May 30, 2012 11:35 AM
Halie writes, "I really really need some expert help here. I've had a rough start to the year - broke up with my boyfriend, job stresses, major illness that has caused me to put on weight - and I've really been feeling down on myself going into the summer. In a bit of fabulous timing, my two closest cousins (you know, those girls you grew up comparing yourself to nonstop?) announced their engagements and both will marry this July, so I need a dress. It's different sides of the family, so just the one great dress will do. I'm looking for something that says "life is going great, I'm totally enjoying being surrounded by several hundred people and pressured to dance when I don't have a date." But in an effortless way. I'd like something that isn't too formal, appropriate for a Texas summer, and that I can move around and dance in. I'm very busty, 5'2" and usually wear a size 16-18. I like dresses that are fitted enough show some curve but aren't so tight or so thin that they show every lump and bump. Since I've got boobs, I need to be able to wear a real bra, so no strapless, halters or spaghetti straps, and because I'm so short anything below the knee doesn't work. My coloring is pretty neutral, but bright or deep colors, not pastels, work best on me.
I'd really love to be able to show up to both weddings feeling like I look great so that I can concentrate on feeling happy for the brides (who I really do love to pieces) instead of letting my self-consciousness get in the way. I know, I know...being an instant depression fighting, self-esteem booster is a tall order for a dress. So if you have some great accessories to go with it, that might help."
Hey, Halie! Man, it does sound like you've been on a bumpy road over the last few months! Hopefully I've given you a few options that say, "What? This? Why, I've been so busy living life and looking hot that I barely remember what I put on today!" I love the idea of wearing yellow heels or accessories with any of these dresses. It'll help brighten them up and hopefully keep you feeling cheerful as you dance the nights away!
1. Jessica Landon Linen Dress with Sash ($30)
2. Beguiling Beauty Dress ($52, on sale)
3. eloquii Signature Printed Tank Dress ($80)
4. Lauren by Ralph Lauren Shirred Dress ($94, on sale)
5. Land's End Sleeveless Cotton Modal Pattern V-neck Ruffled Dress ($80)
6. Iconic Lucite Jasmine Flower Post Earrings ($25)
7. Statement of the Art Necklace in Sun ($50)
8. Charlotte Russe Sueded Ankle-Wrap Pump ($36)
9. C Label Women's Vex Platform Pump ($36)
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Layla here: At a strapping 5'2", I've got plenty of tricks up my sleeve for fellow petite girls who need to look fashion fabulous. Plus, I make all of my beauty purchases online just so I can get free trial size samples in the mail. If you're not sure about a product, chances are I've tried it! I'd be glad to recommend my favs. I also have a knack for men's apparel and gifts, especially geek guy gifts, thanks to the expertise of my own gadget-inclined guy.