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Fashion on eBay

Shopping and Fashion

Janet Bennett, Robin Givhan, Constance White
washingtonpost.com Fashion Editor, Post Fashion Editor, eBay Style Director
Wednesday, October 27, 2004; 2:00 PM

In search of fall's must-haves? Maybe a brooch, a pencil skirt, a tweed jacket? You can find all these of-the-minute buys at your local department store or favorite boutique. Or, thanks to an increasing comfort by consumers in shopping online, on a store's dedicated Website or on niche fashion sites like yoox, bluefly or net a porter, just to name a few. Yet another option is to shop on the big kahuna, eBay, the $21.7 billion Internet auction site, which has been making a big play to increase the volume of its fashion (clothing, shoes and accessories) category.

Style director, Constance White, a 15-year veteran of the fashion industry, with stints at Elle, the New York Times and Women's Wear Daily, is on the front lines of the effort. White joins Washington Post fashion editor, Robin Givhan, just back from the European spring fashion shows, to discuss how to pull together a wardrobe online, find trends and bargains and improve your shopping smarts when going to a store. Host Janet Bennett, fashion and beauty editor of washingtonpost.com, will also chime in.

They were online Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m. ET. Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.


Janet Bennett: Hi, everyone, and thanks for joining in. The political atmosphere in Washington is so tense it's great to be able to put it all aside and talk about something fun, like shopping for fashion online. Our guest, Constance White, style director of eBay, knows a thing or two about that. And she, along with Washington Post fashion editor, Robin Givhan, are here to share their wisdom on how to put together a wardrobe online. Sooo, let's get started


Washington, D.C.: For a petite female, ( 5'2 black ), what is the ideal fall fashion that I should be concentrating on? Mind you I don't spend a lot on clothes, and would like something reasonably priced (more on the cheap side-lol if possible. What stores should I be looking at? I tend to go to Hecht by default because they seem to have some things in the junior section for me even though I'm beyound my junior years. It seems to me every other petite dedicated boutique is too expensive, I can't see buying a skirt for more then $30, nor a blouse either. I do like Bebe's but oh my. :)

Constance White: Hi what's big this fall are tweeds. they can easily be overwhelming for someone of your small size. a great tweed jacket cut small, 3/4 sleeves, nipped waist would be great. skip nubby tweeds and look for something lighter.

junior stores like Mandees and wet seasl are a good bet for u. check on eBay for petites and now quite a few labels offer P/S - abercrombie & Fitch, arden B.


Gainesville, Va.: I have just relocated to the country and just started a new banking job. What would you recommend as staples for a successful professional bank job where I am meeting a lot of clients ? But I definitely don't want to be boring. My wardrobe right now is full of very dressy colorful suits that I wonder if it may not be conservative enough for my new job.

Constance White: Colorful suits are pretty conservative. just make sure they're well cut and flatter your skin tones.
a navy pinstripe suit should be a staple of your wardrobe. u can even add more pinstripes say in grey or black - always stylish,always powerful and a perennial classic.

Would love to see you in a black sweater set and gray or dark pencilskirt. Again not boring, but stylish yet conservative.Finish off with a pair of black medium heel or kitten heel pumps.


Northern Va.: What is the problem with women's pants these days? Is there any manufacturer currently making pants that aren't hip-hugger bell bottoms? I'm old enough to remember the last time these ugly pants were in fashion and I refuse to wear them now, but I need to wear something!

Robin Givhan: Revisit the stores! Trousers have begun to creep back up towards the natural waistline. I'm not sure if you're calling bootcut trousers bellbottoms, but don't dismiss bootcut pants. They can create a beautiful, long line.

Constance White: Also be patient,as Robin said, we are absolutely starting to see more manufacturers exetnding the crotch of jeans and making them higher waisted. the Britney Spears look is so over! So take heart. Meanwhile, check out stores/brands that never went there - so low I mean - chicos, Liz Claiborne, Lane Bryant, Wrangler.


Long Beach, Ca.: What about counterfeit goods? How does one figure that one out on eBay? I assume the foreign locations are the most suspect, as a Hong Kong address allows for this, right?

Constance White: I wouldn't necessarily lump all Hong Kong sources in the counterfeit bin. They may be legit - having over runs or having access to buying goods at wholesale prices since so many of the brands we love manufacture in Hong Kong.
To spot counterfiets, here are a few tips:
Only buy from sellers with high - i.e. 90's and above - ratings.
Remember what Mum said "If it's too good to be true...
An Hermes bag being offered for $500 is probably not an Hermes bag - even on eBay
Ask questions of the seller. e.g. Is there a tag, where did the seller get the item in question, is there a return policy?
And ebay now has an insurance policy of up to $500 in the unlikely case that after all this some unscrupulous seller still sells a knock off

Less than 0.1 % of the goods on eBay are counterfiet and eBay works with the big brands like Vuitton and Burberry to identify and pull down any counterfiet goods being sold on the site.


Tallahassee, Fl.: I am a mature plus-size woman trying to put together a professional wardrobe for the first time. I am having difficulty finding things for someone who is 5'3", size 18-20W with no waistline. The best source I have found so far is Talbots, but I'd like a little more variety. Any ideas? Thank you so much.

Robin Givhan: The petite plus-size market is terribly overlooked.But I'm sure I'm not telling you something you didn't already know. You're going to have to be persistent and inventive, I'm afraid. If anyone knows of a great petite/plus size resource, please speak up....


Alexandria, Va.: Hello, Ladies, I have an early afternoon wedding to attend next month. I am planning to wear a black dress that has hot pink accents. I don't generally like wearing black to daytime weddings, but this is the only thing I've found that I like this season. Do you think it will be OK since it has the color in it? I don't want to be inappropriate. Thanks for your insight.

Constance White: Black is a great sophisicated choice for a wedding these days. accessorize with gold shoes for a dressier effect. black accessories could make the lookvery heavy rather than festive.


Fairfax, Va.: Any advice on work-appropriate clothing for a larger-chested girl? I have a hard time finding things that fit well - they're either too tight across the chest, or huge everywhere else. What styles would work best when you're trying to find a good fit that's feminine but tasteful?


Constance White: Yes, i sympathize. it's really hard to find jackets in particular that fit well when you're big-chested.
Try these ideas: Stock your wardrobe with dresses
for work
Sweater sets, cardigans instead of jackets are good
Buy some jackets that look good worn open. Don't bother about how they look closed. Wear over blouses, dresses or knit pieces for a professional,polished look.


Sugar Land, Tex.: Do you think all the celebrity panties and other celebrity lingerie for sale on eBay are legitimate? How can I tell?

Constance White: Are you collecting celebrity panties?


Long Beach, Ca. : How about a list of items that are both good and bad to buy on eBay? Shoes seem to be a bad bet, as they take on the impression of the former owner. Any other bad fits?

Robin Givhan: I've had terrific luck purchasing costume jewelery on eBay. Lots to choose from and it has been a great way of finding interesting pieces that I won't see at every turn.

Constance White: A significant portion of the shoes on eBay are now new.in fact, more than 50 percent of the fashion offerings are new. Very different from a few years ago when most of our products were used.
There are no off-limits areas just different rules for different people. For instance,i may be like you in that i am very fussy about the fit of my shoes so I don't buy a lot of shoes on eBay. But I know a lot of people who do - they've bought severalManolo Blahniks, Michel Perry, Nine West,Jimmy Choo - and are very happy.

EBay's also a great source for handbags - I buy a lot.

Tops, trousers - just familiarize yourself with fit of the brand and u should be fine.


Janet Bennett: I have a form-fitting black dress that I'm wearing to a wedding next weekend at the Botanic Gardens in NYC. Also have a black wrap from St. Johns? Too heavy? Yikes. Constance White: Would rather see you in a contrasting wrap over theat black dress. Perhaps something with a print or squinned. A fur or fake fur stole would be beautiful and warm or something trimmed in fake fur.


Alexandria, Va.: My sister is petite-plus size. I have found nice staple clothing in for her at Casual Corner. You may want to add this to your shopping list.

Robin Givhan: for the writer who needed petite/plus-size resources...thanks for the suggestion.


Washington, D.C.: What's the trend in men's clothing for this fall? The stuff coming out of NY always seems geared towards 20-something models, not us regular guys trying to make it through the work day. What's a good recommendation on a piece of clothing for men that won't go out of style?

Constance White: 2-button, 3-button jackets are looking good.

A suit is the staple. never goes out of style. 3-button, slim - not fitted pants in gray or navy, single-breasted.

an easy way to jazz up your wardrobe and not looklike a 20-something model is with a blue shirt, shiny blue tie combo.

More casual? Preppy is back - an argyle sweater with Khakis or with jeans.


Rockville, Md.: Ladies, I need help! My father is getting married on Thanksgiving weekend. Both families are thrilled. I am at a loss as to what to wear. Catholic seremony at 11, country club reception following. This is big. Any suggestions?

Robin Givhan: Congratulations to your father. Depending on your style, you could wear a suit in a autumnal spice color. Tweed is popular for fall and mostof them are quite lightweight and comfortable. Because you're the daughterof the groom, you can be a bit dressier and so you might look fora suit that has beading or other kinds of sparkle. Teh combination of tweed and beading is fashionable and looks beautiful. If you prefer a dress, i might choose one with a full skirt - if that works for your figure - just because it feels more festive.


Looking for Boots - Help: I can't seem to find a really good pair of boots. I need a pair in black and cognac, but I don't want what everyone else has.

Can you suggest some shoe stores besides Hecht's, Macy's and Nordstrom?

Constance White: Bakers has been doing some great stuff and should have what u need. And don't over look payless for the black boots.

On the high end: try EBay, Nine West(mid-tier) and Jimmy Choo


eBay LOVER: I am in love with eBay. I probably buy 5-10 items a month -- clothes, appliances, etc. I find a misconception among my friends is that eBay only has used goods - that was true in the early days, and my buddies are so surprised when I direct them to try again. I just went to Bloomingdales to try on some jeans in the $200 range. I wrote down the makes/brands of my favorites and then found them so much cheaper on eBay. I am a walking advertisement for your site and have converted many people to true believers/addicts.

Constance White: Love That! It's true there's a mmisconception out there. I'm always surprised too when people say isn't it used stuff - even when they mean that in a good way.
it used to be that way but now almost 60 percent of the fashion offerings are new.
what jeans did u buy?


To the boot-seeker: Ann Taylor has great boots! They are $50 off on their Web site right now. I just bought a pair with wider calves for $99!

Robin Givhan: thanks.


Men's fashion: To the guy who posted earlier, invest in some pairs of flat-fronted pants. D.C. is rife with men in pleated dockers and blue shirts. So many guys don't realize how much better they look in flat front trousers. I'm still trying to convert my dad, with no luck.

Robin Givhan: i've yet to encounter a man who is not flattered by flat front trousers....keep spreading the word.


Silver Spring, Md.: Hi, i'm going to a wedding in Florida next weekend. My boyfriend doesn't know what to wear. It's not a black-tie wedding and the evening reception will be on a boat. Any advice for an outfit that won't break the bank and is suitable for warm weather?

Constance White: A nice suit in an off-beat color e.g. brown, medium blue would be nice. I like sharkskin in a blue or dark gray.

If money is an issue and he already has a navy suit for work,dress it up with one of the new colorful criss cross stripe shirts and buy a pair of leather loafers. i also like a blue shirt with shiny blue tie or lavender shirt and shiny lavender tie.


Preppy is back?!!: When you say "preppy," what do you mean besides Ralph Lauren? Didn't he bascially steal the original preppy style (sort of Brooks Brothers, J Press) and run with it all the way to the bank?

Constance White: To the bank and the stock market.

Preppy even pre-dates Brooks Bros.It's a style thath grew out of the lifestyle of real people rather than manufacturers or designers heads.
Are u happy preppy is back? Couldn't tell from your comment:)


Washington, D.C.: Hi there, What do recommend for us working girls to wear in the office this fall? Without skirt weather, my wardrobe is limited to just pants and shirts. How can I mix it up and look stylish this season?

Constance White: A tweed jacket is a great addition. If you're in a more liberal office break up the look with high boots. Tuck slim pants into the high boots. or u CAN wear a longer skirt over the high boots and still be warm.
Substitute a cardigan for a shirt and buy one of the new ruffled blouses for a softer, newer look.


Nothing left to wear!: Just lost 40 pounds--have 20 more to go--and have nothing to wear that fits! What should I get that won't be too expensive, makes me look a little "hip," can be worn through another 10-pound weight loss and be appropriate for the office?

Robin Givhan: wow, that's a tall order. congratulations on your weight loss. i would buy a tweed blazer or a wool blazer. for the hip factor i'd pick one with 3/4 sleeves and a nipped waist. maybe the hem is unfinished. you can find them in a range of prices from the sky-high Chanel to Bnanaa Republic and club Monaco. and you can wear it to work. i'm guessing that the 10 additional pounds you plan to lose won't change you shoulder measurements and the jacket will still fit nicely.

i might also consider a sweater with beading or sequins, something that could be tucked under a blazer for just a tiny splash of glitter by day and that could be worn alone in the evening for full out glitter.

you could also choose a skirt - full or straight. one that could be easily altered if necessary. i'd avoid pleats, though, those can be tricky to alter.


Correction on Ann Taylor boots: The boots on the Ann Taylor site are 50 percent off, not 50 dollars off.

Robin Givhan: thanks.


Rockville, Md.: I have a black-tie event to go to this weekend. I'm planning on wearing a black dress with a tiny bit of beading that falls just below the knee. I have strappy black sandals but my question is hose or no hose???

Robin Givhan: i would not wear pantyhose with sandals.


Milwaukee, Wisc.: My husband is a bit on the chubby side with a long torso, short legs and a bullhead. He is almost 30 and he still dresses like he is 17 in T-shirts, sneakers and dirty jeans. He refuses to shop at places like J. Crew or heaven forbid, Banana Republic. I suspect a lot of this has to do with the fact he doesn't look like the male models they use for these clothes. What are some nice, more grown-up looks that will help him see how good he can look?

Robin Givhan: I'd start off slow and easy. Maybe a pair of clean jeans, for instance! If he refuses to wear anything but sneakers, suggest that they at least not be basketball sneakers. Would he be willing to wear classic sneakers from brands such as Adidas or Puma? And instead of a t-shirt, maybe he wouldn't mind a henley, or a v-neck sweater with a sport jacket or a jacket in suede or leather. he could wear well-cut jeans with his favorite t-shirt and a blazer and look more polished but still feel comfortable. then i might get him a subscription to a magazine like Cargo, which is essentially a man's shopping magazine. the fashion photos are less about model-types and more about just showing the merchandise. finally, if he makes any hesitant steps towards fashionable, i'd lavish him with compliments.


boots: Speaking of boots, I love wearing shoes like Aerosoles because they are comfortable from the start, and they have the soft heel that doesn't make loud noises on tile floors. I work in a building with no carpet, and hate clomping down the hall in boots or shoes with regular (hard) heels. WHo besides Aerosoles makes soles and especially thick heels that are more flexible? I cannot find anything that doesn't have the noisy hard heels.

Constance White: I LOVE aersosoles, because now they have all sorts of stylish offerings hot off the runway. they're the best. i don't know of many companies doing what they're doing.

Easy Spirit might be one. and Nike has a series of casual shoes that have a lot of cushioning.
Rockport might be another.


Southwest: Hi gals! Robin, I'm a big fan. Here's a question - what are some fall fashions that flatter a "plus" size, and where do you recommend finding larger sizes on-line? I don't mind buying shoes and bags on-line but am always hesitant when it comes to clothes. We have a business-casual type thing here at work - thanks!!

Robin Givhan: ooooh! love a fan. one of the great things about fall fashion is the grown-up, feminine sensibility seen in so much of the clothing. i think that much of fall fashion would be flattering on a larger woman - particularly if you are curvy. There are beautiful slim skirts - not pencil styles, but A line versions that lightly skim the hips. i also love the pleated skirts - the ones with small, sharp pleats, not the big boxy ones. i would investigate the jackets that have a nipped waist but steer clear of bulky fabrics. Tehre are also wonderful lightweight cardigans some with decorative jeweling or sequins. this is a great season for accessories and i'd be sure and have a lot of fun with scarves, glvoes, pins and necklaces.


Washington, D.C.: Men's fashion: what is a good alternative to a leather jacket? I'm looking for a fall jacket, but leather just seems too boring to me. I want something I can wear both out to a sports bar and also can wear with my weekday attire (business casual). Brands and stores, please! If leather is my only option, where would be a good place to find a diverse selection of jackets?

Constance White: Wilsons leather has a great selection of leather jackets.Sometimes Macys -but in the bigger stores in the center of town.

Other options - the quilted nylon "hunter" jackets with corduroy collars are refined enough and sporty enough for both your purposes.J. Crew, Ralph lauren,Abercrombie & Fitch or Lands End may have them.
Is shearling out of the question?
And a army-style utilitarian jacket in army green or khaki would work too.


Alexandria, Va.: I'm 60 and only going to work another year. I still have a decent figure, except for a slightly larger waistline than I had in my earlier life. Size 8 works for me. I work for the Federal Government. Can you suggest some transition clothing pieces (and brands) that will follow me from work into retirement? I keep my clothes a long time (by most standards) and tend toward "updated classic" (translation: unfrumpy if at all possible) but am finding my current wardrobe out of date and unsatisfying. I have explored Chicos but was disapointed by style, sizing and fabric.

Robin Givhan: you might investigate Eileen Fisher...the clothes are classic, comfortable and easy. you could also focus more on sweaters rather than blazers, or choose blazers that you can envision wearing later on with a pair of jeans.


Ashburn, Va.: I'm 25 years old and a full-figured (5"8 size 14-16w). I have the hardest time finding clothes that don't make me look larger than what I am or much older. What clothing lines or stores do you recommend (besides Lane Bryant) that offer great choices and quality clothes for the young and full figured?

Fashionablly Stumped in VA

Constance White: Saks has a very good selection of large sizes.brands at saks or other places - call for locations:

Liz Claiborne
Lafayette 148
J-Lo's large size line - Macys (see on line too)

Ashley Stewart Stores


Re: Petite-Plus Size: My mom is in this category and one of her favorites is C.J. Banks (offshoot of Christopher and Banks; www.cjbanks.com). Also don't forget LL Bean, Lands End and Coldwater Creek online/catalog.

Robin Givhan: more help for the petite/plus size.


Washington, D.C. : Thanks for having another fashion chat; they are always so helpful. I am an average sized woman with incredibly large thighs and quads (years of being a bicyclist). Loosely translated, I cannot find pants that fit me through the thighs. I can fit my legs into the next size up, but then they are swimming in the waist. As my pants that fit wear out, I am having to replace them with skirts. My question is two-fold: 1) what skirts (style, color, etc.) should I be buying for most practical, but still modern/fun, look? And 2) I am already getting bored with skirts. What are some accessories I can use to make them more interesting? BTW, my workplace is incredibly conservative. Thanks so much!

Constance White: I'm assumming pencil skirts would not work well for you.

Fuller skirts -to knee or jyst below are new
Long - just above ankle - soft skirts

accessorize with ribbin belts or a leather belt with beautiful jewelled buckle.


Washington, D.C.: I am getting married in a few short weeks and have an ivory, silk strapless gown that is sort of a floor-length mermaid cut. Since it is late fall and fur seems to be in fashion these days, I wanted to find a fur stole or something like that to wear while I am outside. The problem is that everything in the department stores and malls looks really fake and not dressy enough (the wedding is black tie) and the real stuff is too expensive. any ideas?

Constance White: Absolutely eBay!

I've found great vintage and new fur stoles and capes. just beautiful. and not at all expensive. affordable enough that u can buy two or three and try them out.


Washington, D.C.: Hello, Ladies: I often search eBay for exclusive pieces of clothing or clothing that cannot be bought in the U.S. However, there is a large amount of fake items being sold to unsuspecting bidders. How does a consumer avoid being taken?

Constance White: please see earlier answer. MOST important check the ratings of the seller. if it's not over 90 percent . Pass.


Washington, D.C.: I find your chats very helpful and wish you did more of them. My question is, how do you work out sizes for unfamiliar brands online? If you go to a site like Land's End and feel unsure about the size chart, you can call and ask what their size 8 pants are like. What if you see something on eBay that you like, but do not know whether a Ralph Lauren tweed jacket in size small is workable for you or aimed at Twiggy?

Constance White: Ask the seller for detailed sizing -e.g in inches - neck, arm,waist etc. Most are happy to give it and even inlcude it in their listings.


Lexington Ky.: Is there any way to gauge what is a trend that will last one year, and look outdated next year, and what we cheapskates can safely add to our wardrobe? When I see something everywhere (especially the tweed jackets with frayed edges), I shy away from them, thinking I'm jumping on the bandwagon late in the game, and will not want to wear it next year because it'll have played out. Any rules, or is it pure luck?

Robin Givhan: Sometimes you can just smell a fad a mile away, but most of the time it can be hard to tell. but i would argue that any trend that is really just the tweaking of a classic idea - sequins on a cardigan, frayed edges on a classic blazer - probably has a little staying power. things that seem to have been inspired by a passing fancy, such as a film, i wouldn't invest in. a tweed jacket is classic.yes, they're hot now. even if they go lukewarm in a year, they won't be out of fashion. sequins are popular for daytime now, but a year from now, they won't be out of fashion, they simply may once again be relegated to after five pm.

also, trends that only five peoople can wear well, will quickly pass. they're not economically sound investments for the fashion industry.


Janet Bennett: Any advice for the eBay virgin? Constance White: The best way to be deflowered is to start small. An inexpensive piece of jewelry - ei.g studs for $20 is a good place to start.

Handbags are another wonderful way to get acclimated. Order a handbag and go from there. see how the process works from bidding to delivery.

i'm sure u'll have fun.


re: Designer fakes on eBay: How far do you think the counterfeiters go to make their goods pass as the "real thing"? I just bought a pair of Prada shoes for under $50 postpaid on eBay, brand new in the original box with the printed flannel Prada bags. The box had a price tag and a marked-down tag--but a friend keeps insisting they are fakes, because I got such a good deal. I maintain that I got a good price because they are metallic light blue mules & thus not as desirable to others, but I adore them (am wearing them now!). I don't think a counterfeiter would go this far to reap a measly 50 bucks on eBay, and really, I don't care, I love the shoes. But still, how far do they go to make them seem real?

Constance White: I don't know if someone would go to those lengths. I'm inclined to think they're real.I bought a Prada bag on EBay. it's real. Even the manufacturers can't always tell the fakes anymore so how does your friend know


Washington, D.C.: I've been on a velvet blazer kick lately. To my surprise, I found several on eBay that were perfect. Just my size and I don't think the auction price went above $20 for any of them. Some are vintage, some are newer - all great buys. I've found lots of great pieces online that I either wear as is or add my own touches to. eBay is a great resource for clothes that don't look like everything else in the stores these days and I've never had a negative experience with any of the sellers I've done business with. Just a little rave about eBay.

One tip - check back frequently. Just because you don't find something that you're looking for on Monday doesn't mean that by Wednesday there aren't several that were just listed. It's akin to shopping at any worthy bargain bin.

Constance White: Thanks for the rave.

for ebay fashion fans. we have a fashion special event launching this week. Red carpet designer Kevan Hall starts Thursday.u can check in now at


I just went to kevan's show on Monday it was packed with stars like Keisha Campbell, Kimberley Elise and Carmen Electra all wearing Kevan Hall.

Robin,i think u know his work.

Fans of eBay fashion and fans of Kevan,please check it out. Everything will be wholesale prices from stunning gowns to little cashmere tops.


Andrews AFB, Md.: The biggest drawback I see to buying online is that you can't try the stuff on! What is the best way to get around this? Do we have to go to a store and see how we fit in something, then have to search around online for it? I also wonder about sizes because every brand seems to fit differently.

Constance White: Every brand does fit differently,you're right.

so know your brand. Yes, try on at stores. and also take your measurements and ask the seller for measurements in inches.


Gaithersburg, Md.: Hello! What do you recommend for petites (5'2, love heels) in evening wear?

Constance White: choose looks that lengthen. avoide big patterns. sleeker dresses loook better even a top and slim skirt can be nice. but make sure your proportions work. Full-skirted and overly fussy evening dresses will over power you.


Washington D.C.: How can you justify shopping online when you can't try on the clothes? I feel it is essential for something to be cut right and the fabric to fall right in order for it to look attractive. I'd like to hear your thoughts on how the pros outweigh the cons.

Constance White: Know how a particular label fits you. The convenience and the savings on price,for many people outweigh any downside.


Rockville, Md.: What are some of your favorite fashion Web sites? For ideas as well as shopping? I like bluefly.com, and zappos for shoes ...

Robin Givhan: i spend a lot of time on style.com. it's not for shopping, but you can see photographs from all of the runway collections. it's a nice overview of the season and a good place to get ideas about silhouette, color, accessories, etc.

Constance White: Nordstrom has a good site and of course i'd have to say eBay.


Washington, D.C.: Help--I just bought two pairs of mid-calf boots and am not sure what length skirts to wear with them. Both are black leather. The first pair are dressier--pointy toes, 1 1/2 inch heel, the other is a wedge heel, squarish toe. I am feeling a little folksy wearing any skirt that has the slightest A-line or below my knee. I love the boots but am not sure what to wear them with. For the record, I have slender and long legs.

Constance White: Tuck in slim jeans or pants.
Crop pants with wider leg are another option
Full pants to ankle.

Avoid pencilskirts or any skirts that stop just above or at top of boot.


Can You Fit This In?: What's the rule on coat length and skirt length? Which one should be longer, etc.?

Constance White: Depends. Skirt longer than coat usually works though not always.

A short dress or skirt looks best with a coat the same length or only an inch or so longer


South central, Pa.: eBay is my addiction. I buy lots of major name-brand women's business clothing on there for under $10! The main requirement before shopping eBay is to be brutally HONEST about your size. Women, use a tape measure and check the three main areas -- bust, waist and hips. The numbers may be higher than you want to admit but you'll know what to look for in the descriptions. I've had very few disappointments shopping eBay auctions and have stopped telling people where I got my clothes. (Don't want them sniping items I'm bidding on!)

Constance White: This has been wonderful. Thanks for all your great questions.

Thanks Robin and janet and The washington Post.

Remeber you can check out our latest fashion auction at ebay.com/fashionweek.

And I should mention -for those who like to comine fashion with weightier matters - P.DIDDY is auctioning himself off eBay!

spend voting day with P.Diddy or buy one of the Sean JOhn special edition Vote or Die T shirts:

This auction is at ebay.com/pdiddy

Thank you


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