Seen at: Naples Winter Wine Festival
She’s wearing: Lanvin. I picked it because it was fun, and I love the color—and because it’s one of those dresses you can wear in any weather.
Her fashion philosophy: When I put it on, I have to go, “wow.”
Her favorite designers: I wear a lot of Oscar de la Renta, Lanvin and Alexander McQueen.
Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month.
For your more urgent fashion emergencies, catch her blog “Power Shopper” at gulfshorelife.com.
I’m at a loss in determining my best hemline length. I don’t want to wear ultra-short minis, but I certainly don’t want to look frumpy!
—Alex, Fort Myers
This is one of my most frequently asked questions, simply because there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer! To find the length that’s right for you, consider the following:
Hemlines that hit at mid-thigh, mid-knee or mid-calf tend to be the most unflattering lengths as they cut across the fullest part of the legs, making them appear shorter and heavier.
Knee-length skirts are best when they finish either slightly below or slightly above the knee joint. If you’re petite or have short legs, a hemline finishing slightly above the knee will visually lengthen them. Elongate your legs still further by choosing nude shoes (yes, they really work!).
Tea-length hemlines (which finish around 3 or 4 inches below the knee) can be elegant but also tricky. This length looks best on average height or tall women, and soft, drapey fabrics work better than stiff ones, which can make the silhouette “boxy.”
If you’re heavy around your hips and thighs, aim for a skirt length that balances your silhouette. Avoid A-line styles that flare out ever wider (creating a lampshade shape), and instead go for a slimmer shape that tapers in slightly at the hemline; just make sure it doesn’t bisect the thickest part of your legs.
If you’re tall, don’t try to disguise your height with an over-long skirt (it’ll only stretch you out still further), instead embrace your height and show off your legs with a shorter skirt, and wear opaque tights or leggings if you don’t want to show too much skin.
Finally, I suggest standing in front of a full-length mirror, wearing shoes you’d typically wear with a skirt. Holding a long piece of fabric in front of you, raise it bit by bit from your feet upwards, taking note of how it looks at various points on your legs. You’ll soon find a length with which you’re most comfortable.
Submit your questions for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The most glam of cooking enthusiasts maintain their style even in the kitchen. Enter Haute Hostess Aprons, a line of—you guessed it—fabulous aprons that look more like cocktail dresses themselves than something you’d wear over the top of one. Dreamed up by Southern belle event planner-turned-designer Elizabeth Scokin, they come in three aptly named styles—Glam It Up, Glam It Up Luxe and Give Me Sugar—complete with sequins, silk sashes and flouncy hemlines. (If that isn’t charming enough, we hear Princess Catherine has one, too.) Find them at Epic 31 in Coconut Point (epic31boutique.com).