Fashion Fix: What did you think of Chelsea's dress?

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Holly Thomas,Janet Bennett Kelly
Tuesday, August 3, 2010; 12:00 PM

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Janet Bennett Kelly: everyone, Prizes this Tuesday are a pearlescent highlighter from Benefit and three eyeshadows from Estee Lauder. Without further ado, let's talk.

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Suede: I've noticed several women wearing cute suede sandals and flats this summer. I thought suede was more of a fall/winter shoe. What do you think? Does this apply to suede pumps?

Holly Thomas: A friend has a gorgeous pair of suede fringed sandals that I covet (and she scored them at a thrift store!), and they look great with a warm-weather outfit. As long as the silhouette feels summery, ie a sandal or simple flat, I think suede is fine for summer. For now, experiment with bright colors and neutral shades like nude, beige and blush, and save the more structured silhouettes, such as booties, loafers or knee-high boots, for colder temps.

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Average American Women Dress Size: It's pretty sad when the average size a women wears in USA is a 12-16 and yet you can barely recommend a decent website or store for us to shop. Except for the usual recommendation of Lane Bryant. Some of us average size gals actually work in an office and require professional yet stylish clothes; not cheap Forever 21 style choices. Let me give you some advice: Research for us average size women and come up with better choices of places to shop!!!!

Janet Bennett Kelly: J Crew sells plus sizes online, too.

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Chelsea's Dresses: Are there any photos around of the dress Chelsea changed into for the reception?

Janet Bennett Kelly: Wish there were because I'd love to see them! But so far, nothing has been released.

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covering my throat after surgery: I'm having surgery on my throat and I'll have a three-inch scar just above my collarbone. Any advice on how to cover that up in a chic way until it heals? I've never been one for turtlenecks, and it's too hot for that anyway. I've never really worn scarves except for warmth. Any ideas are much appreciated. Thank you!

Holly Thomas: First of all, best of luck to you on the procedure! Try a lightweight cotton or linen scarf -- you can find these anywhere from Eastern Market to Barneys Co-Op. A chunky necklace might work too, so long as it doesn't irritate the scar. And once it's fully healed, you might want to look into the makeup options from Cover FX -- the line was developed to conceal skin issues, like scars, burns and birthmarks, but is also used to cover tattoos, etc, on actors.

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Strapless: Although I thought her dress was very very pretty, I'm sick of the strapless ball gowns! Why would brides want to wear what every other bride this decade wore? Please tell me this is on the way out. Or at least that brides will look back on this in twenty years and regret the bare shoulders.

Janet Bennett Kelly: Strapless has been a popular trend in wedding gowns for about the past five or six years at least. It may not be on its way out, but there are many other choices.

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Chelsea's Dress: I thought her dress looked lovely on her and highlighted the graceful woman she has grown to be. Although some fashion columnists did not think it was modern or fashion forward, the dress seemed to suit her perfectly and she looked comfortable and joyful wearing it (which is the most important thing about a wedding dress, IMHO).

Janet Bennett Kelly: Yes, she did look very happy, I agree.

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Chelsea Clinton's dress: I thought she looked beautiful and really happy, which is how a bride should look. Her hair and make up were immaculate and classic and the bodice was lovely and showed off her great figure. That being said I did not love the skirt, it looked like it was consuming her. Despite the skirt I would say it was a great success!

Janet Bennett Kelly: It was little too princessy for my taste. And given the range of Vera Wang designs, I thought she could have worn something more elegant and sophisticated.

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White heels?: Hi!I just did a mid-summer shopping trip for work clothes, and now have a red and white skirt, a white dress with a purple pattern, a white and brown dress and a couple of other pieces for which I don't really have great shoe options. It seems like I could get away with killing multiple birds with one stone by buying a pair of white heels, but can I get away with it without looking like a bride/nurse/etc.? Obviously, no satin bridal shoes, but beyond that, I'm kind of stumped. I have a pair of purple heels, but is it better to go with those than with white for the white/purple dress? (Yeah, I know I'd only get a month's wear out of them with the no-white-after-Labor-Day rule...)Merci beaucoup!

Holly Thomas: Back away from the white heels ... you're veering dangerously close to Naughty Nurse territory with those. Instead, opt for a pump in a shade that matches your skin tone (nude, beige, caramel, you get the idea), which will make your legs look long and sleek. As an alternative, choose a metallic pump -- gold, silver or bronze, depending on your coloring. You'll get a lot more use out of either of those options than you will out of a white pump.

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plus sizes: I wear size 20. Can you recommend places to shop for plus size professional work clothes? I usually do pretty well finding suits, but I really struggle to find professsional attire for "casual fridays", which in my office is not really very casual at all.Please don't recommend Lane Bryant.

Janet Bennett Kelly: I just recommended Marina Rinaldi, a division of Max Mara, which is sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. The clothes are on the expensive side.

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Holly Thomas: I just discovered Avenue, which seems to have a lot of options that would fit in a professional environment, as well as some cute, more casual offerings. Any chatters tried this site before?

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Sandals for the Office: Hello -- I've been looking for a while for a pair of flat black sandals for work. Most of what I see is too bare/too casual. I don't feel it is appropriate in my office to wear a sandal that is basically a flip flop. However, I want something more stylish than orthopedic looking -- any ideas of where I can find such a thing? Thanks in advance!

Janet Bennett Kelly: I just looked at Piper Lime, which is having a sale and saw a good-looking pair of wedge sandals from Geox.

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Nude pumps - patent or not?: I have finally realized that I need to augment my wardrobe with a missing fashion staple: nude pumps. My question is whether I should go for patent, which I'm seeing a lot of, or a natural leather finish. The natural seems more versatile, but I'm not sure if it's too plain/boring. What would you recommend? And if you do recommend natural, where can I find some?

Holly Thomas: Either finish is a good choice, to be honest -- you should probably consider whether you want something a bit more flashy (patent) or more classic/conservative (natural). The former has a bit more sex appeal and feels a bit more on-trend right now. Here's an on-sale option in natural leather; these are my personal favorite.

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Finding the Proper Fit: I have a dilemma when it comes to buying closed toe heels, which prevents me from buying them. Most of the time I stick with flats, which aren't the most flattering for every outfit. With heels, I can wear either a 7 or 7.5. The 7 is snug, but I fear that as I walk around my feet may swell or I may get blisters. If I try on a 7.5, the shoes feel fine and there's a little room, but then I fear as my feet sweat that they'll slip down into the show and squish my toes. Do you have any advice when it comes to buying and wearing heels?

Janet Bennett Kelly: Your problem may be in the width of the shoe you're buying. Different manufacturers cut the same size in different ways, so I advise that you search for one that's right for your foot.

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Replacement for Prescriptives Eyeliner: Hi. For a long time, I have used Prescriptives Moonbeam Reflective Eyeliner, which I like because it has a little sparkle in the color. Sadly, Prescriptives no longer exists and my eyeliner pensil is nothing but a nub. Do you have any suggestions for an eyeliner for daily use that has a little shimmer/sparkle in the color? Thanks!

Janet Bennett Kelly: Shiseido has an eye pencil in Black Sand that has some gold flecks in it. You can buy it online at Sephora.

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Boutiques for the non-skinny?: Hi ladies, Love the chats, and hope you can help! I wear a size 14. I'd love to shop in interesting boutiques for cute tops of good quality materials. Where can I go in DC where I don't have to risk embarrassment that there will be nothing in the entire shop that fits me?

Holly Thomas: One quick thought -- I've heard that Metamorphosis in Silver Spring stocks a wide range of sizes, so you might want to give them a call if you're looking for specific items. Betsy Fisher in Dupont is also worth a look. It seems there are a lot of fashionable plus-size women who want to patronize local stores -- maybe calling/visiting them and requesting that they carry larger sizes would encourage store owners to broaden their selections ... or at least make them aware of the demographic they're overlooking. Just a thought ...

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Chelsea was too small for the dress: Overall I liked the dress and thought it was unusual. However, the portions were wrong for chelsea. She seems to be really slim and the bottom of that dress with the massive layers of tulle just seemed too heavy. Also, the strapless top half just emphasized how slight her frame and bust are. You honestly need SOMETHING up top to counter balance the ballgown skirt. Maybe if it was sleeveless/V-cut it would have worked. I like the jeweled belt but thought it was about an inch too wide. Again, just too much with that that super busy bottom half. I wish we could see a pic of the reception dress...

Holly Thomas: Thanks for weighing in ... also curious to see the reception dress.

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Fall Jackets: Thanks for taking my question! I am a woman in my mid-50s looking for a flattering light weight jacket but have trouble finding a style that works well for my height. Most jackets end up looking boxy on me or make me look round. I'm 5'3" and a size 10/12, and any advice you have would be very useful. I do not live in the D.C. area, so national or online brands are best.

Janet Bennett Kelly: Are you looking at petites? You need shorter sleeve and reduced torso to fit your proportions. Try J Crew online. They also can offer personal shopping advice.

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Chelsea's dress: I thought it was exquisite. And set against that green river-view background, she was a beautiful bride, which everyone wants! Home run!

Holly Thomas: Agreed, I thought she looked lovely ...

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suggestion for the "average size" shopper: When I wore a size 16, I had good luck with the J Jill Wearever collection for skirts and pants. They go up to size 4X, I believe. Now that I'm a 10 and have a BMI in the healthy range, I'm still considered plus size by the fashion industry... Ah, well. That's an argument for another day.

Janet Bennett Kelly: This chatter recommends J Jill Wearever for plus size clothing.

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Plus size professional clothes: First of all, I HATE that the sizes the average woman wears are called plus sizes. I'm with the first poster!That being said, for those of us who aren't a 2 but still are looking for professional attire on a budget, New York and Company has some really nice stuff. The quality is what you can expect for the cost, and their shirts tend to veer towards the too low cut for work side, but they have some amazing sales, and their clothes actually fit - especially for the bustier among us - one of the only places I can buy button down shirts that actually button across my chest without being HUGE for the rest of the torso.

Janet Bennett Kelly: Thanks for the tip. Try New York and Company.

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Plus sized clothes: I know this sounds like desperation, but I think it's cheaper to have plus sized professional clothing made to order by a good tailor to buy off the rack at Saks. I get my work suits made to order by a Hong Kong tailoring firm. I send in my measurements (they tell you exactly where to measure), decide on the style and material, and in a few weeks, I get a reasonably priced, made-to-order suit that fits me perfectly. I suggest that frustrated plus-sized women explore this option. Thanks.

Janet Bennett Kelly: That's a good solution. Would you like to share your info on that Hong Kong tailor?

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Fall Trends: What are a few of the must-have clothing and accessories trends for fall? I have limited budget, and would like to get the most impact from my purchases. Thanks!

Holly Thomas: Besides the standard-issue fall trends (velvet, animal prints, leather, deep colors, faux fur), there are a few blips on the radar that feel genuinely fresh -- look for ankle-length skirts, menswear-inspired suiting (cropped trousers, specifically), gold-embellished fabrics and blanket sweaters/coats. But if you're going to splurge on just a few items, make sure one of them is a fabulous coat -- take a look at the swoon-worthy options from Chloe before you go shopping.

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Chelsea's dress : Good afternoon gurus! I wish we could see photos of the dress Chelsea wore to the reception, but I doubt any more photos will be released. Do you know who designed the dress? I've heard many complaining of the strapless wedding dress trend. I agree that a strapless dress isn't flattering on everyone, and as a girl shopping for a wedding dress I'm stumped for other options! Many of the dresses I've found with sleeves are made specifically for conservative religious weddings. Any tips for searching for a dress that covers the upper arms (my trouble spot) without looking too dowdy? I think Ivanka Trump's dress achieved this beautifully!

Janet Bennett Kelly: Vera Wang designed both Chelsea Clinton's dress and Ivanka Trump's dress, which I agree does a nice job covering up the upper arm area.

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re: Throat surgery: In the movie Inception, Ellen Page wore some really cute scarves "cowboy style" and she looked great. The person having throat surgery might try this.

Janet Bennett Kelly: For the chatter looking to cover up the neck area, check out Ellen Page's scarves in "Inception" for some good ideas.

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Thrift Stores for Dressy Dresses?: I have two weddings in September to go to - both in Boston, both late afternoon/evening - that I need dresses for. However, we're in a tight financial picture right now and while I don't think I can get any more wears out of what is in my closet, I also don't feel like I can spend more than $250 or so (tops) on both dresses. I am thinking cocktail length, and I like jewel tones. Any ideas for either thrift stores that might carry formal-y wear or other stores that might be in my budget?

Holly Thomas: My first choice would not be a thrift store -- while it can be fun to dig for secondhand treasures (in fact, it's one of my favorite activities), it's much too time-consuming and frustrating to look for something as specific as a dress you can wear to a wedding. I'd suggest hitting up the local consignment circuit -- start with Current's two boutiques (in Arlington and Old Town), Diva and Mint Condition (both in Old Town), Secondi (Dupont), Second Time Around (Georgetown) and Second Chance (Bethesda). If you don't turn up anything, you might look into a dress-rental service like Rent the Runway, where you pay a fraction of the retail cost to "borrow" a designer dress for a set number of days. (Personally, I think the idea of paying for a dress you don't get to keep is a bit silly, but it seems to be quite popular ...)

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Travel to Spain in October: I will be travelling to Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo Spain for 10 days in mid-October. Trying to figure out how to pack so that the luggage is reasonable but want to have a few choices for outfits. The temps will range from low 70's during the day to low 50's in the evenings. Suggestions?

Janet Bennett Kelly: I would pack a trench for those cooler temps. Then, three shirts, two pairs of pants and comfy flats for touring.

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Andrea Caumont: Hi chatters, going to publish a few of your thoughts about Avenue and where to find plus-sized clothing.

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Avenue: Avenue has brick and mortar stores in this area. I have no recent experience with their stuff, but what I remember is how good the quality was. It also fits very large ladies who want style.

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Avenue: I have shopped at Avenue...expect inexpensive, but lower quality options there. Good for one season at most. They are very bad about vanity sizing there too. Grab one size smaller than usual off the rack or you'll be going back.

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The Avenue?: Is this related to the stores called The Avenue? If so, be prepared for cheaply made, ill-cut clothing that won't hold up.Macy's plus size department is horrible, but at least the clothing is better constructed than Lane Bryant.

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For Size 20: Also, try Dress Barn Woman. I augment my rack of suits with dresses and sweaters from Dress Barn, which are affordable and usually quite current looking.

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Plus Size Clothing: I love the show "Drop Dead Diva" on Lifetime, and the lead character (Brooke Elliot) is a plus size woman who works as a lawyer. Her wardrobe is quite fashionable, and the show's website has a slideshow with info about some of her looks and where to find them!

Janet Bennett Kelly: Great idea. Thanks for the info.

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For Size 20: The size 20 shopper looking for non-suit business wear may have some luck with Jones New York, which I always found to be reliable, classic, and not cheap-feeling. Many of their oulet locations carry the plus range, or you can try their website.

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Plus Size Office Attire: Talbots makes quite a lot of appropriate professional work clothing in their Women's and Women's Petitie lines. Sizes go up to 24. I'm not sure about how fashionable they currently are - I worked in a Talbots back in 2006, and it's been a whlie since I've been in one of their stores.

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Plus Size: Talbots is my go to for work wear, even casual Fridays. For weekend trendy stuff I go to Old Navy or The Gap online and Target. And I love Old Navy jeans!

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Chelsea's look - from bethesda: What struck me most about Chelsea's look was not just the lovely gown or the sincerely joyful expression - but her gorgeous, creamy skin. It was so refreshing to see someone rock a porcelain look versus a deep, obviously fake spray tan. It's similar to the vibe Nicole Kidman brings! I also love the message it sends - it's actually a healthier look.

Janet Bennett Kelly: Her skin did look lovely. Wonder what creams she uses. That said, I wish she had worn less makeup and that way her skin could have shone through even more.

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Shopping wisely: Hi fashion gurus,Love your chats! I have never been able to put together a put-together, age appropriate (mid-40s), flattering and comfortable low maintenance look for myself and am ready to get professional help! But I don't have a lot of money to spend, so I assume that a private personal shopper is not an option for me. Is there a minimum amt (spoken or unspoken) one is expected to spend to use a dept. store's personal shopper service? What store would you recommend for a mid-40s professional mom who wants a low-maintenance, comfortable but not frumpy look? Thanks for any advice. And I loved Chelsea's dress!

Holly Thomas: Most department stores don't have a price minimum, unspoken or otherwise, to use their personal shopper services -- the burden is on you to hold your ground and only buy the pieces you really like, and not succumb to feeling like you have to buy something because someone is helping you. It's helpful to have that conversation before you get started, to let the personal shopper know exactly what you're looking for and what your budget is. And feel free to bring a friend who knows your style -- if you're easily swayed, it will be helpful to have someone who can say "You'll never actually wear that." If the personal shopper brings you a bunch of stuff you can't afford, speak up! If you're in the DC area, I'd suggest starting out at Lord & Taylor or Nordstrom, and going on a weekday, when the store isn't as busy.

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Plus Size Clothing: Marina Rinaldi has some items that are appropriate for professional wear, but not a lot. Lafayette 148 is another line that offers professional clothing, and is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales. I miss Ellen Tracy and Dana Buchman.

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To Plus Sizes for Casual Friday: Check out L.L. Bean online, for both size 20 and Women's sizes. Just got some great sale items there.

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Chelsea's dress: Comment really: she looked absolutely ethereal. a perfect balance of elegance and simplicity, befitting a young woman her age. My question: What in the world was that raspberry concoction by de la Renta that Sec. Clinton was wearing? Yeech. Bill looked thin but good.

Janet Bennett Kelly: Her most unfortunate choice was a caftan-like dress she work to one of the after parties! Yes, Bill looked too thin.

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larger that a 10: Not sure what age these gals are but I love Coldwater Creek (online and stores), they seem to have nice clothes for all sizes for those of us over 40! :) I have a delightful friend (age 43) who needs a 16 and she buys there and always looks great!

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Looking for plus sizes: Talbots Woman has some nice professional clothes in plus sizes although I have noticed recently some of their plusses not as large as the same size was a year ago

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High Necks: Try a blouse with some detail at the top so it's meant to be closed (ruffles or lace or something). They're girly and pretty and go with jeans or work clothes.PS The J Crew at the Leesburg outlets had beautiful high-necked silk blouses with some detail at the next for $35 apiece!

Holly Thomas: Thanks!

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For the person looking for eyeliner: I totally swear by MAC's powerpoint eyeliner in "Buried Treasure." It's a deep, rich black, with subtle shimmer/sparkle, but nothing like a 3rd grader's art project. Very appropriate for the office/formal event. I have bought them over and over again, and this is coming from a person who never thought she'd ever finish a makeup product. Just goes to show that I use it very regularly.

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Nooo Avenue!: Avenue clothes are cheaply made trash. They're a little cheaper than Lane Bryant, but they fit terribly and fall apart within a couple wearings. Sizing is really hit-or-miss, so online ordering isn't really a good idea, and customer service in the stores is absolutely nonexistent. I definitely don't recommend it.

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Size 12-16: This size range is not "plus". Every shop, catalog, and online place I know of sells clothing in this size range. Plus for petites is 18 and up, for women's regular it is 1X,2X. etc.

Holly Thomas: I understand the frustration ... I think "plus" is just faster for us to write than "size xyz and up" every time. Thanks to everyone who's weighing in about larger sizes and how difficult they are to find.

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let's not confuse "average" with "ideal": While most women are sizes 12-16, that just means our nation is dangerously overweight. For those women, the ideal healthy size is 8-12! Let's start focusing on the health of our choices more than the fashion! I don't want more stores to carry large sizes: the better option is for more people to regain control of their eating and exercise and get back down to healthy sizes so they don't need large sizes or diabetes medication or high blood pressure medication!

Holly Thomas: Point taken ... but I'm sure a lot of women who are working on getting to a healthy size/weight would still appreciate clothes that fit and look nice along the way.

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re: Eyeliner replacement: Sephora's in-house brand (which is called Sephora Collection) has an eyeliner I love called "Electro" and comes in many colors that have little sparkly flecks. They last really well and cost only $8!

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Scar cover-up: Hope I'm not submitting too late...when your scar heals, I'd suggest looking at Alcone theater make-up. I use it for a scar on my upper chest - it works perfectly, stays on, and just a little dab will do ya. You can find it online - you can get a sampler so you can find what works best for you. I'm not sure if they sell it anywhere here, but the main store is off Broadway in NYC.

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Office Wear: I feel like you guys may have answered this before, so I apologize if it's a repeat, but I'm in need of some new professional clothes. I don't want to spend an arm and a leg, but I also don't mind paying a little bit more for quality. Can you recommend some brands/stores to check out? As a little additional background, I work in a fairly conservative field, but I definitely don't have to rock a suit on a daily basis. Thanks!

Holly Thomas: Running out of time here -- I'd try Theory and Club Monaco for chic, timeless pieces that you can easily accessorize to suit your personal style.

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Dressy Dreses: For the person looking for dresses to wear to weddings that don't break the bank, try Ross. It's hit or miss, but you might be able to find something dressy enough and the prices are definitely reasonable.

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For the traveler to Spain: I went to Spain in October some years ago, and depending where you are, the temperature can vary significantly. My favorite travel jacket is my leather jacket. It's not too heavy, but it's large enough that I can wear a sweater underneath. I didn't need anything heavier than that. But leather jackets are great for traveling - they don't show dirt much, they can be sponged off, and they're fine in a bit of rain.

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Less Expensive Dressy Dresses: Check out J. Crew's sale section (where I bought my wedding dress, haha). They often have really good deals on their beautiful dresses. And if the dress isn't "final sale", you can just return it to your local J. Crew store.

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throat surgery: No question but a suggestion - use vitamin e oil on the scar. I had thyroid surgery years ago and the scar is practically invisible. It will be red for some time but the color will fade. The vitamin e helps the scar tissue recede. Trust me, unless the surgeon is Dr Frankenstein, she'll notice the scar more than others. When you use scarves and turlenecks to cover, you're just drawing the eye to the neck.

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Plus size and TALL: I've been able to buy from: Orvis catalog (not the stores), Land's End catalog, Coldwater Creek, Fashion Bug, Dress Barn, Marshalls (this takes a lot of looking time to find something useful), I look at Nordstroms Encore and find zip--so much so that I've filled out a customer comment card to that effect (I'm a long time credit card holder).

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plus size clothes: I have had good luck with Travelsmith (online or catalog) for dresses and pantsuits that are appropriate for professional wear, as well as no-wrinkle for travel. I started with their indispensable little back dress back before I was plus-size and am so happy that it also comes in larger sizes.

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Wearing heels: In addition to making sure she's got the right width, the 7/7.5 heel wearer might look into those pads for under the ball of the foot. Sometimes they can change the fit of the shoe enough that one size or the other works better. Plus, you end up with more comfy heels!

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Plus sized clothing: It's much more time consuming to shop there, but I've found quite a few pieces shopping at Marshall's lately. In particular, I've found name brand dresses that were both stylish and affordable.

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Plus size professional wear: I recommend Dress Barn. The stores are always divided in half--nonplus on left side, plus on the right. Even different saleswomen. Nice clothes.Judy Cusick

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Scar cover up: I had surgery two years ago that resulted in a 4 inch scar right above one of my breasts. Lightweight scarves in bright colors seemed the most helpful, as I could pair them with different basic looks but still look different every day - especially since I didn't want to buy a ton of them. I found New York and Co., Old Navy, and Forever 21 to have a decent variety pretty cheap, plus hit or miss at places such as Ross or Marshalls. I also borrowed different ones from friends, who were more than happy to loan them out for a reason like this. Once I healed I was tempted to keep covering it up, but I decided I didn't care what other people may think even if it wasn't the most attractive scar. Good luck to the poster!

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retailers are no fools: If most women were size 16, that's what you'd see in the stores. Retailers are in the business to SELL. The fact that most stores stock sizes 6 to 18 indicates that that is the profitible size range MOST IN DEMAND.

Janet Bennett Kelly: Demand is what drives business, so you've got a good point.

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Plus sizes: Both Lord and Taylor and Talbots carry plus sizes. Lord and Taylor has a wide range of designers represented like Calvin Klein etc. Both have good sales. I know L &T is not a boutique; but I always find it more relaxing to shop at than Macys which can feel too big, chaotic and messy.

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For the plus size ladies...: You might want to take a look at Coldwater Creek. Yes, some of their stuff is pretty flowery, but often you can find nicely tailored jackets, slacks and skirts which work well in a business casual environment. Not everything goes into plus sizes, but most of their core pieces do.

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Plus size upscale fashion: I hate to give away my secret go-to place, but check out the Saks outlet in Potomac Mills Mall - Off Fifth. I just scored a beautiful yellow Marina Rinaldi rain jacket down from $495 to $69. I got almost all my Ellen Tracy there (very very sad they're out of business). They carry Magaschoni, which the First Lady wears, all kinds of good brands. Also check out Neiman Marcus online, Bloomies online, and Talbots Women - much nicer clothes lately.

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Shimmer Eyeliner: For the person looking for eyeliner with a bit of shimmer, I highly recommend the gel liners from Bobbi Brown. It's a gel rather than a pencil so it does need to be applied with a brush, but it's very easy and quick to apply. Not only that, it lasts all day. She has several different color options with shimmer -- black, brown, grey, green, purple. Love them all. If you're set on finding a pencil, I recommend Aqua Eyes by Makeup Forever. A huge range of colors and great staying power!

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"Plus" size options: Try Talbots-I think they stock through size 16 in stores, and have larger sizes on-line. More reasonable prices too

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Donation question: I have some gently used Vera Bradley purses and totes that I would like to donate to a charity that assists unemployed women to dress for interviews and new jobs. Do you know of any such organization in the DC/MD/VA area that might be interested in this type of donation?

Holly Thomas: Try Dress for Success or Suited for Change.

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Not sure what age these gals are but I love Coldwater Creek: I like them for basic stuff, but a lot of their styles scream "old lady" to me. But I love them for plain pants and tops. I'm 42, size 12.

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Holly Thomas: -- if you have a suggestion/comment/complaint, we want to hear from you. And join us again next week, when we'll have special guest Nina Garcia from Elle/Project Runway!


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