Fashion Solutions for Every Body Type

Learn how to work with the figure you have –- even the parts you don’t care for. Phillip Bloch, A-list Hollywood stylist and author of The Shopping Diet: Spend Less and Get More, helps you make the style choices that best suit you.

Head and Neck
Faces come in many different shapes and sizes: square, oval, circular, and so on. What shape best describes your face? If you have a round face, then I would suggest you buy V-neck shirts and sweaters. If you have a thin, narrow face with a longer neck, then try a turtleneck. An oval face looks amazing with a sweetheart neckline. If your neck is shorter, avoid a shirt collar that comes up higher. But if you have a longer neck, you will look good in many different collar styles and heights. You must take complexion and skin tone into consideration as well as eye and hair color, especially when you’re choosing clothing shades. Obviously, someone with blue eyes looks great in blues. If you have green eyes, you should highlight them by wearing different shades of green. If your skin tone has colder undertones, stick to tones with the same cool colors. Similarly, if you have a tanned or warmer skin tone, you should opt for the warmer shades. Olive complexions look great in greens and browns. Cooler and less saturated colors like pastel pinks, light lavenders, and soft blues work well with paler complexions. Your haircut, length, and shape are also important elements when choosing the right pieces, especially when it comes to necklines. How you choose to style your hair could directly influence your look — you don’t want your clothes, accessories, and hairstyle dueling.

Shoulders
Donna Karan made a fortune on the cold shoulder look and deemed it acceptable for millions of women to bear their shoulders. Strapless dresses also have become quite de rigueur on the red carpet. Are your shoulders your best feature? If so, find clothing that plays them up, including halter tops and camisoles that show a little shoulder skin or a piece that falls gracefully off the shoulders. Asymmetrical one-shoulder tops are also an excellent option.

Blochbuster Tip
What you didn’t get from the good Lord, you can now buy! One of my favorite tricks of the trade is something we lovingly refer to in the biz as Chicken Cutlets. They are little silicone pads designed to fit into the cup of your bra to give you that extra lift and cleavage enhancement. You can find them at your local department store or Victoria’s Secret. They are definitely a part of the “You But Better” philosophy. Why go under a surgeon’s knife when you don’t have to? Another great trick is to brush some bronzer in between your breasts — this will give the illusion of extra cleavage. And don’t forget the iconic pushup bra for a little added oomph. Maidenform’s Custom Lift Collection offers a great version as does Wonderbra.

Cleavage
Let’s address the age-old question of too much or too little. Of course, it depends if it’s shown in the office (show almost none) or out on a date (show some more). The bra is an integral wardrobe component. It’s one of the MVPs in a lady’s clothing lineup. And honey, those bra straps are meant to be moved! It’s crucial to lift and separate; otherwise, what was once at your chest will be down at your waist. So use the strap adjusters on your bra. To all you girls who complain about not being blessed with a bodacious bosom, have no fear! Plunging necklines can be your friend. Go ahead, sport those sweetheart necklines, plunging Vs, and scoop-neck tees. Small breasts look just as good (if not better) in those cleavage-revealing shapes.

Arms
Few women truly feel their arms are their best asset. If you’ve managed to be blessed or have worked as hard as an Olympian for some toned guns, you definitely have the right to bear arms! Sleeveless shirts will be for you. Wear those cute little tank tops without worry. If you don’t like your armpits to show, try wearing cap sleeves. Even if you don’t like your arms, it’s not a bad idea to buy tanks and camisoles. Just wear a jacket or a sweater over them. Now more than ever, sleeve lengths are as varied as the climate. The three-quarter sleeve is perfect for those who want to show a little arm but not too much. With the global warming of fashion trends, women are wearing more skin-baring strapless and corseted looks year-round, using blazers, cardigans, or wraps to take these ensembles from work to play.

Back
Although you might not think about your back much, remember that it’s always the last thing seen when you leave. There is something about the sexiness of the curvature of the spine and the softness of a woman’s shoulder blades that stays on people’s minds. Over the last several years, designers have been doing a lot with illusion backs, cowl drapes, and detailed embroidered or beaded motifs, continually drawing attention to an area that, in the past, many people have taken for granted or have overlooked entirely.

Waist
The waist should be one of the smallest and smoothest parts of your body. And if it isn’t, let’s make it look that way. Belts can highlight, accentuate, and even create a feminine shape. If you seem waistless, then you can create one with a looser belt or a chic scarf around your midsection. Using dark colors will make the waist appear smaller. It’s crucial to differentiate and separate the waist from the bust. Many people have a high waist, which tends to make the waist and chest appear as one. This gives you a rectangular shape and is less slimming. But if you use a belt to divide and punctuate the space, your waist will miraculously appear. Shapewear is another great solution for creating and defining your waist. Hanes Smooth Illusions or any number of choices from the Spanx line of products work perfectly because they’re seamless and will slim you from upper torso to thigh. But my favorite product is the Flexees Waist Nipper, which shapes the tummy and creates a perfect feminine figure.

Hips
It’s great if you have curves like Marilyn Monroe. But beware: Curves can be dangerous. This is another area of the body that is improved and smoothed with the benefits of shapewear. Products like Flexees Boy Short or High-Waist Thigh Slimmer will definitely make you look like you . . . but better. Flowing skirts are great for minimizing larger hips, while pencil skirts are perfect for accentuating them. Again, darker colors are more slimming. Longer tops are a great way to camouflage your curves, especially when the hem of the top falls below midhip, which will help break up your shape. These tops also work if they have a plunging neckline or an empire waist in order to pull the focal point higher on the body. Opt for pants with flat fronts and minimal pockets. (For less bump and bulge, many of my clients often have their tailors remove the pockets from their pants.) Try boot-cut pants or ones with just a little flare. This will balance the curves above.

Booty
When Beyoncé’s original term “bootylicious” appeared in Webster’s, we knew that this part of the body was no longer just something to sit upon. This is an area that causes most women to cringe and many men to drool. Even if you choose not to accentuate it, never underestimate the power of the posterior. Comfort is always the key when it comes to the draping dynamics of the derriere. Be careful with jersey fabric, as it can often be far too clingy and accentuate cellulite. Jeans that are too tight should be avoided. Yet, you shouldn’t wear pants that are so loose they look like large sacks. A little focus on the booty is a nice touch. A great slim-fitted skirt can sexify the secretarial look. Now more than ever, designers are using fabrics with Lycra. This gives clothing some stretch for increased comfort and flexibility, especially in this hard-to-fit curvaceous zone. If you really want to camouflage your backside, billowing fabrics will hide your booty. Shapewear is another fantastic solution when attempting to downplay the derriere. If your aim is to keep it up and poppin’, I suggest products like Flexees Boy Short or Spanx’s Power Panty for a little extra lift.

Thighs
The rise and fall of hemlines has become increasingly tumultuous as fashion’s seasons change. Your thighs need room for flexibility. Whether they are thick and powerful or elongated and lean, you must keep in mind your own personal comfort. Microminis, leggings, and hot pants are great looks. But for very muscular thighs, they can be a little overbearing. Instead, try flowing fabrics and camp shorts for summer fun. Wide-leg trousers, A-line dresses, and full skirts are perfect for winter wear. Another multipurpose cover-up is the tunic top. Balloon-cut and empire dresses can do double duty as tops, if they are worn with leggings or slim pants to make a more contemporary statement, which is also flattering to the thighs. Beware of distressed denim that is shaded lighter in the thigh area, which only serves to highlight what you might want to hide.

Knees
Knees are a difficult zone because there’s nothing you can do, exercise-wise, to get them into shape. You either have good ones or you don’t. But if you don’t have the bee’s knees, your legs can still cause a buzz — you might be best suited for pants or tights with different textures and tones (but avoid anything shiny, as this will make legs appear bigger). Ignore the trends and follow your own intuition to pick a hemline that works for you.

Calves
How you feel about your calves will help determine your wardrobe style. If you like your gams, fill your closet with above-the-knee skirts, cute shorts, and even a miniskirt or two. If you’re not comfortable with your legs, go for kneelength skirts and city shorts rather than the Daisy Duke version. Less shapely calves can be deemphasized with knee-high boots, whereas a nude shoe will add more length and emphasis to your legs. If you have larger calves, go for fitted capris that hit halfway between the knee and ankle. Clam diggers look good on thin legs.

Ankles and Feet
It may seem like hitting way below the belt to focus on ankles and feet, but we all have our idiosyncrasies. Unless you’re born with slim and trim ankles, less is definitely best when it comes to this area. Accentuation of the ankles is all about letting them be. Don’t get bogged down with bows and buckles. The gladiator sandal look is probably not for you unless you love your ankles. Instead, elongate the ankle and the silhouette by wearing a flesh-toned shoe or a strappy little sandal, mule, or pump. The shoe boot and the ankle boot can be fashion forward, but they don’t work on everyone. Look before you buy, as the style has a tendency to crop and shorten the length of your leg.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The premier fashion stylist to the stars, Phillip Bloch, author of The Shopping Diet: Spend Less and Get More (Copyright © 2010 by Phillip Bloch), works with Hollywood’s A-list, including such celebrity clients as John Travolta, Sandra Bullock, Faye Dunaway, Selma Hayek, and Jada Pinkett Smith.

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The Best Necklines to Flatter Your Shoulders

Fashion necklinesWide shoulders? Narrow shoulders? Get the scoop on which necklines work for you from Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time.

If your shoulders are:
WIDE
Wear tailored sweetheart neckline or U-neck to draw attention to décolletage.
Toss boat neck, scoop neck, thick straps, and wide lapels.

NARROW
Wear sleeveless, puffy sleeves, wide collars, and wide scoop necks.
Toss raglan sweaters, crew necks, dropped sleeves, spaghetti straps, and halters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

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13 Easy, Money-Saving Fashion Fixes

Don’t toss your worn, outdated or poorly fitted fashion duds. Phillip Bloch, A-list Hollywood stylist and author of The Shopping Diet: Spend Less and Get More, shows you how to transform nearly any piece in your wardrobe, with minimal effort.

The Fray
If you have a top that’s a bit frayed around the edges, a grosgrain or velvet ribbon can be the perfect cover-up when sewn on top of those ragged seams. Try a contrasting color for a little extra pop. Ribbon is a great trim to use as an addition to a preexisting piece of clothing in order to create a brand-new piece or to dress up an item that was originally too plain and simple.

Fit to Be Tied
Give a shirt whose once-tight elastic cuffs are now sagging new life by replacing the elastic in question. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, a more creative way to solve the problem is by removing and replacing the elastic with a thin satin or velvet ribbon that you can then tie into a beautiful bow. This solution works for long- and short-sleeve shirts.

Repeat Offender
You might have a gown that’s so gorgeous (and expensive) you’ve worn it at least a dozen different times — so many, in fact, that your friends and family members can instantly spot you at any event. It’s time to reinvent this beauty by cutting it off! And I don’t mean just making it into a shorter dress. Cut this one off at the waist. First, try the dress on. Find the appropriate length (leaving a little extra for hem or waistband) and snip, snip, snip. This is a great idea for halter-top dresses.Suddenly, one gown or dress has multiplied into two great separates, a top and a skirt: two brand-new pieces with a lot more versatility in a color and fabric that you already know you love.

Smart Addition
To remake a skirt or dress that seems out of style or overused, add a different fabric or trim to the bottom or even add a ruffle at the hem. A skirt or dress that may have been too short before takes on a whole new look (and length). If you have a strapless dress or top that you’re bored with, add a strap made from a beautiful ribbon or piece of lace. For a touch of sparkle, use a strand of rhinestones or beading, which you can purchase premade at a notions or fabric store.

Cuff It
Cuffs are the first thing to get ruined or dirty on a shirt. Take an old blouse, making sure there are no irreparable stains on it first, and cover any rip or tear in the cuff seam with some gorgeous black satin piping or ribbon. Sewing piping onto anything is tricky. You have to make sure you know the craft of undersewing so that the stitches won’t show. If you have any doubts, take the item to the tailor. If your cuffs are beyond repair but the body of your shirt is still in good shape, replace them. For a very fashion-forward touch, switch out the cuff color to contrast the shirt. Go for faux fur on your coat cuffs or collar for a fancy and fun fall/winter adjustment.

All Buttoned Up
Revive an old blouse by taking off its buttons and replacing them with ornate ones. You can find some unusual buttons at secondhand stores. Usually, they have a big assortment all bunched together, so it may be hard to find the exact number of one type of button that you love. But sometimes you can hit the jackpot. And why does everything have to be so matchy-matchy? Each button on your shirt can make its own little fashion statement. Just make sure the buttons are the same size and that they will fit in the existing buttonholes.

Arms Control
If you have a fabulous blouse or dress but a sleeve is ruined with a stain, rip, or moth holes, just have the sleeves removed! You don’t have to be Michelle Obama to go sleeveless. You can create the perfect sleeveless shell for summer and then take it into the fall and winter season by wearing it under a jacket or cardigan.

Ship Shape
A great way to turn any white, navy, or black piece into something with a nautical edge is to change out the buttons for new ones that are big, bold, and gold. You could even add gold braiding or rope for a fun trim. Your piece won’t feel like the same Old Navy item — this is the new military style!

Trail Blazer
Don’t toss that wide-lapelled, too-long, and out-of-style blazer! With a little love, care, and repair, we can make this something you’ll want to wear. Reduce the width of the lapel and, for a little extra touch, switch out the lining for a contrasting color or pattern. Or take a walk on the wild side and use a tasteful animal print. This is an exceptionally fun take if you roll and cuff the sleeves to three-quarter length so that the new lining gives your outfit a little extra pop for everyone to see. Hem the blazer to the length you like and that works best for your body — perhaps even a shorter cropped length that’s more modern. When finding the hemline that’s right for you, always think about camouflaging your hips. Any extra fabric removed from the hemline can make a fabulous belt to draw attention and add definition to your waist.

The Law of Proportions
It’s much easier to slim down a dress or skirt that is too big than to make the same pieces bigger. So that dress you always wore when you were overweight can transform with the use of some sartorial skills from a size 16 to a size 6. Keep this in mind when shopping for bargains. If you find a fantastic steal that’s a little too small, it might cost you a fortune at the tailor’s to fix it. Better to stick to your size or a little bit bigger.

Be Dazzling
It’s the holiday season and you need something new to wear with that low-cut top besides the same old pair of black trousers you’ve worn for the past two seasons. Go to the fabric store and get a strip of rhinestones (not too thick) and sew them down the outside seam on each pant leg for a fun play on the traditional tuxedo pant. It’s a great way to be dazzling.

Stain Fighter
An important warning for protecting your clothes and saving on dry-cleaning dollars: Always test perfumes, deodorants, creams, and ointments to make sure they will not have an adverse chemical reaction on various fabrics. Certain liquids and creams, particularly ones used as medication, have a tendency to irreversibly stain, bleach, or ruin clothing, especially when perspiration is involved. So do your research, read labels, and test lotions and potions first on a nonvisible area on old clothes. To be extra safe, wear a cotton T-shirt as a barrier between your skin and the garment in question.

Fancy Feet
Shoes can be repaired easily by adding a new outer and inner sole, balancing the heels, stretching them, dyeing, or polishing. If you have a pair of shoes that you consider boring, think about what you can do to jazz them up. You can buy buckles and have the shoe repair person sew them on, or have textured leather sewn on as a trim or an accent (this is a great solution for hiding a scuff or rip). But don’t hang onto these shoes trying to come up with ideas. That lightbulb will never come on in a year if it doesn’t come on now. Donate if you can’t think of a creative transformation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The premier fashion stylist to the stars, Phillip Bloch, author of The Shopping Diet: Spend Less and Get More (Copyright © 2010 by Phillip Bloch), works with Hollywood’s A-list, including such celebrity clients as John Travolta, Sandra Bullock, Faye Dunaway, Selma Hayek, and Jada Pinkett Smith. A regular commentator on TV and contributor to publications like Vanity Fair, Vogue, InStyle, Premiere, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, Detour, and ABC.com (as a pop culture guru), Phillip’s unique combination of expertise and humor has made him one of the most sought-after and outspoken stylists in Hollywood. And his momentum just keeps getting stronger! He’s cohosted VH1’s Glam God, partnered with Hush Puppies on their new “Guest Designer Series” collection of shoes, and has an upcoming licensing deal with DSW and Tanger Outlet.

 

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Alison Sweeney’s 8 Fashion Tips for New Moms

When you’re tired and overwhelmed the first month at home with your new baby, being stylish isn’t exactly a priority, but doing something that makes you feel good can have a huge impact. Get tried-and-true advice from Alison Sweeney, host of The Biggest Loser and author of The Mommy Diet: A Month-by-Month Plan for a Healthy Body and Mind Before, During, and After Pregnancy.

1. Don’t expect to squeeze into your old clothes right away! Too-tight clothes are never attractive, so even if you can lie down and zip up your jeans with pliers, don’t. Have patience, and remember that it took you nine months to get up to the size you were when you had your baby, and it might take nine months to get back to your former size.

2. Hang on to a few of your favorite maternity pieces for a little while. Nothing tentlike, please, but maybe a great pair of jeans that look like normal designer jeans with an internal adjustable waistband, or a cute top from before you got really big. Yes, it’s tempting to burn the pregnancy clothes the minute you have your bundle of joy, but some of them might help you look good and feel comfortable during the transitional first month (or two or three).

3. Skip the superbaggy clothes. Baggy clothes aren’t hiding anything; they just look sloppy.

4. Wear dark colors, keep the silhouette simple, and avoid bright prints that call attention to themselves. (“Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers, don’t wear it,” Liza reminds me.)

5. Empire waists are still your best friends.

6. Buy two (affordable) bras at a time. Your bra size may change many times over the next few months, so don’t go out and buy a dozen bras at once, but have two that fit you well right now.

7. This is still not the time to invest in expensive clothes — your current size is not permanent. Look for inexpensively flattering pieces from stores like Target, and maybe a few trendy pieces from Forever 21, or borrow some cute pieces from friends who’ve gone through the same transitional period. (Other moms understand — and are usually happy to help out by lending clothes or giving you hand-me-downs.)

8. If you want to treat yourself to something, think about a cashmere wrap or cardigan that can cocoon you and still look good a size up from your normal size.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning actress Alison Sweeney, author of The Mommy Diet: A Month-by-Month Plan for a Healthy Body and Mind Before, During, and After Pregnancy (Copyright © 2011 by Alison J. Sweeney), balances life as a mom with her roles as host of NBC’s hit reality series The Biggest Loser and as Sami Brady on NBC’s long-running daytime drama Days of our Lives. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, a California Highway Patrol officer, and their five-year-old son, Ben, and two-year-old daughter, Megan.

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The Basic Dress Every Woman Needs

It’s a V-neck, semi-fitted dress, worn with a bold necklace or statement earrings, a bracelet, and heels. Here are eight more details to look for — and 10 to avoid — when shopping for the dress. From Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time, by Amy E. Goodman.

Wear: A V-neck, semifitted dress, worn with a bold necklace or statement earrings, a bracelet, and heels.

  • Shoulder straps or fabric that rests naturally on your shoulders
  • Armholes that fit — no gaping, no constricting
  • A zipper that zips easily. Holding your breath? Size up
  • Seams that lie flat on shoulders, sides, and butt
  • A style that tastefully shows some skin in your décolleté to balance a curvy body
  • Fabric that drapes smoothly, showing off curves without being taut
  • Monochrome color scheme, which is almost always slimming
  • Patterns proportional to your body size. If you’re petite, go for smaller prints; for larger frames, try bigger prints

Toss: A visually detailed dress with busy pattern panels is never a basic choice.

  • Beyond busy prints
  • Horizontal stripes (unless you’re curve-less)
  • Shoulder fabric or straps that dig
  • Unflatteringly stiff fabrics
  • Roomy, shapeless dresses that no longer fit
  • A dress with sky-high shoulder pads
  • Shirt dresses with buttons that pop at the chest
  • Overly appliquéd styles with sequins, paillettes, rhinestones, rosettes, beading, crystals, pom poms, fringe, and shells that visually or actually weigh you down
  • Strapless styles if you have broad shoulders
  • Muu-muus

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That!: Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

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A Cheat Sheet: The Best Brands and Styles of Jeans for Real Women

There is now more figure-flattering denim available than ever before — are you overwhelmed by the options? This breakdown will help you narrow your search for the perfect pair. From Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time, by Amy E. Goodman.

Citizens of Humanity
KELLY Bootcut – slick denim
AVA Straight-legAccess Hollywood voted this the best straight-leg jean in 2009.
AVEDON Super Stretch Skinny; Avedon Slick Skinny Leg and the Stirrup Skinny Leg — uses their exclusive 818 Super Stretch denim with 35 percent stretchability, standard five-pocket. It’s a jean that wears like a legging and is super soft; 8-inch front rise, 30-inch inseam, 11-inch leg opening. Also available in a stirrup.

Tips and Where to Buy: Creative director Jerome Dahan sews side seams at an angle, not straight, for a slimming effect. Available at www.citizensofhumanity.com

CJ By Cookie Johnson
Debuted with five styles, all with generous rises. Three examples:
FAITH (straight-leg) 9-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 14-inch leg opening.
TRUTH (high-waist, wide-leg) 10.5-inch rise, 24-inch leg opening, 34.5-inch inseam.
GLORY (pleated jean) 9.25-inch rise, 13-inch leg opening, 23.5-inch inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales, http://cjbycookiejohnson.com

GAP
1969 CURVY JEANS with boot-cut leg opening — offer a little extra room in the hips, thighs, and seat with a “contoured waistband” that sucks in the hips. Choose ankle, regular, or long inseam.

Tips and Wear to Buy: Available at www.gap.com

HUDSON
CANONBURY Five-Pocket Bootcut — double-button waistband and classic boot-cut fit. 19-inch leg opening, 34½-inch inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.hudsonjeans.com

J BRAND
SCARLETT Curvy Fit Bootcut — fuller in the thigh and high hip, with a contoured waistband that eliminates any waist gap so many women with curves encounter. 18-inch leg opening, 34-inch inseam, 12.5-ounce stretch denim.

Tips and Where to Buy: J Brand is known for a slimmer fit in the leg, dark washes, clean back pockets and jeans without embellishments. Available at www.jbrandjeans.com

JOE’S JEANS
THE HONEY – famous for its fit on voluptuous women. The waistband is “clinched” or cinched in the rear to fit curvy women in the thighs and hips, and particularly their bottoms, so no back gap. 18¾-inch leg opening.
THE SKINNY HONEY — 12½-inch leg opening.
THE MUSE — high waist that lands just below the belly button to hold in the tummy. A “lower than usual high waist” and subtle pockets to “stop any undesirable extra curves that many highwaist fits present.” Boot-cut leg with 19-inch leg opening, 34-inch inseam, 9-inch rise.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.joesjeans.com

LEVI STRAUSS & CO.
TOTALLY SLIMMING Boot-cut Jeans — these best-sellers, made with high-stretch denim, feature a built-in tummy control panel for an ultimate slim look.
TOTALLY SHAPING Jeans – feature high-stretch denim and built-in tummy control panel, with a backside engineered to flatter the booty.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at Kmart (www.kmart.com), Wal-mart (www.walmart.com), and www.levi.com

LUCKY BRAND
RILEY SLOUCHY SKINNY Jeans — a cross between a boyfriend jean and a skinny jean that Lucky Brand dubs the “liberated skinny.” Flatters the curvier figure because of the rise, pocket placement, and general silhouette, with a relaxed fit through the hips and thighs. 32-inch regular inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.luckybrand.com

PAIGE PREMIUM DENIM
MONTECITO — generous in the thighs and derrière, a tailored boot cut that still achieves a slim leg. 8-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 18-inch leg opening.
HIDDEN HILLS Carbon High-Rise Bootcut — a higher rise and a double-button waistband add support in the waist. 9-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 20-inch leg opening.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.paigepremiumdenim.com and www.paigeusa.com.

7 FOR ALL MANKIND
JOSEPHINA Skinny Boyfriend Jeans — slightly roomy in the thigh but tapered in the leg. 7-inch front rise, 11.5-inch back rise, 11.5-ounce stretch Italian denim, 2 percent spandex.
GINGER PANT in lightweight Mercer – this brand’s widest trouser skims over thighs to a wide leg opening. 8-inch front rise, 12-inch back rise.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.7forallmankind.com

SERFONTAINE
SWEETHEART JEANS -- a popular, classic style with special stretch fabric and a curved yoke (waistband) on the backside to flatter derrières. Strategically placed pockets do double duty: flatter curvy bottoms and give the illusion of curves for the straighter woman.
Serfontaine uses a patented bio-stretch technology (a four-way stretch fabric) so the styles are exceptionally flattering no matter what your body type.

Available in Sweetheart boot-cut legs (7.5-inch front rise, 16- inch leg opening) and drainpipe legs (straight but not skinny; 7.5-inch front rise and 13-inch leg opening).

Tips and Where to Buy: In U.S. stores, the Serfontaine body-scanning machine enables shoppers to have their bodies scanned and get jeans and size recommendations that best fit their specific body types; custom-made jeans can be ordered based on the scans. For stores, www.serfontaine.com.

TRUE RELIGION
BECKY Boot-Cut Jeans — one of True Religion’s core cuts, comes in a variety of styles, embellishments, and washes. 8-inch front rise, 13-inch back rise, 18-inch leg opening.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.truereligionbrandjeans.com.

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A Cheat Sheet: The Best Brands and Styles of Jeans for Real Women

There is now more figure-flattering denim available than ever before — are you overwhelmed by the options? This breakdown will help you narrow your search for the perfect pair. From Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time, by Amy E. Goodman.

Citizens of Humanity
KELLY Bootcut – slick denim
AVA Straight-legAccess Hollywood voted this the best straight-leg jean in 2009.
AVEDON Super Stretch Skinny; Avedon Slick Skinny Leg and the Stirrup Skinny Leg — uses their exclusive 818 Super Stretch denim with 35 percent stretchability, standard five-pocket. It’s a jean that wears like a legging and is super soft; 8-inch front rise, 30-inch inseam, 11-inch leg opening. Also available in a stirrup.

Tips and Where to Buy: Creative director Jerome Dahan sews side seams at an angle, not straight, for a slimming effect. Available at www.citizensofhumanity.com

CJ By Cookie Johnson
Debuted with five styles, all with generous rises. Three examples:
FAITH (straight-leg) 9-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 14-inch leg opening.
TRUTH (high-waist, wide-leg) 10.5-inch rise, 24-inch leg opening, 34.5-inch inseam.
GLORY (pleated jean) 9.25-inch rise, 13-inch leg opening, 23.5-inch inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales, http://cjbycookiejohnson.com

GAP
1969 CURVY JEANS with boot-cut leg opening — offer a little extra room in the hips, thighs, and seat with a “contoured waistband” that sucks in the hips. Choose ankle, regular, or long inseam.

Tips and Wear to Buy: Available at www.gap.com

HUDSON
CANONBURY Five-Pocket Bootcut — double-button waistband and classic boot-cut fit. 19-inch leg opening, 34½-inch inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.hudsonjeans.com

J BRAND
SCARLETT Curvy Fit Bootcut — fuller in the thigh and high hip, with a contoured waistband that eliminates any waist gap so many women with curves encounter. 18-inch leg opening, 34-inch inseam, 12.5-ounce stretch denim.

Tips and Where to Buy: J Brand is known for a slimmer fit in the leg, dark washes, clean back pockets and jeans without embellishments. Available at www.jbrandjeans.com

JOE’S JEANS
THE HONEY – famous for its fit on voluptuous women. The waistband is “clinched” or cinched in the rear to fit curvy women in the thighs and hips, and particularly their bottoms, so no back gap. 18¾-inch leg opening.
THE SKINNY HONEY — 12½-inch leg opening.
THE MUSE — high waist that lands just below the belly button to hold in the tummy. A “lower than usual high waist” and subtle pockets to “stop any undesirable extra curves that many highwaist fits present.” Boot-cut leg with 19-inch leg opening, 34-inch inseam, 9-inch rise.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.joesjeans.com

LEVI STRAUSS & CO.
TOTALLY SLIMMING Boot-cut Jeans — these best-sellers, made with high-stretch denim, feature a built-in tummy control panel for an ultimate slim look.
TOTALLY SHAPING Jeans – feature high-stretch denim and built-in tummy control panel, with a backside engineered to flatter the booty.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at Kmart (www.kmart.com), Wal-mart (www.walmart.com), and www.levi.com

LUCKY BRAND
RILEY SLOUCHY SKINNY Jeans — a cross between a boyfriend jean and a skinny jean that Lucky Brand dubs the “liberated skinny.” Flatters the curvier figure because of the rise, pocket placement, and general silhouette, with a relaxed fit through the hips and thighs. 32-inch regular inseam.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.luckybrand.com

PAIGE PREMIUM DENIM
MONTECITO — generous in the thighs and derrière, a tailored boot cut that still achieves a slim leg. 8-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 18-inch leg opening.
HIDDEN HILLS Carbon High-Rise Bootcut — a higher rise and a double-button waistband add support in the waist. 9-inch rise, 34-inch inseam, 20-inch leg opening.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.paigepremiumdenim.com and www.paigeusa.com.

7 FOR ALL MANKIND
JOSEPHINA Skinny Boyfriend Jeans — slightly roomy in the thigh but tapered in the leg. 7-inch front rise, 11.5-inch back rise, 11.5-ounce stretch Italian denim, 2 percent spandex.
GINGER PANT in lightweight Mercer – this brand’s widest trouser skims over thighs to a wide leg opening. 8-inch front rise, 12-inch back rise.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.7forallmankind.com

SERFONTAINE
SWEETHEART JEANS -- a popular, classic style with special stretch fabric and a curved yoke (waistband) on the backside to flatter derrières. Strategically placed pockets do double duty: flatter curvy bottoms and give the illusion of curves for the straighter woman.
Serfontaine uses a patented bio-stretch technology (a four-way stretch fabric) so the styles are exceptionally flattering no matter what your body type.

Available in Sweetheart boot-cut legs (7.5-inch front rise, 16- inch leg opening) and drainpipe legs (straight but not skinny; 7.5-inch front rise and 13-inch leg opening).

Tips and Where to Buy: In U.S. stores, the Serfontaine body-scanning machine enables shoppers to have their bodies scanned and get jeans and size recommendations that best fit their specific body types; custom-made jeans can be ordered based on the scans. For stores, www.serfontaine.com.

TRUE RELIGION
BECKY Boot-Cut Jeans — one of True Religion’s core cuts, comes in a variety of styles, embellishments, and washes. 8-inch front rise, 13-inch back rise, 18-inch leg opening.

Tips and Where to Buy: Available at www.truereligionbrandjeans.com.

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When to Toss Your Makeup

Makeup, like food, has expiration dates. Bacteria can build up and can lead, in the worst case, to rashes and infections. From Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time, by Amy E. Goodman.

Here’s a tip: Place a small sticker on the product and write the month and year (such as 4/2011) you open it. Better yet, calculate the date it expires and write that down. And if anything has a strange odor or is starting to separate, crackle, or clump, just toss it!

How Long Should You Keep It?

Makeup
Concealer — 1 year
Foundation — 1–1½ years
Facial powder — 2 years
Blush, Powder — 2 years
Blush, Cream — 1 year
Bronzer — 2 years
Pencil Eyeliner — 2 years
Liquid Eyeliner — 3 months
Eye Shadow, Powder — 2 years
Eye Shadow, Cream — 1 year
Mascara — 3 months
Brow Liner or Powder — 2 years
Lipstick — 2 years
Lip Gloss — 1 ½ –2 years
Lip Liner — up to 3 years, if pencil
Makeup Brushes — wash every 3 months with a brush cleanser
Nail Polish — 2 years

Skincare Products
Cleanser — 1 year
Moisturizers — 1 year
Eye Cream — 1 year
Sunscreen — 1 year
Makeup Primer — 6 months–1 year
Lip Balm — 1 year
Exfoliators — 6-9 months
Anti-aging Masques & Treatments — 6 months–1 year

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That!: Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

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3 Foolproof Tips for Choosing the Right Bag

If the sheer volume of styles and shapes of bags confounds you, follow these three simple guidelines from Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time.

1. Your bag shape and body shape shouldn’t match. If you’re tall and thin, consider an unstructured, slouchy bag. If you’re round and curvy, get a structured style. Think opposite for a beautiful balance. And if you’re average all around, lucky you — you can sport any style. Be sure to try your bag on in front of a mirror. It’s a must.

2. The bag should hit your assets. If you have hips, make sure the bag hits above or below but not at your hip. If you are busty, the bag should hit below the bust. If you are petite, your bag should go no lower than the waist or you’ll appear to be all bag and no body! Tall? Celebrate your stature with a long bag that hits just below the hip.

3. Consider your bag’s main functions. Will you wear it to work? Are you a mom on the go? Do you need a bag to carry you through a weekend or simply to hold a compact, lipstick, and ID for a special evening out? Do you dig pockets or just one main compartment? The answer to these questions will determine the size, style, and durability of your bag. A small crystal clutch won’t likely hold a work file.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

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Handbag

5 Must-Have Jeans (and 4 You Should Toss)

Still searching for the perfect pair of jeans? Get expert advice on the most flattering — and unflattering — styles from Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time.

Must Haves

  • Fitted, boot-cut jeans in a dark denim wash that nicely frames your booty and legs, paired with high heels
  • Trouser denim pants, perfect for a casual or artistic workplace environment
  • Skinny jeans for under fuller sweaters and blousy tops
  • Cropped denim for warmer months
  • Jeggings (jean leggings)

Raising the Bar
Enter your measurements and style preferences at www.mytruefit.com, and find jean options across brands that best match your body. Experts suggest looking for jeans with at least 2 percent stretch.

Shape Saver
Like to wear your denim with heels and flats? Bristols 6 Hem Tape for Denim is super sticky save-me double-stick tape, allowing you to give jeans a temporary hem for whichever shoe you choose ($12, bristols6.com).

Best Bets
Cookie Johnson (Magic Johnson’s wife) was sick of not getting jeans on past her knees. Her denim line, CJ by Cookie Johnson, offers jean cuts with curvy women in mind: stretch, dark washes, and higher rise in rear. Nordstrom, $141 and up; www.nordstrom.com.

Shape Saver
Have a pancake butt? Look for back pockets placed high on your rear to give you an instant derrière lift and curve. And keep the pockets clean.

Match Point
Wide-legged, dark denim trousers are fast becoming office staples and a save-me for women who love wearing jeans to work. Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne and Nicole by Nicole Miller offer stunning options.

Toss: Oversized, formless denim that is cut too short, in a high rise and a light wash that doesn’t flatter thighs.

Other Must Lose

  • Stovepipe jeans if you have curves
  • Acid wash jeans
  • Super tight jeans that create butt wrinkles under cheeks — too tight!

Behind the Seams
Distressed, stonewashed, faded, and whiskered jeans (all techniques to make the jeans look worn) can make legs wider when the special effects are positioned at the hips and thighs. If these are problem areas, opt for darker washes with consistent color. I size up when it comes to darker denim because darker jeans have less stretch.

Outsourcing
Going up a jean size to fit your thighs and butt commonly results in the drafty “back gap” at the waist that no amount of belting can correct. Have a tailor do the easy work of taking in the waist.

Age Alert
“How low can you go” is not a motto for low-rise jeans as you mature. While still flaunting your assets, make sure jeans fully cover your butt, lower back, and tummy. Brands such as Paige Premium Denim and 7 For All Mankind offer ample options.

Insourcing
Did you know that jeans fade with every wash? To preserve pigment, turn jeans inside out before washing in cold water. Check the label to see if tumble dry on low heat is recommended; otherwise, hang dry.

Ditch It
Tapered denim shows off calves and legs but also makes hips appear twice as wide. Very few can wear skinny stovepipe jeans (which are cut narrow from knee to ankle). Save this style for boyish figures with no hips.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy E. Goodman, author of Wear This, Toss That! Hundreds of Fashion and Beauty Swaps That Save Your Looks, Save Your Budget & Save You Time (Copyright © 2011 by Little Professor Productions, LLC, and The Stonesong Press, LLC), is a frequent contributor to the Today show, as well as The View, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, and Movie & a Makeover, among others. A former correspondent and editor for InStyle and senior editor for All You, she is currently an editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, D.C.

LEARN MORE