Monthly Archives: December 2010

Reader Question: Which puffy coats won’t make me look dumpy?

This same question comes up every time winter rolls around. And rightly so. Puffy coats, while very warm, tend to make the wearer look like a Michelin tire.

Here’s what to look for when shopping for a figure-flattering puffer. One of the below elements will instantly make a puffy coat more attractive. If you can find a coat with two or three, well, even better.

1. BELT!

Belt = cinched waist = smaller-looking figure. Lots of puffers are now designed with belts, so you have a ton to choose from. Belting detail is especially good if you prefer a longer length.

2. Seaming detail.

Seams trick the eye into seeing wonderful things. For example, vertical seaming on puffy coats creates the illusion of a longer, leaner figure. Fine quilting achieves a similar effect.

3. A cool collar.

An interesting collar draws attention upward to an aspect of the coat you actually want to show off. Choose either a pillow collar or something trimmed in fur.

Closet Clean: How to do it right so it will stay that way

Style Ace: Michelle Obama, 46

It’s common knowledge that Michelle Obama is considered a fashion plate, and for good reason. She knows how to dress sharply for her age and [not size 2] body while skillfully steering clear of both dowdy and too trendy.

Her key pieces: belts, flats, knee-length skirts, and big, fantastic pieces of jewelry. Check out for regular updates on her wardrobe.

Below is one of my all-time favorite ensembles. Here’s why it works:

– all black is a sure bet for evening – it’s modern, elegant, and tasteful

-the bold necklace instantly dresses up the look. It’s also an item that will always fit, no matter your size

-the loose bottom half is not constricting, which is great for women with curvy bottom areas. Plus it’s incredibly comfortable to wear

-the top is more fitted, which offers a perfect yin to the yang of the flowing pants

Tip of the Day

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