Dear Answer Angel: What do you think of those dresses that are short in front and longer in back? I'm tempted, but I wonder if I should spend the money on something less trendy.
— S. B.
Dear S.B: I've been seeing these "high-low" or "mullet" skirts everywhere this summer. Honestly, they just seem odd. I saw a woman wearing one today. It was only about 2 inches longer in the back than the front, and it looked as if her hem had come undone or the dress was somehow hitched up accidentally in the front. If you like the look, buy one for sure. But I wouldn't spend much because they'll be completely out of date by next year. As one fashion expert told me, "A high-low hemline doesn't have the longevity that a traditional knee length or maxi has." Same thing goes for peplum dresses and tops, which were adorable for about five minutes and already are on their way out.
Dear Answer Angel: How sheer is too sheer for the office? I have a lovely new blouse I'd like to wear to work, but even with a camisole it's clingy.
— See-Through Sally
Dear See-Through: Let me phrase your question another way: "I have a transparent blouse that is very fitted and leaves nothing to the imagination. Is this OK to wear to work?" If you have to ask, don't do it. Worn as an over-shirt, atop something work-appropriate (like a not-too-tight T-shirt that doesn't show cleavage) your top is fine for the office. Otherwise, n-o. And I don't care if everyone else in your office is showing more than they should. (There's a lot of that going around now — see Reader Rant 1 at the end of the column.) You'll never be passed over for a promotion or a pay hike because you dressed too conservatively.
Dear Answer Angel: My granddaughter has a family wedding to attend. She wears a size 6, but a 32DDD bra. Do you have any suggestions on styles that might look good on her?
Dear IFS: I passed along your question to a stylist, a magazine fashion editor and a department store fashion expert and got a lot of good suggestions for you to give to your granddaughter.
•Dark colors or prints with dark backgrounds will minimize the bust.
•No ruffles or pleats on top; no statement necklace to draw the eye to the area you want to downplay.
•The right bra with good support is essential.
•Less fabric on top will minimize and break up a top-heavy look. So choose short sleeves or sleeveless; scoop or V-neck (not too plunging) instead of a high neckline.
•Higher heels to appear taller will make the bust seem more in proportion.
•Slumping says your bust is weighing you down. Stand up straight!
•Draw the eye upward, toward the face by wearing noteworthy earrings, a bright lipstick.
•A 1950s silhouette — fitted (not tight) top and flared, fuller skirt will give balance.
•Think about separates instead of a dress, permitting two different sizes on top and bottom.
Dear Answer Angel: If I wear a leather backpack-style purse for daytime, do I have to change to a more traditional bag for evening?