More Shopping & Style

Shopportunities: Guide to Buying Jeans

Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matter's International, answers your questions each month.

BY March 6, 2013

 Dear Cheryl,

     I’m bewildered by the different styles, washes and cuts of jeans. What should I look for and avoid?

                                                                                                                                     —Jennifer, Estero

Consider first your body shape. Are you:

Curvy? Look for styles that fit your hips, and, if necessary, have the waistband taken in to fi t your waist. A little bit of stretch is helpful, as is a dark wash. Go for a straight or slightly flared leg, and avoid cuts that are very tapered or narrow. Pear-shaped? Try a lower-rise jean in a dark wash with straight-cut legs that fall from the widest point of your hip, or a boot-cut style to balance your silhouette. Avoid back pockets that are embellished or widely spaced.

Apple-shaped? Jeans with a high rise and those with a low rise will cut across you at the wrong point, so opt for a mid-rise style with an unfussy waistband to smooth your mid-section. Even though you may have slender legs, avoid very narrow jeans—they’ll make you appear top heavy.

Boyish figure? Make the most of your gamine, straight shape and go for a slimmer, tighter fit. Washes that have lightened areas around the thighs and knees may help to give the appearance of more curves.

Have a question for Cheryl? Send it to

WHAT TO WEAR: The Great Gatsby Gala for Opera Naples

     This roaring ’20s-themed fundraising event takes place on March 19 at a private club in Port Royal. The attire is formal (black tie), although that needs not mean a full-length gown for ladies. It would be fitting to reference something from the fabulous Jazz Age, although the challenge is how to give a stylish acknowledgement to the era rather than appearing to be in full-on costume. So, without resorting to the predictability of a head band and feather, here are some ideas to channel your inner flapper:

• a long evening skirt or glamorous pants with knife-edged pleats

• wide palazzo pants in fl uid silks

• fringed details on skirt hems, clutch bags and accessories

• anything jade, especially jewelry

• geometric Art Deco shapes or prints

• long (and I mean l-o-n-g), multiple strands of pearls

• a feather boa

• a delicate beaded or crocheted cloche hat For the truly dedicated, some searching online or in Southwest Florida’s many antique stores might result in a beautiful vintage piece. If you’re still unsure, catching up on a few episodes of the current season of Downton Abbey will steer you in the right direction.

Related Images: