does this outfit work?

February 2009

Claire Dunnington, a 25-year-old Columbia University graduate student, loves long skirts and comfy wrap sweaters—but the combination can be less than flattering. Here's how we tweaked her look to make it both cooler and more figure-friendly:

- Changed her calf-length skirt to a knee-length one

- Added a brown leather double-wrap belt

- Replaced her ballet flats with tall boots

- Swapped her white tights for black ones

"We needed to take her skirt up a few inches," says fashion news director Jen Ford. "The overall shape of the original one was great, but it made her look a little frumpy and, with the flats, much more bottom-heavy than she really is. Then we gave her a bit of edge with her accessories: knee-high boots and a slightly tough leather belt."

Claire's reaction: "I'd never thought of tucking the sweater into a skirt, but I think it's great with the doubled belt highlighting my waist. The high-heeled boots and dark tights make me look more stylish—and much taller, too."

The items we chose:

Skirt

Cotton, $39.99, Nine West

Leather, $73.50, brooksbrothers.com

Leather, $450, Modern Vintage, piperlime.com

Nylon-Lycra blend, $12.50, welovecolors.com

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