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More Fashion, Less Victim: Petit problems, Prom predicament and colour conundrum

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Photo courtesy of tavopp on flickr

Jes Lacasse is a wardrobe consultant who knows style. She grew up absorbing Vogue, studied costume design and fashion history, and thinks about clothes all the time. Jes does personal styling and shopping for private clients and is taking on the challenge of magazine editorial work. If you have questions about fashion, she wants to answer them — please e-mail her at jes.lacasse@gmail.com. Your Sweet Bippy is where she blogs about style, shopping, cosmetics and self-love. She is also known to obsess over clothes on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Kym on lemien.ca

Hello lovelies!

After a month off to experience Ottawa Fashion Week, I’m back to answer your pressing questions about fashion, style and beauty. In the time I was away, I did answer a question from Apartment613’s own dirty laundress Nadine Thornhill on the blog, addressing dressing your age.

However, the questions from you darling readers keep on coming in, and I want to answer them. Here we go!

Jes!!

This is my last year of high school, and I am struggling with what to wear to the prom. I’m not really super-feminine, but I’m not really a tomboy either. I basically wear jeans and t-shirts most of the time, because I’m really busy with school and work and drama. I’d like to wear something special for my prom, but not something that doesn’t feel like me. Any thoughts?

- Jeanette

Hi Jeanette,

Wow! What an exciting time for you! I fondly remember my prom dress, oh-so-many years ago… My mom and I made a red wool crepe halter-neck dress and I was in complete love with it… If it still fit me I would absolutely wear it again!

I think one of the keys to your question is that you still want to feel like yourself in your prom dress – you want to be comfortable but stylish, and not have to fuss too much with yourself all night!

To that end, I think a simple dress in a stunning fabric might be your best bet! Think of sumptuous crepes, heavy silks, or a lovely satin. A simple sheath dress in any of those fabrics (set off with sparkling jewelry and killer heels if you’re up for them) would look lovely and keep you comfortable and feeling like you with extra polish!

Hi Jes,

I’m a petite girl (5 foot 2, 130 lbs) I have an athletic build and I never feel the newest trends look right on me.

What should I be on the look-out for this spring?

I would love to hear from you!

- Lindsay

Hi Lindsay!

Thanks for writing! I know that having a body type considered non-standard by the fashion industry can be frustrating when it comes to choosing clothing, but just remember the first and most important rule when it comes to fitting your clothing properly: your tailor is your best friend!

When choosing clothing for a new season, and with the tailor in mind, you have to make sure that the piece of clothing you’re choosing fits at the largest part of you, and everything else can be tailored down to fit. Not every piece of clothing lends itself well to being tailored (items with complicated detailing, clothing with a lot of flow), however most items should be fine!

As for what to look for trend-wise this summer, it really matters more what your personal style is! Fashion is very exciting right now, with there being something for everyone when it comes to trends. Anything from 1970s bohemian inspired style, to biker/punk chic, to continued Mad Men inspiration can be found in malls and boutiques everywhere. Pick and choose the things that feel right for you, because shouldn’t getting dressed be about pleasing yourself first?

Hey Fashionista,

I’ve started to slowly build my work wardrobe with good dress shirts, nice suits and great ties, but I’m stumped on one thing – how do you know when to wear black shoes or brown?

- Bain

It’s great that you’re expanding your professional wardrobe! Good for you for thinking about how you present yourself at work!

The black or brown shoes question is actually deceptively simple. If you look at a colour wheel, you’ll notice that half of the wheel looks “warm” and the other half looks “cool”. By those words, we mean that anything that has orange/red/yellow undertones is warm (think about crackling fires and autumn), and anything with blue/purple undertones is cool (think about lake water on a sparkling bright day).

Generally speaking, for ease of use, you’re going to want to pair black shoes with cool tones and brown shoes with warm tones. So if you’re wearing chocolate brown pants, a cream shirt and an orange tie, pair it with brown. Grey pants, a blue shirt and a purple tie? Pull out those black shoes!

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, so most importantly trust your own eyes! If something doesn’t look right, it might not be! For some more in-depth looks at how colours work together, I wrote about colour theory for non-artists here to help you out.

And with that, it’s time for me to switch over to my spring and summer wardrobe! Please e-mail me your fashion and style questions at jes.lacasse@gmail.com. Millions of kisses!

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