Ask Fashion Sensei


Do you have a burning fashion question that you need answered?  Well here’s your chance.

Leave a comment below and Fashion Sensei, Tanya Zager Chisholm will answer your request. 

Even better, your question may be featured in an upcoming “Fashion Lesson”.

I can’t wait to hear from you!


P.S.- If you require personal attention and reside in the Metro Detroit Area, click on my Services tab to learn more about Fashion Sensei’s Personal Shopping services.


24 responses to “Ask Fashion Sensei

  1. Daniela

    I am short(5 ft), but I also have a large bust. Many of the recommendations for the petite shape are for people with a smaller busts. Any suggestions for the curvier petites among us?

  2. Hi Daniela,
    Thanks so much for the visit and the question.

    I would recommend V-shape, U-shape and scoop necks for a large bust. You can also wear shorter necklaces or a bold earring (make sure it’s not too big for your face) that draws attention to your face rather than your bustline.

    I also like shirts with a print to them to draw the eye to the print rather than the bust. A jacket that fits well with a single or double button that hits just below your chest is another recomendation. It will pull you in at the smallest protion of your torso and helps to elongate your legs as well.

    For more information on dressing a full bust, check out Fashion Lessons #3:
    and #5:

    Thanks again for your question and I hope you visit again!

  3. Hi,

    I am contacting you from Bismarck Phillips Communication Media, a public relations firm in NYC. We are currently updating our Pitch/Blog contacts. Are you the best person to contact for pitches, and if not could you please provide me with the email/name/number of the person who is.

    Thank you,

  4. Gigi

    Hi there,
    I stumbled into the fashion industry three years ago and found that I have a natural eye for what looks good and what doesn’t. I’m working in a department store and have a few connections now here and there, so I’m looking to start my own business. Before I do I want to learn everything I can about fashion do’s and don’ts. My main focus would be body types. I tend to work with ladies over thirty. I run into a lot of apple shapes. Are there any books you could suggest for me to read to really learn all there is I need to know? Or some advice in general on where to start with my research?



  5. Hi Gigi, thanks for the visit and your question. I just sent you an e-mail in follow up to your inquiry.

    I hope to see you back!

  6. Valentina

    I am 6’1″ – but not proportionate. I’m a size four at the bust and eight everywhere else, my legs are very long but my torso is proportionately smaller, my arms are long and gangly (making it hard to find shirts) and to top it off my lack of curves leaves my hips with these unflattering bumps that look like love handles but are really just a result of absolutely no shape in my hip region. The main problem is that my body line is completely straight (36-34-36). I’m trying to look for a prom dress flattering to my figure but all the information leads me to believe that form fitting dresses look good on tall women. This is not the case for me as I’m very bony and shapeless. Finding clothes that fit are hard enough without trying to find FLATTERING clothes that fit. Help me please?

  7. Lala

    Hi, there. I have a problem dressing myself up. I am 5’3″, thin (head to toe) and I have a long neck. I’d rather hide myself than try on anything else since nothing seems to look good on me. I’ve been trying to gain weight so I can wear clothes that I’ve been dreaming of wearing but I gave up on it. It might take ages before that could actually happen. Can you help me?

  8. Hi~
    I’m 30ish and have the hankering to wear a mini blue jean skirt. First, are they hot right now or so, so?? A friend of mine mentioned that she was going to pair a jean skirt of hers with leggings. I think we’re too old to do that trick. What do you think??? IF I can rock a jean skirt, any tips/ideas on how to make it fabulous? Thanks 🙂

  9. Hi Candy, thanks for the visit! When it comes to miniskirts over 30, I wouldn’t wear them any shorter than two inches above your knee.

    This question would make a terrific Fashion Lesson; many women can identify with this issue. I think a lot of women over 30 struggle to look youthful and are concerned that they will end up looking like their teenage daughter.

    Until I get the post up, I would advise your friend not to wear leggings with her jeanskirt. The only people I see wearing that look these days are young kids.

    I love your question and I will send you an e-mail when I post it.


  10. Claudine


    I need some help, please! My cousin’s bridal shower and bachelorette party are this weekend. We’re suppose to go out in NYC and I think most of the girls are wearing jeans. I am mid 30’s and my body type leans toward hourglass but my waist isn’t very small. I’m pretty proportionate and have the curves. I’m not in the best of shape and wear size 12-14 jeans. Are wide bottomed jeans ok for me (I just picked up some nice Calvin Kleins on sale!)? Can I wear them with a balck sandal (approx 2″ high)? What kind of top should I wear? I think I look less frumpy in fitted tops. Is this appropiate for me?

    Thank you so much!

    Claudine (Annapolis, MD)

  11. Hi Claudine, thanks so much for your visit and the question. It looks like NYC is going to have the same sort of weather Chicago is going to have this weekend–cool, with a chance of rain. So I would recommend wearing a jacket with either a tie waist or that gives your curves definition, to keep warm.

    As for the pants, what you described sounds good. You want to make sure that the drap of the leg is equal to the widest portion of your leg (your thigh). This will create a straight line and flatter your figure. Next, the shoes–two inch heels are good, but three inches are better. Why? It will make your legs look longer and you feel sexier wearing them–unless of course you can’t walk in them–and that’s not sexy at all.

    The shirt, I agree with you that you need to wear something that shows of your curves. Bold color, floral prints or prints in general are very popular this season. If you are wearing solid colors, add some accessories with a pop of color like pink, yellow or purple. You could also throw on a scarf to draw attention up to your face. What ever you do, don’t go too matchy. That means, if you are wearing pink earrings, don’t wear a pink necklace, pink bag and pink shoes. It’s too much. You can just pick two pink items like pink earrings and clutch instead.

    I’m throwing a lot at’cha, so I hope this all makes sense. Let me know how it goes and what you decided on, and HAVE A GREAT TIME!

    Come back and see me again soon! 🙂


  12. renae

    yes well i have prom in about 20 daays n i have 2 be the fierces one there n i was wondering if this dress would look right on me ? it’s on the cover of the ebony magazine. u could find the picture simply by going on google and typing in ebony 51st annual fashion week. it’s gold and white. also how do u think i should make the front of it. can u please get back 2 me…. my email is thanxxzzz.

  13. Renae, thanks for your visit and your question. I saw the picture you were referring to and it is stunning. I would recommend a bodice that doesn’t reveal too much. If you are going to go backless, you want to keep the front of the dress simple, especially if it is sequins. I would also recommend not going too low in the back for prom, it might look a little too revealing. No butt cleavage. 🙂

    Have fun and send me a picture. 🙂

  14. sarah

    Hello, I feel I have an extreme pear-shaped body and would love advice on what I can/cannot wear. I’m tall: 5″9, about 160 lbs, and generally have a slim build (based on the fact that people comment that I am “not fat”). Here are my measurements from the ground up: ankle is 9″, calf is 15″, knees are 15.5″, thighs are 24″, hips are 42″, around the belly button is 33″, waist is 29″, bust is 34″. So basically I have teeny tiny boobs, pretty small waist, and massive hips. I have never seen anyone with a body shape like mine and on my worst days I hate it to death, and on my best days I can enjoy that at least my top half looks decent. Any help would be greatly appreciated, and I have pics if needed.

  15. murad

    hi fashion sensei, i am an egyptian male, which means my hair is pretty curly and my skin is pretty dark.

    i can’t find a way to make my hair look fashionable and good.

    i am pretty depressed about my hair so i always cut it real short(close to bald) but that looks real bad too.

    i want to keep it long or medium and also make it look cool.

    please help me!


  16. Murad, I wish I could help you more, but I am not a hair expert. You may want to consult with a hair dresser that specializes in curly hair. Sorry I couldn’t help you more, but thanks for the visit!

  17. Nancy

    How do I determine the proper length to hem my slacks? Does the width of the pant or type of material (thick material like wool vs. thin material like a cotton blend) make a difference on where the hem line should be? I would like to be able to wear the same pants with varying heels, between one to two inches. Thanks!

  18. Ryan

    Hi Fashion Sensei,
    I am 5″4, have an hourglass shape with big thighs. I have a small waist but huge hips. Everything I wear seems to make my hips/butt bigger. What do you suggest for a 25 year old creative professional? I always feel like my clothes make me seem shorter and chunky, but I’m not over weight. I just want to look stylish and comfortable. HELP!

    Thank you!!!

  19. N

    I have a question about carrot pants. I’m plus sized, hourglass shape, and bought a pair of black carrot pants the other day on a whim. I know they’re supposed to be a no-no for plus sized women, but I have NO problems showcasing my butt/hips because they’re shapely, not bulgy and they happen to look cute when worn with heels. I need to know how to work them into a work outfit. I’m also busty, with a defined waist. Any ideas?

  20. Chrystal

    I have googled and googled and cannot find an answer to my dilemma, so I thought surely you may have some advice for me. Throughout my twenties, I lived in high heels – a good thing it seemed as I am only 5’4″. When I turned thirty, I decided to return to college to get my bachelor’s degree. With all the schlepping around campus, my beloved heels remained confined to their shoeboxes and for four years now, I have existed solely (nyuk) in flip-flops and runners. Now I’m 34 and about to finally get that degree. I’m excited to ditch the super-casual student garb and get back to being a lady again. My problem is this: My feet now reject my heels. I accept that I am simply not comfortable wearing the sky-high’s anymore, a max of 2 1/2-3/4″ is just fine by me. The problem is even lower heels wear bloody blisters into my toes, the balls of my feet, and if there’s a back strap, into my heels as well. I weep for pretty shoes, but I just can’t tolerate the pain. Any suggestions? I get depressed just looking at sensible, matronly, (read, ugly) shoes.

  21. Hi Chrystal, first congratulations on your impending graduation. Secondly, kitten heels are really making a comeback this fall. You may want to stick with that style. Something that I have tried in the past is to use a little vaseline just on the toes that chafe. You can also try a pair of nylon Peds to cover your toes. For the heels, you can use heel liners to prevent blisters. You may want to go up a half size when you use them. In addition, there are foot petals for the ball of your foot. It’s a cushion that you put on the inside of your shoe. I also just noticed that Dr. Sholls has friction tape and stick for chaffing.

    Good Luck!

  22. Shirl

    How appropriate is it for a mature woman to not wear panty hose with dresses etc. to church or other events. I find myself wearing more pants as I get older rather than having to wear panty hose. I am a short but in shape woman who is 58. I almost feel silly in dresses altogether as I age .

  23. Laura

    Thank you!! Your information has finally helped me analyze and understand my body construction! How do I dress a body with a long rise where the extra length comes from the thigh rather than the torso? The dis-proportion is between the waist and the knees. I guess I would describe this body construction as “dropped crotch” rather than “short-waisted”. Fortunately, my calves are proportionately long so I look leggy rather than short-legged. Do I avoid pants all together? Overall I’m tall, slender, straight body type.

  24. Selena

    Hey Fashion Sensei!
    I’m 26 years old, a wife, mother and large dog owner. I’m apple shaped, with a large bust and big stomach. I’m 5’6″. 230 lbs
    Please suggest some clothes that would flatter my shape, slim me down but still be cool and functional. It feels like summer here and too many layers are unbearable.

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