Dear Budget Fashionista:

I am 54-years-old and would like some style advice. I do not want to dress too young or too matronly—but I do love ruffles. I am “big boned” (5’3” and weigh 155 lbs).

A: Please, put the ruffles down. There is only one person over the age of six who can successfully wear ruffles and he’s named Prince.

There are several fashionable options for you, regardless of your size. The first thing you’ll want to do is create the illusion that you are taller. The taller you appear, the thinner your body will look. Search for shoes with at least a 2-inch heel. Stores like Aerosoles and Nine West sell fashionable, comfortable, affordable heels.

Another tip is to dress monochromatically—all in one color. This will help create a simple, unifying line (think ‘column’).  Use a belt to help define your waist. Avoid the advice of stupid fashion experts who know nothing about larger-sized fashion, and advocate big muumuu-like tops. You want your items structured and tailored, again, helping to define your waist, creating a curvy silhouette. Embellishments like ruffles add bulk to the very areas that you want to draw attention from.

Last but not least, remember that the key to fashion is how you feel in a particular outfit, not necessarily what’s in style. If you feel comfortable with yourself, you’ll look fabulous. Style is 90% confidence, 10% attitude.