I'm going to a 40th birthday party next Saturday and I've nothing to wear. I need something comfy that's not too pricey but also looks glam and flattering to my cuddly belly. I was thinking of a nice maxi. Any ideas? Denise (35), Wicklow
As the weather warms up, a maxi dress is a wise investment piece. It is versatile, flattering and easy to wear. Take the time to find the right style for you and you'll have found a hard-working staple of your summer wardrobe.
Designers at Debenhams tend to excel in this area; right now, the blue snake-print dress from Butterfly by Matthew Williamson (1 €132) is one of my favourites. The sleeveless V-neck design with graduated colour panels of aqua and blue visually elongate the body and, in turn, play down the tummy area.
The pleat detail at the bust and overlay skirt emphasise this effect.
Also at Debenhams is the ombre yellow/orange maxi from Star by Julien Macdonald (2 €117).
The embellishment at the bust draws the eye up and away from your tummy, while the empire waistline means the skirt drapes elegantly over your figure. It's quite the showstopper.
If it's a glitzy evening style you're after, the Myleene Klass sequin maxi at Littlewoods Ireland (€129) is for you.
The heavily embellished gold bead and sequin skirt contrasted with a plain black jersey top makes for an elegant look.