves, creating a matronly look.

You can also opt for dress pants with a party top to avoid the leg issue altogether.

Wear black pumps with black hosiery for a lean, monochromatic leg
Nude heels with no ankle straps elongate and slim your legs
Draw the eye upwards with interesting details or a statement necklace
A full skirt makes legs look slimmer
Avoid hems that hit below the knee at the widest part of the calf. Anything at or above the knee is best.
A maxi dress is always an option

Q. I am attending an auction gala at the end of February. The theme is Denim & Diamonds, so I’ve got the jeans and boots ready, but what type of top could I wear that would amp up the outfit?


A. What a fun party invite! Here are some outfit suggestions:

  • Pair jeans and cowboy boots with a glam sequin blazer layered over a t-shirt. Or choose a velvet blazer or tuxedo jacket as an alternative. Crystal (or diamond) drop earrings and an evening clutch finish the look.
  • Instead of jeans, pair a cocktail dress or evening gown with a denim jacket or vest.

Q. I am going to a wedding in a few weeks and I bought the cutest dress. I have great shoes to go with it, but cannot figure out what accessories to wear. I normally do not wear earrings, as my hair covers them, but would like ideas on a necklace or pin or something. HELP!

A. Cute dress! Simple, chic and timeless. The black and white palette is the perfect blank canvas for some gorgeous statement jewelry. We would opt for a short but dramatic necklace paired with a sparkly cuff bracelet or cocktail ring. Below are some chic choices under $100 - we chose a neutral color scheme, but you can also incorporate colorful baubles and gems if you like.


Q. I am wearing a beautiful green one shoulder Badgley Mischka dress to a holiday party this weekend, but am afraid I’ll get cold and will need a sweater or jacket. I have no idea what would look good with this dress, because it comes in tight at the waist, flares out at the hips and the fabric is a flowing chffon. I will be wearing open toe Miu Miu gold shoes and thought either a cardigan or a short jacket perhaps? What color, and what style? Help!


A. Since you seem like a stylish gal, no ordinary cardigan or jacket will do. This season, we’re loving little sequin jackets and boleros or faux fur capes and chubbies over dressy dresses. Since you are wearing gold shoes, something in the gold or cream family would look rich and elegant. You can also opt for a neutral like black, brown or tan. Any of the styles below would look gorgeous with your green dress.

Q. I have to attend a formal dinner/dance (it’s been compared to a wedding) for my husband’s company. I have purchased this dress from Anthropologie. I was wondering if you could suggest what to wear with it. Because it is a work event, I wanted to wear a sweater or jacket over the dress to cover my arms for at least the beginning of the evening. I tried on a bunch of cardigans and jackets but because of where the dress cuts me in the middle, all of the things I tried on didn’t look right. Do you have any suggestions? I would also like jewelry, tights and shoes suggestions if you have them.


A. Pretty dress! This style dress that has the look of a shirt tucked into a skirt, is a big trend this season. One of the freshest way to wear this dress is with a jacket or blazer, so you are in luck! Everything from a cropped jacket to a longer boyfriend-style blazer would look great with the dress. To give the dress a more formal look, try a jacket with sequins, velvet or a tuxedo style.

For jewelry, we recommend a short but striking necklace that won’t interfere with the delicate ruffles at the neckline, or you can skip the necklace and go for sparkly earrings. A cocktail ring or rhinestone cuff bracelet would pair well with a necklace or earrings. Warning: don’t wear all of these together!

Since this is a formal work event, it’s not really the best time to experiment with this season’s lace or textured tights trend. Instead, go for black hosiery paired with pretty black heels. Have fun!

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