For a tall woman, a shearling vest might be more appropriate than a jacket

ELSA KLENSCH'S STYLE

September 15, 1994|By Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: I have always wanted to own a shearling jacket. But whenever I tried them on they were too bulky and masculine. I'm 5-feet-8 and have sloping shoulders. Can you suggest a style?

A: The answer for you may be a vest rather than a jacket. Rifat Ozbek, the brilliant young Turkish-born designer who works in London, says a well-cut vest is easy to wear and extremely versatile.

"It is not bulky but still keeps your body warm. It goes under a coat for very cold days, or over a long-sleeved sweater when there is just a chill in the air. I cut mine long, with a high-waisted line, and give it buttons to the neck."

Q: I'm tall with great, long legs that I want to show off in short skirts.

My problem is my feet. They're Size 10, and wearing flats makes them look like boats. Heels are not an option -- my new boyfriend is just my height and he doesn't like me to tower over him.

What shoes should I choose to minimize the size of my feet?

A: What a pity to have to give up heels just when they are NTC sweeping back into fashion. There are so many great styles available.

Designer Fiamma Ferragamo has some advice. She is the daughter of Salvatore Ferragamo, who started the family shoe company in Italy some 50 years ago.

"Simple" is the first word, Ms. Ferragamo said. "Look for simple shoes, possibly opened up. For closed shoes, choose pumps with low throats that flatter the arch of the foot. A trim, such as a bow, will break the line of the shoe and make it look shorter.

"As for color, always choose neutrals. Dark for the cold weather and taupe or beige for hot."

Q: I am 32, single and going to a homecoming reunion of my college class in November. Many of my former classmates are now married with children. They think I lead a very glamorous life. I don't want to disappoint them, so I've splurged on a very chic silver dress. Now I need advice on what makeup to wear. I have medium brown hair. Remember, I need to look like a million dollars.

A: I took your question to makeup artist Rex Hilverdink, whose second book, "Forever Beautiful," has just been published. Although he lives in New York, I first met him working with models at the shows in Paris.

Here's his advice.

"Since your dress is shiny, be sure your face is not. Matte is the way to go. Play up your eyes in neutral shadows, leaving the iridescence to your flashy dress. If you have dark skin, line your eyes in black. If you have light skin, line them in charcoal gray. Keep your eyebrows well defined and use lots of mascara.

"Add color with vibrant red lips and lots of blush."

Q: I would like to give my goddaughter a present for her 21st birthday. She has very definite ideas and it's often hard to please her. She is studying architecture, and her taste runs to the modern. The only jewelry she wears is rings. I would like to give her one, but I'd like it to have a lasting quality as well as being modern.

Any suggestions?

A: I went to Cartier, the Paris-based company that has been doing timeless jewelry for decades, where Brian Lange suggested a rolling ring.

"Ours has three interlocking rings of 18-carat yellow, pink and white gold. The classic rolling ring design looks as modern today as it did when introduced in 1924."

He added that the ring's symbolism is also tried and true:

"The white gold ring represents friendship, the pink gold ring, love, and the yellow gold ring, fidelity."

Q: I fell in love with a halter-neck jumpsuit that was on sale at a designer boutique. When I got home, I discovered that it made my already broad shoulders look broader. What's best for someone with my figure?

A: I first passed on your question to designer Donna Karan. She feels you ought to be counting your blessings:

"If there's one thing about my own body I would change it would be to have a set of shoulders. A good set of shoulders makes your hips and waist look smaller. Wear any kind of neckline -- show off more shoulders and enjoy!"

Richard Tyler of Anne Klein takes a different approach:

"Tank tops or even slip dresses with narrow straps will help break the line of your shoulders. But probably the most effective top would have small cap sleeves that just cover your shoulders. Find one with a flattering round neckline and you have a classic that will make you happy for years."

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