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Ask Aimée May 2011

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Spring is here and I am ready to rock this season’s maxi dresses and skirts.

To the Maxi
Q. Spring is here and I am ready to rock this season’s maxi dresses and skirts. However I am a diminutive 5’2 and have a petite frame. How can I suitably wear these garments without looking like I have been swallowed by my clothes?

Ashley, Not Olsen, Arabi
I do love the look of the long skirt and dress. This revisited trend of 2008 and flower children of yesteryear is effortlessly elegant and chic regardless if you are waiting for a table at Port of Call or trying to secure a premier spot for cocktails and people watching at Oak. It is not a difficult style to adapt to your physique. An alteration in the straps, at the hem or both can quickly solve the oversized problem. Take into consideration that the platform espadrilles or cork wedges are the must-have shoes of the season and depending on your shoe fetish, these will predetermine the length of your frock. Keep the prints subdued with small patterns and avoid bright bold floral prints or wide stripes. The fabrics should remain light and breezy because come June and July this trend will cause heat exhaustion. Another benefit of the maxi is that it hides a host of “sins.” Depending on your loathed body part du jour (we all have issues, it can conceal thighs, calves and ankles. Also, if the garment is worn with a wide belt at your natural waist it will accentuate the smallest part of your frame. Furthermore, a skirt that skims your rear is quite provocative without “giving away the goods.”

Being that this is one of the hottest and most wearable trends around, I have scrupulously combed the tri-parish area and discovered a multitude of maxis in price points beginning at $22.80 to upwards of $440. Here are my 10 paramount places to shop this look that will either have customer service to the max or maxi dresses at a bargain price:

1) Azby’s

2) Sak’s Fifth Avenue

3) Swap Boutique

4) All About Me!

5) Lola Boutique

6) Hemline

7) S.N.A.P.

8) Forever 21

9) Anthropologie

10) Target

Mom Overboard!
Q. I am overwhelmed by magazine articles and makeover TV shows that tout “what’s in/what’s out” and “wear this, not that.” My typical day/typical week schedule of scurrying back and forth from work, carpooling and dealing with family responsibilities has caused me to lose all sense of style. I am stuck in a fashion time warp. What in the world am I supposed to be wearing this season? I do not have the time or patience to spend hours online shopping or moseying down Magazine Street or Metairie Road.

FYI … I hear the ’80s and ’90s are back. If you take a glimpse at my current wardrobe it does not appear they ever left!

Fran, Frumpy Mummy, Mandeville
I hear you, I feel you and if it was not in my job description to keep account of the fickle fashion world than I would be you! There are days I feel like I am drowning in a sea of text messages, emails, homework and bills, all accompanied by a “to do list” that just gets longer. Keeping your babies from ending up on a reality TV show is hard work.

It is not shocking for moms to lose their sense of self due to the hustle and bustle of life/kids/work. Moms are so preoccupied with getting their “momma job” done and meeting career demands it’s only natural that their sense of style can be the first to go. Here are my foolproof, busy mom “Quick Picks” for Spring 2011:

1. An oversized, bold tangerine orange, tomato red or citron yellow leather handbag will keep your days cheery

2. Khaki cargo shorts (just the thing for soccer and T-ball practice) paired with …

3. Blousy billowy tops in tribal prints or tropical hues like coral, turquoise blue and sea green

4. A breezy maxi skirt or dress is perfect for a birthday party or an elegant evening out with an over/underpaid baby sitter

5. Wedges with an espadrille or cork bottom that are built for both form and function

6. Oversized cat-eye framed sunglasses that will mask a headache and puffy eyes from too much “Mommy Juice”

7. Wide-leg men’s-style trousers that look fantastic with a cheap T-shirts and layered necklaces

8. Loafers and lace-ups are an ideal alternative to the omnipresent running shoe and will correspond with item #2

9. A lipstick or gloss in a collectively becoming honeysuckle shade to pucker up that Monday morning sour puss

10. A white linen or cotton tailored blazer reminiscent of Miami Vice thrown on with any of the above items will polish off every outfit. Trés chic!

Happy Mother’s Day! Kudos to all you Mothers!