FASHION Q &amp; amp;A
Q. I like Bermuda shorts because they're long, but I don't know what to wear with them. Any help?
A. Knee-length shorts can be tougher to wear than you'd think. Sure, they offer more coverage than hot pants, but they visually cut your lower half, well, in half -- which can make the less leggy among us appear stumpy. Stick to flat-front versions in classic colors (save neon Hawaiian prints for the beach, if ever); then pair 'em with sandals that give a little lift, like wedges. Finish with a pretty top to balance your shorts' sportiness: A boho tunic, say, will help you get a leg up.
Q. I am a 5-foot-8, 16-year-old girl with a long torso. All the shirts I see are too short.
A. Good news! You can still buy those truncated tops -- just layer a tank underneath to avoid baring all a la Britney. American Apparel and James Perse make great super-long versions -- you can match yours to your top or contrast colors for an edgier effect. Want to try DIY? Buy a cotton minidress and snip it so it hits at your hip (or even wear it as is, belted over jeans). And in the "who knew?" category: Maternity wear probably isn't the first place you'd look, but H & amp;M Mama is worth checking out. Every bit as cool as the company's regular togs, the line's crinkled cotton tunics and V-neck sweaters are cut to accommodate burgeoning bellies -- those who crave extra length (rather than girth) stand to gain a few precious inches.
Q: What are the rules on seamed stockings? Are they right for evening? How about the office?
A. They'll definitely glam up a little black dress for a big night out, but seamed stockings are a bit racy for most offices. Not only are they too "evening," they're also too high maintenance (keeping squiggly seams straight all day is a job in itself). So what works at work? Fashion mags extol the virtues of the bare-legged look, but your cubicle culture -- or the cold weather -- may make opaque tights, cable knits and classic black hose better real-world picks. Steer clear of anything super-sheer: Again, too "evening," and moreover, the last thing you want to worry about en route to a big meeting is an even bigger run.
Q: My friends make fun of me because I wear sandals well into winter and break them out at the first hint of spring. Is there a rule?
A: It's really up to you and how frozen you can stand your feet. That said, some sandals read less "summery" than others. An open-toe leather wedge, say, feels more substantial (and winter-appropriate) than flip flops. What to stash away 'til spring? Espadrilles, huaraches and anything that says "Lido Deck." One keep-toasty tip: high-heel sandals and black tights can be seriously glam (French Vogue editrix Carine Roitfeld is expert at pulling off this combo).