Ask the Fashionologist

Lisa Pierpont offers solutions for all of your latest style dilemmas.

Illustration by Lulu*

Illustration by Lulu*

Low-rise, high-rise, tailored… I just can’t keep track of the latest pant styles. What am I supposed to be looking for? P.I., Chelsea

I can’t tell you how many women like your fine self unravel over the pants dilemma. Every season, the fashion industry turns out a new trouser trend: capris, cargos, even drop-crotch numbers. But here’s a little secret: No one will ever remember that you wore of-the-moment harem pants; they’ll only remember that you looked good. Or bad. In other words, try to find a style that best flatters your figure. I find that tailored pants with a slight flare in a first-rate fabric rock on almost every body type. Low-risers generally work on small hips, while high-risers feign a slim waist. Smart designers offer them all; check out 3.1 Phillip Lim, Theory, and Alexander Wang for a full roster of pleated, peg-leg, drawstring, wide-leg, and cuffed options.

I hear three-quarter- and full-length skirts are back, but I’m used to knee-length (or shorter) hemlines. How can I make the switch without looking like a prairie woman? — T.R., Needham

Three-quarter-length and maxi skirts are a completely different look altogether, and they’re by no means limited to tumbleweed-tousled country chicks. A long, fitted skirt can be as chic as it gets. Vince’s caramel-suede wrap maxi topped with a bronze sequin tank from the same line is a smashing after-hours dream, while Acne’s red pencil skirt with an exposed back zipper reads urban sophisticate when paired with a crisp white blouse. Diane von Furstenberg’s fuchsia bias-cut style worn with an off-the-shoulder top overflows with femininity. And then there’s Calypso St. Barth’s boho parachute skirt in lilac or navy — the perfect piece for a casual summer evening. Prairie woman? Try skirt pioneer.