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20-40-60 Etiquette---Back to school in a belly shirt? No!

QUESTION : I am a high school senior girl in Oklahoma City. I try to look my best every day. Do you have any ideas on what I can do for self- improvement? Should I always try to wear the new styles I see in magazines or in the newspaper? Should I continue to try new makeup? Do you have any ideas about where I should should shop?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: Wash your face! Think about clothes that fit your body. I hate belly shirts; please don’t wear or buy those. Just be yourself and do what make makes you happy.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: Good for you for making the effort and understanding that first impressions matter, especially as you are moving closer to adulthood.

While you want to keep your wardrobe mostly current instead of outdated, you don’t have to follow all the trends all the time. First, that can get really expensive; secondly, some of the trends that you see in magazines and on fashion runways are entertaining and creative but look ridiculous on you in real life. And lastly, trying to stay on top of all the latest trends takes up a lot of time, which, for me, has been more difficult as my work and my kids get busier.

For clothes, try them on and figure out the styles that look good on you. A friend or family member with a good sense of style that you like can help you decide if you’re unsure. To stay current, keep your look classic but then buy a new piece or two each season or each month, as you can afford it, to accent the basics. The magazines, especially ones that include lots of "how to get the look" kinds of advice, can help give you an idea of what those pieces are. So can the stores where you shop.

As for makeup, I find that the people who work at makeup counters, whether in department stores or small boutiques, are always helpful in teaching you the best kinds of makeup for your face. Let them apply some of their latest colors in a makeover -- usually that part is free for customers -- and then buy the colors that work for you.

And finally, for self-improvement, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and drink lots of water. You’ll feel better about yourself and stronger and more self-confident, and that confidence will complement anything you’re wearing any day. I feel much better when I’m doing all three of those, even though that takes the most amount of time and commitment.

HELEN’S ANSWER: It is a great idea to try the new styles you see. The looks may or may not work for you, but the trend in high school seems to be going back to a pulled-together look, and it is great for teenagers to strive to look their best. People are noticing how you and your friends look, and a potential employer might see you and remember you when he/she is hiring.

You have many shopping options in Oklahoma City. The stores and shopping malls have all the latest styles, and it makes sense to try the clothing on to see if it fits. As to makeup, there is always something new and different. Try samples to see if the look works for you. Have fun!

GUEST’S ANSWER: Linda Miller, fashion writer and author of Fashion Matters blog:

First, good for you for trying to look your best as a busy senior. When it comes to fashion trends, keep in mind that not all trends are for every person. If you see or read about new styles or different ways to wear something already in your closet, and it appeals to you, definitely give it a test run. Start in the dressing room. It will help you learn what styles, shapes and colors look best on you and what you really like.

If you need reassurance, take your mom, friend, aunt or sister with you. Just make sure it’s someone whose opinion you trust.

And, yes, definitely continue to try new makeup, if that is something that interests you. Several stores in town will let you try on shadows, blushes and glosses if you want, or they’ll apply them for you. Before you buy, wear the lipstick or shadow for a few hours to make sure you really like it. Ask your friends and family members where they shop for makeup and clothes. I’m sure they’ve got plenty of stores to recommend.

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Helen Ford Wallace

Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›