I'm a woman of a "certain age" who has had a lot of medical problems. The last one was open-heart surgery, and it left me with a scar down the center of my chest.
I am skinny, bony and look frail. I do have an interest in fashion, and I try to look my best, no matter how bad I feel. Next month my friends are planning to take me to lunch in the town's best restaurant to celebrate my recovery.
I want a good-looking suit or dress to wear. What do you suggest?
A well-shaped jacket is the best way to hide figure faults. Even if it is costly, it's worth the price.
New York designer Oscar de la Renta suggests wearing a one-button fly top combined with a longer skirt.
"While no woman should ever feel self-conscious, a clever way to avert the eye and detract attention is to create an illusion," he tells me.
"A one-button fly top would do the job perfectly. It will help focus the eye where you want it, and worn in a warm neutral color it is sure to offer lots of flexibility."
My face is round as the moon. To disguise it I've always worn my hair long. Then last week I fell in love with a short haircut on a model in a magazine.
The result is I now have a cropped head of curls that makes me look like a chubby little girl. Please tell how I should apply makeup to make my face seem longer.
It will be months before my hair grows back.
For advice I turned to Borja of Borja Color Studio in Manhattan, which specializes in both hair and makeup.
Her advice is to build up the height of your hair. "Use a blow dryer and a round brush at the top of the head. This will make your hair look fuller and higher," she said.
"Then have your stylist thin your hair on the sides -- without cutting off any more length. This will take away the fullness at the sides and make your face seem longer.
"Another tip is to pull a few wisps onto the forehead and the sides to cut down on the roundness of the cheeks."
As for makeup, Borja's makeup artist Robin Narvaez suggests contouring:
"Brush a soft color from the top of the cheek along the side of the face. Then apply the same color along the cheekbone, stopping at the center.
"Then with a large powder brush apply a light-shading brown directly under the cheekbone into the jaw area. Both applications should be done with a light touch."
The contouring in two colors should give the illusion of high cheekbones and make your face seem thinner.
Send questions to Elsa Klensch, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, 218 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90012.
Pub Date: 11/27/97