Q: I just don't get it. With a size range from 0-to-30-plus to choose from, why do so many women choose a size (or more) too small? Don't they realize they'd look much better in clothes that fit right?
A: A good fit is probably the No.1 key to looking and feeling good in your clothes, whether you're a woman or a man. So why do so many people wear the wrong size? I can think of several reasons -- none of them good.
A lot of people shop by size, not fit. A woman who has been a size 6 for years automatically goes to the rack with that size -- no matter how her figure has changed. A man who has worn pants with a 34-inch waist since he was in college continues grabbing that size well into middle age -- even if his waistline has expanded significantly.
It's called denial, and it's not a pretty sight.
People really believe they will lose 10 pounds before they wear the garment out in public.
They didn't check the three-way mirror in the fitting room and don't have a full-length mirror at home.
They are comfortable flaunting every bump and bulge.
They equate clingy with sexy.
They couldn't resist the garment, even though the store had sold out of their size.
Their mother, spouse or best friend is too polite to honestly answer the question, "How do I look?"
My suggestions: Check the mirror, not the size label. Buy for the size you are now, not the size you used to be -- or wish you were.
Buy a full-length mirror and check your image, front and rear, before leaving home.
And finally, thank your family and friends for their kind comments, but trust your eyes, not your ears.
Q: What can I do to get rid of my split ends? My sister insists the only cure is cutting them off. I'm trying to grow my hair, so that's not an option. Surely there's some treatment?
A: Your sister is right, sorry to say. It's time to cut your losses and trim those split ends. The trim should be made at least a half-inch above the damage, or the fraying can travel up the hair shaft -- rather like a run in pantyhose.
To prevent further splitting, keep your hair flexible by using a gentle shampoo, conditioning regularly and avoiding excess heat when blow-drying.
Q: I recently bought a bright yellow blouse. I adore the blouse, but don't usually wear yellow. Now I have no idea what color pants to wear it with.
A: Bright yellow pops when teamed with dark brown, green, navy or charcoal. It's really summery with white. And, like most colors, looks great with blue jeans.
The sunny shade is really popular this season, so check the store displays for additional color-coordinating ideas.
LOST & FOUND
Lost: Lacey is trying to find ColorMark touch-up hair color.
Found: Good news for Megan, who is trying to track down the new jewelry line by tennis star Serena Williams. The line is Serena Signature, it includes jewelry, handbags and clothing, and is available from the Home Shopping Network at hsn.com or call 1-800-284-3900.
Contact fashion writer Jean Patteson at Orlando Sentinel, MP-218, P.O. Box 2833, Orlando, FL 32802-2833. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.