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New suit lines accentuate the positive


Q: I've been making an effort to improve the way I look. All the books I've read tell me to highlight my positive features and downplay my negatives.

The problem I'm having is that my best and worst features are right next to each other. I'm short-waisted but have a totally flat stomach. I want to play up my flat tummy and at the same time draw attention away from my short waist.

A: The answer is to wear one of the season's new suits. They come with a short jacket and leanly cut pants and skirts.

German designer Jil Sander says the proportion is not only new, but feminine and flattering. "Man tailoring is being replaced by soft shaping in extremely supple and beautiful fabrics," she says. "A suit in one color, whether it is with pants or a skirt, is one of the most luxurious outfits of the season."

Ms. Sander makes a good point about color. A one-color outfit will disguise your short waist and make you seem taller.

Q: My wife and I met in Paris just after World War II when I was an Army medic and she was a nurse, so naturally the city occupies a warm spot in our hearts.

This fall we are finally getting back to Paris for a second honeymoon. We also plan to travel south to Provence and the Riviera. Our problem is we don't know what clothes to take. We will be touring in late September and would appreciate your suggestions. Although we're in our 60s, we still feel young at heart.

A: I asked New York designer Carolina Herrera for advice. She's a constant traveler and is often in Europe. She suggests you consider comfort first.

"Since you haven't been in Paris for nearly 50 years, there will be a lot of sights to see. That means a lot of walking, so you'll want comfortable shoes and clothes.

"You'll need smart jackets or sweaters as Paris can be cool. Well-cut trousers are more appropriate than jeans, and an absolute must is a well-cut raincoat."

For the Riviera, Ms. Herrera suggests a blazer and a dinner jacket for you and for your wife "a couple of short silk dinner dresses.

"Provence will be more countrified so it will be crucial to have sturdy, but good-looking walking shoes. Dressing for dinner will be more casual."

But she says the most important advice of all is to "travel light."

"Paris is the shopping capital of the world. The best thing to do is look around, see what people are wearing and buy what you like.

Q: I have a problem that causes me acute embarrassment -- my nose. It turns red. It happens in fall when I go out into the cold from a warm room. And lately it is happening also in summer when I leave the hot streets and go into air conditioning.

The doctors I've consulted tell me not to worry. But at times I find people looking at my nose in amazement, and I quickly explain that I am extremely sensitive to changes in temperature.

Is there some type of make-up that I can use to hide the redness? I don't want to have heavy make-up all over my face.

A: Make-up artist Bobbi Brown tells me that you are not alone with your problem, and the good news is that there is something you can do to disguise the condition.

"The easiest way to cover the red is to find a foundation that has yellow undertones. Yellow will minimize red.

"To find the right color, put the yellow-toned foundation on the side of your face. If it disappears, it's the right color. Apply it to your nose and you'll find your nose is the same color as the rest of your face."

Ms. Brown then suggests applying a yellow powder to the nose with a puff.

"The key is blending everything with your skin tone. Then you won't need to apply make-up to the rest of your face."

Ms. Brown has one more suggestion for really red days: "Use a waxy cover stick with yellow undertones and keep a pressed-powder compact in your purse for touch-ups."

Elsa Klensch is style editor for Cable News Network.

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