Useful Fashion Solutions

If you’ve ever stood in front of your closet and thought, If only I had . . . , read on. Whether you need a bra that banishes back fat, jeans that shrink your middle or shoes that put the chic in rain gear, these 18 smart solutions will save the day

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Problem: You want an evening bag but you don’t want to look like a Granny

Solution: Something with vintage-looking cool.

Gone are the days of carrying a prim, sparkly evening bag.  It’ll date you faster than those crows feet. A better idea: A Deco-inspired pouch that will put the cool factor in your cocktail wear and also look super chic with jeans and heels on a less formal (more margarita) Saturday night. ZAC Zac Posen Clutch, $350; bloomingdales.com.

Bloomingdales.com

Problem: You need a carry-on bag that looks stylish and travels well

Solution: A classic tote, made by outdoor experts.

It’s hard to look chic while traveling, and harder still to find just the right bag to carry everything you want to have with you (including all the snacks that the airline no longer provides). This tote is a favorite of the fashion set, and for good reason: Basic black goes with all, the nylon construction is amazingly durable and it can be washed with ease by tossing it in the washer at the end of your trip.  Spend a few extra dollars and get it monogrammed, and then off you go! L.L.Bean Hunter's Tote Bag, $29; llbean.com.

LL Bean

Problem: You want an extra layer to ward off a chill, but you don’t want bulk

Solution: A light-weight vest for all seasons

It’s hard to get your body temperature just right. The air conditioner in the summer months makes movie going a near arctic experience, and winter’s chill cuts you to the bone. It’s anyone’s guess as to what fall will bring, weather-wise, and Spring is a reliable mix of messy precipitation.  Use this light-weight vest under (coats) or over (shirts and sweaters), depending on your needs. Barbour Cavalry Quilted Vest, $179; nordstrom.com.

Nordstrom

Problem: You itch to try the camo trend, but want to be age appropriate

Solution: A coat with the right color and styling

The camouflage style is all the rage—whether done in an actual print or in solid army green—and it’s a fun way to liven up your weekend look. It is, alas, a look that may not last long, so best advice isn’t to spend big.  We love that this coat has leather-like sleeves to break up the canvas of solid green, and we appreciate the three quarter length that covers just enough. Zara Combination Parka with Faux Leather Sleeves, $179; zara.com.

Zara

Problem: You need to look ­presentable when it’s pouring outside

Solution: Water-friendly flats or pumps

Much as we like a rain boot, big ole Wellies are not the perfect match for all of life’s occasions. Meet the grownup version of a jelly: dressy enough to pair with skirts and suits, comfortable enough to wear all day. Featuring flexible insoles and made of indestructible PVC plastic, both come in a slew of styles and colors. Take that, April showers (puddle jumping is optional).  Salvatore Ferragamo waterproof jelly flats, $165; 866-337-7242. Furla PVC Aurora pumps, $178; furla.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: The supreme annoyance of trying to find your headphones (or just untangling the mess)

Solution: Headphones built into your hoodie

Look closely: The earbuds are attached to the hood tie with an interior cord that runs into the front pocket, ready to be plugged into any mobile device. The entire thing is machine washable—buds and all—and the toppers come in a variety of styles and colors, in sizes up to XL. Hoodie Buddie cotton and Spandex hoodie, $52; hoodiebuddie.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: Your workout gear offers little support and gets sweat soaked

Solution: Pants that aid exercise

These leggings are as functional as they are fabulous looking. Built-in panels of re­inforced material provide extra stability for the weakest parts of a woman’s body: lower back, tummy and knee joints. The Coolmax fabric wicks away moisture and provides UVA and UVB sun protection. The only thing these leggings won’t do for you is squats. CW-X Revolution nylon and spandex tights, $200; zappos.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: Going barefoot for yoga can be skeevy

Solution: An exercise flat

Sweaty, slippery feet are the bane of any yoga or Pilates enthusiast. And then there’s the ick factor of unprotected soles at the gym. This comfortable, machine-washable flat will keep your feet planted for the most demanding class, and when it’s over, you slip on a ballet-style overshoe (not shown) that’s the other half of the set and walk to lunch. Nike studio wraps, $110; nike.com.

Courtesy of Nike

Problem: Back fat, amplified by your bra

Solution: Back-smoothing bra

If you, like us, have shopped in vain for a bra that offers ample support without also accentuating back fat, look no further. Our editors tried this one with every top imaginable—from sheer T-shirts to ribbed knits—and the results were stunning: a smooth, lump- and bump-free back. Vanity Fair nylon and spandex bra , $34; kohls.com and jcpenney.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: Finding on-trend jeans that fit and flatter a real body

Solution: Stylish denim with hidden slimming

Want to look a size smaller? Try these jeans: Their patented lift-tuck technology consists of inside panels that flatten your front and lift your rear. Offering all the current styles, colors and patterns, this brand has something for everyone. NYDJ cotton and spandex jeans, $104; nydj.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: Identity theft

Solution: A tote with a protective shield

Using radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs), tech-savvy crooks are stealing everything from credit card numbers to passwords through the fabric of your bag. Incredible, right? Don’t just stand there amazed—protect yourself with a tote that has a large interior pocket woven with metal threads that block the frequency. Tumi Ticon nylon tote with leather detailing, $395; tumi.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: You can’t find stylish readers without shopping till you drop

Solution: Try on glasses virtually

If the reading glasses racked at your local drugstore fail to thrill, here’s an easy way to upgrade. This site features loads of chic styles that you can try on—­virtually—by uploading a photo of yourself. The directions are easy to follow, and your purchase arrives in a snazzy storage box. Flutter Eyewear hand-polished acetate glasses, $85 each; ­fluttereyewear.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: Your aching feet

Solution: Footwear with extra cushioning

Introducing superchic shoes that are truly constructed for comfort. The gladiator-style flat has flaxseed memory pillows that both coddle your foot and conform to its shape. The Isaac Mizrahi–designed heel features a footbed with eight layers of shock-absorbing foam. Gentle Soulsleather and deerskin sandals, $185; gentlesouls.com. Isaac Mizrahiraffia and Lucite pumps, $130; macys.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: Need a belt? Yes. Want buckle bulge? No

Solution: A flat, imperceptible cincher

If you’re pairing your jeans with anything formfitting that’s worn untucked (and you should—it’s stylish), you’re probably frustrated by the lump that’s created by the bulky belt buckle or pants button underneath. This  plastic band is the answer: It makes flattening your waistband a covert operation. Invisibelt flexible plastic belt, $22; invisibelt.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: Where’s the pretty plus-size lingerie?

Solution: Sexy and supportive, together at last

Fed up with thick, colorless underpinnings that are all foundation and no fun? This new line of curve-worshipping bras, panties and corsets comes in a delicious array of fabrics and colors, from pale pinks to tropical brights, up to size 44H. Curvy Couture nylon blend bra, $68, and panty, $24; curvycouture.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: You’re foggy and unfocused, possibly jet lagged

Solution: An inner-peace timepiece

Every woman’s dream: a wristwatch that decreases stress. This one has an interior disc designed to emit a natural nerve-calming frequency, which the company says “may promote relaxation and well-being.” Worth a try, eh? Plus, it’s a real beauty. Philip Stein active 36-mm rose gold–plated case, black dial, integrated silicone black strap, $475; vpnyc.com.  

Jens Mortensen

Problem: You need to lug your big, honking rain boots

Solution: New, collapsible version

We love our original Hunter boots, but stashing them in a tote or packing them in a suitcase is more or less impossible. Voilà! Same great boot, now in a lightweight, malleable construction. Our minds have been officially read. Hunter collapsible and tall rubber boots, $135 each; usa.hunter-boot.com.

Jens Mortensen

Problem: You’d like to carry, and get to, your iPad without looking nerdy

Solution: A good-looking bag with a zip-flap screen reveal

Carting around an iPad in a way that (a) keeps it safe and (b) allows for easy access shouldn’t be so hard. And yet. This structured hybrid (something between a purse and a briefcase) is a no-brainer when you want to bang out a status update without putting down your Venti latte. Vince Camuto Alba tech bag in caviar, $298; vincecamuto.com.

 

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Jens Mortensen

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