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Ask Gretta: Jeans and Little Black Dresses

Our style savvy source Gretta Monahan answers your fashion inquiries!

My question deals with the "little black dress." I know it's considered a must have for many occasions. However, I HATE the way I look in black. Is it possible for a "little black dress" to be another color besides black? -Erin

Hi Erin,
The point of a LBD is that the color is neutral and therefore can be worn over and over again, to different functions, in different ways, even among the same crowd of people. Black is basic and so it doesn't stick out and, generally, looks good on everyone. I can understand how some women feel black is too harsh for them, though I do encourage you to seek a second opinion, only because the perfect LBD is timeless and irreplaceable in terms of versatility. That said, I think you could substitute, with the same flattering effect, any darker color that you feel works on you. Navy, forest green, chocolate brown, and dark plum are all good options to try. I do think that color stands out in people's minds, though, so it just won't be as easy to pass that dress off season after season.

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What's the best way to find a local, trustworthy tailor? I need my own Gretta, but I don't want to give my dear clothes to just anyone with a needle! -Krysta

Hi Krysta,
If you live in a bigger city, you can start by looking on a website like CitySearch that rates businesses based on public opinion. Otherwise, the best advertising out there is word of mouth, so talk to your co-workers and neighborhood friends to see who they use and recommend. I agree, I wouldn't risk it on walking into an unknown shop, but everyone's had to use a tailor at one point or another, so you're bound to get some good leads. If worst comes to worst, you can always start small and build confidence in the tailor you choose; bring a few less expensive pieces and see if he or she meets your standards with the simple fixes before you, say, have your wedding dress altered.
Good Luck!

I'm willing to splurge on a new pair of jeans. What do you think are the hottest, must-have jeans on the market right now? Thanks! -Jessica

Hey Jessica,
I wouldn't say they're the trendiest of trendy, but since they arrived on the premium denim market, I've been a huge fan of J Brand. I think their simple back pockets are classy and timeless and the cut of their styles is spot-on for a variety of different body types. There's always the new "it" label, but J Brand is the kind of line that will be around for a long time to come, and certainly, all of your favorite celebs have been rocking them. I love their "Lovestory" bell bottom jean in a crisp, dark wash. I also love their skinnies, which they make in a bunch of different styles — I'd recommend the mid-rise cigarette leg, but, that totally depends on your body type, so, girl, hit those fitting rooms!
Have Fun! -Gretta

Hi Gretta,
I recently started watching the show and I love you and Tim. I am 5'8, 120 lbs and I have a 24 inch waist. My biggest problem is finding great pants that have length as well as fit. If I buy the pants for the length, the fit at the waist is baggy and vice versa. Do you have any suggestions? -Nichola

Thank you! We certainly have a lot of fun together, doing the show, and I'm glad you viewers have been so receptive to us! Sounds like you have a rockin' figure, so, you absolutely should not be sizing up, just to get extra length, only to look dowdy in pants that are too big! It might require buying online for better selection, but most of the major specialty stores are providing long lengths in pants and jeans — Express, Gap and J.Crew to name a few. A "long" length is typically a 34" inseam which, if you're 5'8", should be perfect. A 24-inch waist is probably a size zero, long, and if you're into "designer denim" then you would probably wear a size 24 (this sizing scale is based on waist size). I think pant fit is very important and I've always been able to justify spending a little more in this category and skimping on tops, only because it really does make such a difference when jeans or trousers fit you like a glove; it elevates the whole look. Hope this helps!
XOXO - Gretta

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