Answers to your pressing fashion and beauty questions from resident know-it-all Jean Godfrey-June.
Q: I have been seeing a lot of great coats, but which ones are warm enough to get me through winter's coldest days?
Q: The deliberately contrasting, deliberately visible bra used to be a fashion "mistake" but now seems to be mainstreaming. Can I wear this to work? How can I do it so I don't look like I got dressed in the dark? Is this just for hipsters?
Q: I always put on scented deodorant and perfume. I have never tried to match their scents and have no idea if they clash. I mean, I can't smell me! Is there a deodorant that doesn't fight the smell of my perfume?
Q: I love my freckles. But my blemishes obviously don't inspire the same affection. What foundation evens skin tone but doesn't cover my freckles?
Q: What's the best way to care for cashmere sweaters?
Q: I have gigantic feet! Brands like Loeffler Randall and Belle by Sigerson Morrison used to make size 11, but I find fewer and fewer options. Are there other cool brands in size 11? Something between a Steve Madden and a Jimmy Choo? The brands at websites that cater to Sasquatch-footed women tend to be a wee bit obscure. Help!
Q: I have been told a million different ways to put on my blush correctly. I’ve heard everything from making a fish face to smiling, and I’m not sure which looks the best. What do you suggest? A: Smile. The fattest part of your cheek is where the color goes.
Q: I have thick calves and have a hard time finding jeans that are flattering. Boot-cut jeans look good, but sometimes I really want to wear a straight or skinny leg. Can you recommend any brands? A: The trick is to find jeans with little or no stretch.
Q: If someone has spinach in her teeth, a piece of lint on her shirt or toilet paper on her shoe, am I supposed to say something? Sometimes I just let it go because I don’t want to make the person feel self-conscious. A: The true friend—or, better, the true kind person—always, always says something. By “says” I mean whispers conspiratorially.
Q: I have a pretty intense physical fitness routine (outdoor running, yoga, strength training, etc.), which means a lot of sweat, exposure to the sun and tugging on my hair to get it back into a secure ponytail. Any recommendations for keeping hair damage to a minimum? And preventing that flat-and-limp, sweated-on look? A: You kind of have to embrace the sweated-on flatness and limpness.
Q: I don’t like to wear thongs! So … what’s the very best non–panty line underwear? A: I took this one to fashion director Anne Keane. Anne is a person whom you don’t even really want to ask fashion questions of; you just want to wear precisely whatever it is she’s wearing.
Q: So, I just turned 25 and still have no wrinkles (phew!), but I want to do the best thing for my face to prevent aging. I already wear SPF every day, but I never know what kind of face creams to buy specifically for antiaging. Should I be wearing anti-wrinkle cream, or will wearing it too soon make my skin immune to it in the future? A: If you have no acne and no wrinkles, I say live it up and enjoy your moment of perfection!
Q: I really like the fact that Kate Middleton recycles her looks when she really doesn’t have to. How long can I wait before I can wear something again? Can I wear the same dress in the same week? How can I make it look different? A: This is a European thing that for some reason we Americans have a hard time fathoming, but we'd do well to change our ways.
Q: What is a fall/winter makeup or hair trend that is real-world enough to wear day after day for the next few months? A: The ponytail. You can't go wrong!
Q: I have these awesome brown suede Jil Sander desert boots. What on God's green earth do you wear with desert boots? Anything long makes me look like a polygamist, and anything short makes me look like a wannabe hipster. A: The desert boot holds a special, wear-it-with-anything place in my heart: I lived in Italy during a moment when its entire population was consumed with a craze for desert boots.