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Ask Belle: April 30th Roundup

Belle-
 
I’ve got a question I’m desperately hoping you can help with. I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but every time I wear a skirt to work (typically your basic pencil skirt from the Limited, J Crew, etc.) it looks adorable. Until I start to walk. By the time I’ve even made it out of the Metro station, my skirt has started to stage an uprising, twisting halfway around my body, riding up my waist, etc. I spend the large majority of my time while walking anywhere in a skirt trying to discreetly pull it back on keel and forward facing. Is it the way I walk? The way the skirts fit?
 
Any guidance/help offered would be really appreciated.
 
Thanks!
The short answer is that the skirt doesn’t fit.  It shifts like that because it’s too loose in the waist and a bit too snug in the hips.  As you walk the movement of your legs forces the skirt up because that is where it’s loose.  Taking it in at the waist should help some.
Pencil skirts are especially difficult to fit.  So I would recommend buying them from a place that offers free basic tailoring.  I have a J.Crew card only so I can have my skirts and pants hemmed for free.  Nordstrom also offers free tailoring on full-priced items. 
Dear Belle,

I need to buy a light jacket for the cool evenings.  Are jean jackets faux pas, or can I still own one?  Any other suggestions?

Callie
 

From Left, Olive Anorak ($109), Choco-Chip Trench ($128), AG Robyn Denim Jacket ($195)

No, denim jackets are not faux pas. However, if you’re going to wear one, you should choose a classic style in a medium to dark wash.  The lighter the wash the more dated it will look. 

Other warm weather options include, an olive anorak in twill or a fun trench coat.  Every woman should own a classic khaki trench, but if you really like the style a printed coat or a brightly colored one is a fun addition to your closet.  It’s one of those things that you can throw over your jeans and t-shirt and look stylish while running errands.

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  1. Curvy C says:

    Ah, that explains why I always have that problem with skirts! I'm very hour-glassy so skirts are always floating around my waist. I always though it was because my purse was pulling the skirt to one side. I've been tempted to ditch the skirts altogether but finding pants for an hourglass figure is equally annoying. Does anyone know of a particular store or brand that sells non-matronly clothing for women with big hips/butts and small waists? Or do I have to get everything tailored?

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  2. Emily says:

    Thank you for answering this!! Just the other day I walked out of the house in a jean jacket and instantly thought “Uhoh. I hope this isn't a Belle-faux-pas.”

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  3. cleary says:

    @CurcvyC: I believe it's a combination of issues. I've had this happen to me with lined skirts when I'm wearing a particular purse, but I know those skirts are not too tight in the hips. Tailoring the waist can help, but is often not a complete solution.

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  4. ABC says:

    Also, does anyone have any recommendations for wearing unlined skirts with tights? I hate it when I walk and the skirt clings. I have noticed this happening to a lot of other women, too. Should I just not do it? Do I need to buy a slip like my grandmother used to wear? Thanks.

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  5. Belle says:

    ABC: A slip will help, but I just use static guard.

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  6. alex says:

    @ABC – Maybe this is why I'm still single, but I love thinking of slips as lingerie. I feel sexy wearing one, especially if it's a full slip, and they make my skirt hang right, which is always a good thing.

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  7. KC says:

    Off topic, but recently relevant: I received a wedding invitation this weekend with a dress code of “Formal, costumes, and gold, please.” How on earth am I supposed to dress my husband for that? And it's a male coworker's step-daughter, so he's not helpful at all.

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  8. Belle says:

    KC: What on earth does she mean by costumes?

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  9. Kaylee says:

    Curvy C, have you tried the Classiques Entier brand from Nordstrom? I'm small-medium sized, but definitely hourglass and their stuff tends to fit me well off the rack or with very few alterations.

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  10. Curvy C says:

    Thanks for the suggestion, Kaylee! I'm small as well– 5'2″ and 108 pounds. I just have ridiculously big hips. ­čÖé

    April 30, 2012/Reply
  11. Maharani says:

    I highly recommend tailoring-I now do it routinely and what a difference it makes to my skirts. They fit and they stay put and I enjoy wearing them. Nothing fits me correctly off the rack. With skirts, its hemming and an adjustment in the front waistband so it sits smoothly over my stomach. It does add to the cost of clothes, but the result is I shop less, buy more carefully, and enjoy my clothes more-and it is fun going to the seamstress for a fitting and finding that a pretty decent for is now perfect.

    May 1, 2012/Reply
  12. H says:

    To the wedding person. What an insanely off-beat request. I'd go formal (long dress her, tux him) and pack a pair of gold demi-masks. Should you get there and 80% of guests decided they couldn't do anything with that dress request either, you're not overdressed and if everybody there is in costume or gold, you can just pop out the golden masks and be well…hmm…golden, I guess is the word I'm looking for.

    May 1, 2012/Reply
  13. Katie says:

    Hi Belle,

    What do you think of white denim jackets? I bought one last spring, but I've been hesitant to wear it…

    May 1, 2012/Reply
  14. K says:

    You know I also have this problem with skirts due to some very distinct hip curves. When I can't afford to tailor every skirt I buy, I cheat and get skirts with pockets that allow me to hold it in place somewhat while I walk. Not the best option, but a quick cheat. Also, I vote for white if going for a jean jacket as it seems to kick the formality of the piece up a notch from coloured denim (and I find it more versatile against a wardrobe of skirts and dark denim)

    May 1, 2012/Reply
  15. Megs says:

    zOMG! I have the skirt problem from time to time and I could never figure out exactly what was causing it…Thank you, Belle!

    May 1, 2012/Reply