Q "I love how jewelry can pull together an outfit, but I get a rash when I wear any metals except real gold. What are your tips for making my outfits look complete without having to splurge?"
A I'm delighted that you've discovered that jewelry can be a serious—and easy—way to enhance any look. Regarding costume jewelry, many women develop a rash, so you are not alone. I suggest that you try layering your jewelry over a collared shirt, which can be a very chic look and will prevent the jewelry from coming in contact with your skin. Another option is to embrace a quickly growing trend that I believe will be long lasting: tops, including the tops of dresses, that are already beautifully embellished along the neckline. They come in myriad styles and can be found at almost any price point.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Q "I'm tall and lanky with a small waist and chest. I'd love to wear blazers to the office, but when they fit me in the shoulders, they're too large in the bust. I'd greatly appreciate your guidance."
A Have your blazers tailored to fit you. A blazer, or any jacket for that matter, is all about the fit in the shoulders; the fabric cascades from there. Generally speaking, a good tailor can make the alterations that you need by merely using the center-back seam. Have you tried a fitted blazer? That is, one that bows in at the waist and fans out to the hem like a faux peplum? (I wish we could shop together, because I would have a much better visual of your issue!) I also want to sing the praises of cardigans, especially belted ones. Owing to their knit structure—and the belt—they'll conform to your shape, unlike any woven garment.
Q "I'm a college student who loves pants, but I suffer from 'Flat Ass Syndrome.' I usually fit into a size 26 or 27 in jeans, but when I look in the mirror, there's a considerable amount of sag in the back. I haven't bought a new pair of pants in more than a year!"
A I'm going to repeat that most of us look our best when our apparel is altered to fit us. However, the Flat Ass Syndrome of which you speak is an altogether different matter. The secret to creating the illusion of a fuller behind—without using buttock enhancing shapewear, which is also an option—is in your back pockets. Wide pockets that are placed lower on the behind (that is, further away from your waistline) give the illusion of fullness, while narrow back pockets (or none at all) will only enhance your problem. With as many brands of jeans as there are available—and new ones launching every season—I'm confident that you'll be able to find your perfect match. Don't give up the search!