Q. I am a 28 year old from India. I feel like I am stuck in a style rut. I am 5′ 2" and weigh about 140. I have an extremely curvy body – slim waist and "big" everything else. I want to know what are the basics I should have in my wardrobe. I have never worn a skirt or a sleeveless top before because I feel I am too fat. I want to try out something new, but I am terribly confused.
A. Your basics are similar to most women, regardless of their size. You need a pair of jeans (look for a boot cut style), white button down shirt, v-neck sweater, black pants, a coat that hits just above the knee, and heels and boots for Fall/Winter that have a medium size heel. Dress in more monochromatic colors – same or similar colors from head to toe – to elongate your look. Skip chunky and heavy jewelry. Avoid anything with ruffles and bows or thick sweaters that may add bulk. And skip skirts that hit mid-calf you’ll only look shorter. Look for tops that hit below your waistline and embrace vertical lines in tops and pants.
Make a point of shopping in petite departments of stores and seek out designers who offer petite sizes like Liz Claiborne, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Lands End, J. Crew, Petite Sophisticate and J. Jill.
Here are a few items to consider adding to your wardrobe:
1. Petite Donegal Tweed Military Jacket, $159 at lizclaiborne.com
2. Petite shawl collar sweater, $68 at bananarepublic.com
3. Petite Collection Silk Blend Box Pleat Skirt, $128 at lizclaiborne.com
4. Wear this skirt with opaque tights and solid pumps or knee high boots. It probably won’t be nearly as mini on you. You’re only 28 so don’t dress too old for your size yet. Petite animal-print skirt, $78 at bananarepublic.com
5. Add a cardigan to this dress for cooler temps. The wide shoulder “straps” will hide bra straps and give your better coverage. Petite Collection Embellished Voile Empire Dress, $298 at lizclaiborne.com
6. V-neck styles are the most flattering for busty gals. Petite floral faux-wrap dress, $128 at bananarepublic.com
7. Dare to bare your arms in this adorable dress that can work for day or evening. Petite lightweight wool A-line dress, $148 at bananarepublic.com
8. Petite feminine military coat, $228 at bananarepublic.com