Saturday, August 25, 2007

Stylish Fashions for a Curvy Girl

Hello My Dear She She,
I have big problems. I am 5'8" and wear a size 14. I carry all of my weight right in my mid-section and am very large chested (thanks for the great legs, Mom!). This makes the supposedly slimming wrap tops/dresses a nightmare for me! Baby doll styles leave me looking 7 months pregnant and I am at a loss! I am on an eternal quest to find tops that flatter my figure without tugging, hugging or impregnating me! Can you please help me?
Thank you! Jules

Dearest Jules!

This is a dilemma that I hear time and time again, and we are going to get you headed in the right direction right away! The very first thing that you need to do is make certain that you have a fabulous bra. And by fabulous, I mean going in for a professional bra fitting. I cannot emphasize how important this is, and how it will change your life forever (for the better!) I would suggest going to a major department store - Bloomies, Nordies, Saks, Victoria's Secret - who usually do bra consultations for free (I had mine done at Victoria's Secret). The proper bra will keep the girls locked and loaded so you won't have to worry about the trauma's that occur with an ill-fitting bra (too much cleavage, uni-boob, underarm bulge, etc.) It will also open up entirely new wardrobe possibilities!
Now that you are properly supported, you will find that those slimming wrap tops/dresses actually are an option now! One concern that curvy women have, however, is over-exposure of the girls in a wrap style top or dress. A gorgeous cami will solve that problem toute suite, and can even bump up the volume a bit if you go with something lacy or with a little shimmer.

I would, however, stay away from anything in a babydoll style or a traditional empire waist style. This does not totally rule out the empire waistline, just anything that is voluminous enough to make you look prego. Try looking for a modified empire style that hits below the bustline but just above the natural waistline. A twist-front top or dress is a good option, because it flows from below the bust gently over the hips and is soooo flattering.

Button down shirts are also very figure flattering; just make sure that when you are trying them on you get the size that fits across the bust (even if you have to go up a size) then have it tailored to fit. Same with a blazer or jacket. If you make sure it fits across the bust and is not too snug in the upper arm area it will be so much more flattering and slimming. Also, look for blazers and jackets that have seaming to emphasize your slim waist and hourglass figure.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fabulous Attire for a Bridal Shower

Dear She She~
I'm hosting a bridal shower for my very best friend on the last weekend of August and have yet to find the perfect ensemble. The shower is an afternoon affair with lots of standing and mingling and a little bit of sitting. As the hostess, I want to be comfortable and classic, with room to move in case the hors d'oeuvres need restocking or if someone spills their white wine. Also, the event is indoors but taking place in Tennessee, so the weather will be hot! Any suggestions? Thanks! ~Liz

As everyone knows, I adore any reason to get all girlied up, and a bridal shower is the most perfect reason of all! What better time to celebrate our innate girl-ness? I would, therefore, suggest a great dress; one that you can stand, sit, mix and mingle in, all while appearing completely cool, calm and collected.

A feminine sundress would be a great choice, since the weather is still very warm and humid in most places, and you can easily toss a light sweater or jacket over your shoulders should the A/C get cranked a bit too high. I would go with something in a classic style, with perhaps a little flare to the skirt to allow for ease of movement, or even a great jersey knit. Since you will most likely be doing a great deal of standing up and sitting down, choose a dress that ends just below the knee (wouldn't want to flash your Hanky Pankies at Auntie Meryl!) Finish the ensemble with a pair of wedge heels or low peeptoes.

I also adore the chic wrap dress - very figure flattering and easy to move in. A faux wrap or one with a criss-cross front is a great option because you won't run the risk of flashing a bit too much leg while stooping to pick up gifts to pass to the bride-to-be.

Another option would be a great A-line skirt with a little stretch and a feminine blouse. Stick with silk or cotton if the weather is still hot and sticky. Forego the hosiery and give your legs a nice glow with a great moisturizing self tanner. A pair of chic metallic flats or low heeled slingbacks is the perfect finishing touch.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mary Janes to the Rescue!

Dear She She, I know that ballet flats are "in" right now, but due to walking difficulties I cannot wear them. They slip off my feet to easily. I have a hard time finding shoes that I can wear and ballet flats seemed perfect, unfortunetly that was not the case. Do you know of any flats that have a strap on them to keep your foot into place? I found some many years ago, but cannot seem to find them anymore. I have searched and have had no luck. Thank so much! Taylor

I know exactly what you are dealing with, dearest girl. I have an extremely narrow foot and have a terrible time wearing anything that slips on (they should call them slip-offs for me!), and flats are especially difficult. But have no fear, help is at hand! Luckily for both you and me, Mary Jane style flats are also all the rage right now, as are monk-strap flats. The added little strap across the bridge of the foot is just what is needed to keep those gorgeous little flats on your foot!

One of my favorite pair of ballet flats is the Benevento by Stonefly. It has a darling little braided elastic strap that can be worn pulled back over the heel, as a decorative accent, or across the instep as a Mary Jane. I have found that flats with straps that fit higher up across the instep tend to stay in place better than shoes with the straps lower down toward the toes.

Luckily there are so many different styles in both the Mary Jane and monk-strap styles, from patent leather and animal prints to metallics and the most girly of girly ballet style flats, so you can remain stylish and secure all season long!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fabulous Help for Ballet Flats

Dear She She, I have these ballet flats & I absolutely LOVE them but when I wear them they rub against my heel & I was wondering what I can do to prevent blisters! I got them in the fall & so I could wear them with nylons but not in 100 degree weather so what do I do? Thanks for all of your help & advice!!! XOXOXO, Rachael

Blister-causing footwear has been the bane of the stylish girl's existence since the beginning of time. (If those animal skins weren't pounded to a butter-soft texture and hand-rubbed with lanolin they too caused blisters on a cave girl's feet!) One of the best solutions that I have found is by Foot Petals. They have many fantastic products, but their Heavenly Heels is perfect for cushioning your heels from blisters, as well as keeping your feet from sliding around and causing more blistes. I would suggest their Runaway Bride package, which contains everything you need to keep your tootsies in tip top shape.

Another option is a fabulous little footie sock that I have discovered and absolutely swear by! I love this little liner stocking because it is very low profile, so I can wear it with all of by ballet flats and skimmers, plus is absorbs moisture so my lovely shoes don't get malodorous (as if they would dare!).

Another fabu product is the slingback liner, which covers just the front portion of your foot, leaving the back bare for slingback shoes. Fantastic! And check out these nifty little numbers for peeptoes.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What to Wear to a Fancy Restaurant

Dear She She Me, I adore the advice you give to others and now I have my own fashion question! I've been recently promoted within my company and the senior team is headed to Newport, RI (ah, Newport!) for a working retreat. One evening will find us out for dinner at a place where the men must be wearing jackets. Any advice on what to wear for a twirtysomething-girl who is trying to impress the rest of the higher ups? A dress is definitely where I'm leaning but then I'm at a complete loss! Thanks! Vanessa

Dearest girl, you are right to trust your instincts! An elegant and sophisticated dress is most definitely the way to go. Bear in mind, however, that even though a fancy dinner usually means a fancy cocktail dress, this is still a business related event; therefore your dress needs to follow the basic rules of business attire: nothing too bare, nothing too revealing, nothing too sexy. In this business world this usually means nothing sleeveless (cap sleeves are fine) or with a plunging neckline, and keep it at the knee or just barely above.

My advice is to play it safe with the dress. A simple, classic little black dress will project just the image you are looking for: classy, sophisticated and elegant. Go with a dressy heel, preferably a closed toe pump or slingback. Stay away from anything too overtly sexy (no strappies or heels over 3.5 inches), and keep your jewelry and handbag understated too.

Another option would be a great wrap dress - very flattering to most figures. The most common problem with the wrap dress is the plunging neckline. This is easily alleviated with a solid cami worn underneath (stay away from anything lacy or embellished for business). Finish the look with a pair of great platform pumps and a gorgeous handbag.

Another option would be a dressy suit. You can punch up the glamour of a basic suit with a silky blouse, shoes with feminine details and a great handbag. Once again, keep the jewelry and accessories understated.
In a business situation, as far as fashion goes, the old addage "less is more" is absolutely true.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Chic Ways to Wear a Babydoll Top

Hi She She!

I just purchased a babydoll top online without really knowing what the length would actually be. It is much longer than I thought, (it is more like a dress, than a top), but I still love it. I would wear it as a dress, except I have really bad scarring on my legs, so that is not an option for me. My question is: is there anyway to wear the top I bought without having to show off my legs a whole lot? Thanks!

Dearest Girl, you are in luck indeed! Babydoll tops or empire waist style tops are all the rage, and can be worn in so many ways. One of my favorite ways to wear a super short dress is with a pair of leggings or opaque tights. This allows you to enjoy the flirtiness of just such a skirt as well as an opportunity to show off your gorgeous gams without having to actually bare them!(Girly also swears by leggings because she claims her legs are so white that they cause snow blindness in passersby.) Add a trendy pair of metallic ballet flats and you are good to go!

Another great look for a babydoll top or tunic top is to pair it with skinny jeans. Very chic indeed. This is especially good for when the weather starts to turn a bit cooler. Skinny jeans with a great pair of pumps for a dressier look, or pair them with boots to take it down a notch. You can also belt the tunic or babydoll top with a wide waist belt for a whole new look.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Stylish Starter Maternity Wear

Dear She She,
You were so helpful to me a few months ago when I had to travel north for a winter wedding! I need your advice again. I'm prego now and just starting to show. I'm still too small for maternity wear but my usual work attire, fitted sweaters or tucked-in button-downs aren't fitting so well these days! Any advice or suggestions on what to wear at this in-between stage would be most appreciated. This is our first baby, so I'm a little lost about my fashion options. I know you and Pretty Mama can help! Thanks much, Tex

Dearest Girl, this is a most exciting time in your life, and one that must be celebrated in style, which is exactly what you are going to do! No need to head straight to the tent section of the maternity shoppes just yet. Isn't is fabulous that the empire style top and/or dress is so in vogue right now? Absolute perfection for you!

As for trousers, the maternity "in" crowd swears by the Bella Band, the first maternity accessory that allows you to wear your non-pregnant girl clothes a little longer, fun maternity outfits a little sooner, and hold up any belly style that falls down around your hips. Perfect at any stage—for the newly pregnant, the definitely pregnant, the so very pregnant, and the recovering belly babes that you are. There is even a lace-trimmed Bella Band, which looks like a lacy cami when worn under tops and sweaters. These oh-so-clever bands will allow you to wear your regular trousers and skirts far into your pregnancy! You can then pair said trousers and skirts with the oodles of flattering empire style tops that are so chic this season. Tunic style tops, which are also very popular now, are also a great option.

Pretty Mama also swears by low-rise jeans, especially those with a little stretch as they are so much more comfortable than jeans or trousers with a belly panel. Also, Pretty Mama says to go ahead and flaunt that baby bump! Don't be afraid to wear tees, sweaters and knits that show off your new figure - the days of hiding your condition under big baggy tops and dresses are over forever!

I know you are going to be one stylin' mama! Best of luck darling girl!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Petite Fashions for a Posh Lunch

Hi She She Me!

I am a petite, short-waisted 40 yr. old going to a 25th Anniversary Brunch at a historic cottage (read mansion) in Lenox, Massachusetts in early August. Any suggestions on what to wear? Thanks-eLeN

Since the weather can be unpredictable in August, no matter where you live, I would definitely opt for a very chic dress. Since you are short-waisted, a very flattering style for you would be a wrap-style or cross-front style dress where the wrap ends just below the bustline. This emphasizes the slimmest part of your body, while elongating the torso. Stay away from anything with a dilineated waistline.

Another chic option is a shift dress. Very Jackie O. Keep the hemline at the knee or just below - anything longer doesn't work well on a petite frame. A classy pair of heels or slingbacks, understated jewelry and a killer handbag and you are good to go!