| Ask The Style Chefs: Intimates Archives

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Q. I’m attending an evening wedding in May, I have been a “Mom” for the past 5 1/2 years so I have been out of the fashion world and have not been to many events. The dress is black with an ivory modern spiral scribble print, scooped neckline and tank straps, pleated bodice, inset waist panel and full, softly pleated skirt. My shoes are an open-toe pump in black patent leather.

In my day…I’m 40 years old…sheer black pantyhose would be worn with a black cocktail dress. I’ve noticed in catalogs and online shopping sites it looks like no pantyhose is in. So my question is should I wear pantyhose with my dress, and if yes what color?
-In My Day

A. Long question with a short answer: go bare legged. You’re only 40 and that’s not old! Feel free to use “in my day” when you hit 75.

Q. I love to wear dresses or skirts all year round. What can I wear under them so that I stay warm when I get a chill or when the temps drop?
-Cool Gams

A. Skip tights and hosiery in summer and choose lightweight leggings only if you feel a chill. And don’t assume customary black will work with everything. There are a variety of colors to choose from to pair up with mini dresses that will give a stylish look from head to toe.


Jonathan Aston footless tights and gingham leggings at

Q. You site is so helpful!!! I had a baby a few months ago and I am in my friend’s wedding next month. The bridesmaid dress is thin satin, and body skimming, and it is not forgiving to any body issues! My stomach is not big or fat, but not where I’d like it to be for this dress. I have that little pouch under my belly button and it is quite obvious in this style of a dress. I need help on an undergarment that will help me to feel confident in this dress. A bra cannot be worn with this dress, I think it is too low cut in the front for even a strapless bra. So I plan to have bra cups sewn in, and I need something for the stomach area, something that won’t show under the very thin fabric.
-Hide my Pouch

A. I empathize with your dilemma. Many brides choose dresses without trying them on themselves to see how it fits a body. Thin satin is not forgiving. You need an undergarment that rises above your belly and also avoids panty or stomach lines.

These work well to give complete all over coverage to flatten tummy and smooth all over. It should come high enough under the dress to avoid lines going across, but the dress length has to be longer:

 The Body Wrap: Firm Control Strapless Long Leg Body Briefer Spanx: Higher Power High Waisted Power Panty

left to right: The Body Wrap: Firm Control Strapless Long Leg Body Briefer, $78 at; Spanx: Higher Power High Waisted Power Panty, $34 at

 The Body Wrap: High Waist Control Thong

This may help avoid panty lines while still going over waist to flatten the tummy.

The Body Wrap: High Waist Control Thong, $34 at

 Spanx: All The Way Up High-Waist Pantyhose

If you intend to wear black sheer hosiery then this should work.

Spanx: All The Way Up High-Waist Pantyhose, $28 at

Q. I just discovered your website and have a question regarding intimates.  I want to make my stomach seem flat and my waist smaller.  I’m a rather short woman (approx. 5’1) with rather large measurements (38-32-38).  My bra size is 34D (just got resized after many years of not wearing a proper size).  I want to know what you think of wearing a girdle or other shaper undergarment for a person of my size.  Does this seem like a good idea?   My desire to make my figure more attractive and slimmer-looking.  What options are there?
-Want to look slimmer

A. We all have issues with our bodies.  Thankfully, no matter what our shape or size, there is shapewear available to help make positive changes in the way our clothes fit and look on our body. I would suggest looking for smooth fitting shapewear undergarments. Some “girdles” have boning and additional pieces that while creating a slimmer look, can mean lines and slight bumps under your clothes.  Don’t fret about your petite height, just be sure to try a few options in your search for the ideal slimming companion.

Some of my favorites:

Body by Nancy Ganz Sleek underneath body briefer0A057Dkn The Body Wrap: Firm Control High Waist PantyBody by Nancy Ganz 
Sleek underneath hi-waist brief

left to right: Body by Nancy Ganz Sleek underneath body briefer, $45 at;   Donna Karan Hosiery: The Body Perfect Collection Level 1 High Waist Embrace Brief, $40 at; The Body Wrap: Firm Control High Waist Panty, $38 at; Body by Nancy Ganz Sleek underneath hi-waist brief, $22 at

for more ideas on shapers and what to wear under your clothes, check out Underneath It All

Q. I recently bought a pair of leopard print, pointed toe, high heels. I want to wear them with a black turtleneck and jeans, however I am not sure what stockings to wear with the shoes. I’ve tried opaque and black but am not sure what the correct style is. I live in an area that gets cold in the winter so I am unable to go without stockings entirely (like I see the stars doing in all of the magazines). If you could give me some advice as to what to wear with jeans and leopard print shoes I would really appreciate it.
-On the Prowl 

A. A black turtleneck, jeans and animal print shoes are a favorite look of ours, so kudos to your chic sense of style. You’ve already answered your own style question - opaque and  sheer hosiery both work, it just depends on how much coverage you want.

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