By Jean Patteson
The Orlando Sentinel
Q: I need a new swimsuit. I’m in good shape, apart from a slight tummy roll. I think my bikini days are behind me and I’ve reached the age of the plain black one-piece. My husband disagrees. He thinks I look hot in a bikini. Should I listen to him?
Answer: Hey, if hubby thinks you look hot in a bikini, definitely consider his opinion. But also take a long, hard look at your bikini-clad self in a three-way mirror. If you like what you see, go for the bikini. If not, consider the options – which are certainly not limited to a plain black one-piece.
I suggest you head first for the mix-and-match section of the swimwear store. Mix a really teeny bikini top with a bottom that offers more coverage. The contrast between a tiny top and fuller bottom is interesting. It also puts the coverage where you need it, drawing attention up and away from your tummy. To enhance the effect, choose a dark, solid-color bottom and a bright, printed or embellished top.
Other fun options include a tankini or monokini.
And there’s the plain black one-piece. It’s classic, and slimming, and with sexy styling, can look sensational. But if “hot” is what you’re after, do check out other colors and dramatic prints. Or how about a plunge-neck or one-shoulder maillot?
Bottom line: Choose the swimsuit you like best.

Q: I have bought a bunch of these new halter-style maxi dresses. But what do I wear with them when I need a bit of coverage, like in a restaurant with chilly air-conditioning?
Answer: For a casual look, try a cropped denim jacket. For something dressier, take a leaf out of our first lady’s fashion playbook and slip into a lightweight cardigan sweater. But not a regular, long-sleeved, hip-length style. Too frumpy. Go with short or  3/4 sleeves, either cropped short or extra-long.

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