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Q. I am 5’6” and weigh 135. I have had two children with one being a c-section and I have a small “pouch” left from the surgery. I do not like the way it looks in the current clothing I have. Do you have any advice on cute tops and shorts/pants that will cover the pouch and not make me look like I am pregnant again? I wear about a size 8.
-Belly Banish

Not Your Daughter’s JeansYou want to look for pants and shorts that aren’t on the down low, meaning: skip low rise styles. Jeans and pants that sit on your waist will give you a slimmer appearance. Look for bottoms that have a little Lycra to give you room to breathe while helping to slim. Check out Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, they have an endless variety that will slim your tummy. Don’t let the name throw you, these are not “mom jeans”, these are stylish bottoms that will give you good tummy tuck control.

Don’t forget about the infinite intimate apparel options that can help flatten your tummy so you can still wear what you want on the outside. Look at choices from Spanx, Barely There and Donna Karan The Body Perfect Collection which you can find at barenecessities.com and figleaves.com. Also, check out our style recipe Underneath It All for more slimming ideas.

As for tops, empire waisted tops can hide a tummy, but be aware that too much extra fabric can also billow out and make you look pregnant. Look for tops that have a bit of stretch again and be sure the tops are long enough to cover your stomach fully without rising up.

Q. I have a new 3/4 sleeve jacket - do the sleeves of whatever I wear under the jacket have to be shorter, or can I wear a long sleeve T shirt or lightweight sweater under the shorter jacket sleeves?
-Peeking Out

A. You don’t have to the have the sleeves of all the tops you wear underneath be 3/4 or shorter. It can look quite stylish to have a patterned long sleeve shirt on underneath. As for a sweater under the jacket, be sure the fabric isn’t too bulky when popping out past the sleeve.

Q. I am attending my sister’s wedding next month, and I am a bridesmaid. The fabric she picked out is a chiffon material, I am a larger girl and plan on wearing a corset (being she picked out strapless dresses), and something to hide my heaviness, my only problem is that I don’t know what fabric the panties should be that won’t show through, and type of material for the corset.
-Hide it

A. You want to make sure that you don’t show visible panty lines and that whatever you wear up top and down below gives smooth support and slims. Best option would be to order several items online or head to your top department store’s intimate apparel area with the dress.

Here are some of my favorite pieces that give lift and smooth bumps. For bustiers, make sure the boning doesn’t effect the draping of the dress.

Flexees by Maidenform 
Disappearing Waist Lace Collection moderate control strapless full slip	
The Body Wrap 
bra slip with underwire cups Bali: Lace Convertible All-In-One
 The Body Wrap: Firm Control Thong	
Bali 
Tummy panel brief	
Body by Nancy Ganz 
The Belly band brief
Felina 
Essentials bustier

left to right: Flexees by Maidenform Disappearing Waist Lace Collection moderate control strapless full slip, $51 at figleaves.com; The Body Wrap bra slip with underwire cups, $50 at figleaves.com; Bali Lace Convertible All-In-One, $41.60 at barenecessities.com; The Body Wrap: Firm Control Thong, $24 at barenecessities.com; Bali Tummy panel brief, $8.80 at figleaves.com; Body by Nancy Ganz

The Belly band brief, $21 at figleaves.com; Felina Essentials bustier, $69 at figleaves.com

Untitled1Q. I brought this dress to wear to my niece’s wedding in June, it’s a daytime ceremony (3:00 p.m.). It is not formal, but I want to look nice. My question- is this dress too young for me? I am 43, although I’ve been told I don’t look it. Does that make a difference? I absolutely love this dress. I’ve been searching forever for something and, while I don’t want to dress to look like I’m trying to be a twenty something (or even thirty), I don’t want to look like an old woman.
-Feeling Young

A. You love the dress, so go for it! So much of what makes up one’s personal style is attitude and confidence. It’s not mini, it’s not baring your midriff, so it’s just right for your YOUNG age of 43.

Q. Is it ok to wear sheer off-black nylons with tailored black capris, sling back black shoes with a 2” heel and a dressy blouse?
-Cover up

A. I’m not a fan of hosiery with capris. Cropped wool pants with tights and knee high boots in the Fall is great, but for the warmer months, capris are meant to be cool and comfortable. The idea of capris is to bare a little leg while still feeling comfortable with the extra coverage that capris offer compared to walking shorts.

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