| Ask The Style Chefs: March 2006 Archives

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March 2006 Archives

Q. I would like to know if black strappy sandals will be okay to wear with a yellow dress?  I know that black goes with everything but I just want to make sure.
-Color Confusion 

A. I’m a little concerned about the severity of black sandals with a yellow dress and the unfortunate reminder of a bumble bee.  I don’t know if your yellow dress is formal or not, but there are so many light, bright, and soft colored sandals for Spring that would work with a yellow dress.  Consider pastels, metallics and even a pattern to brighten up the look of your dress rather than create a heavy sullen effect with black sandals. Here are just a few gold and white selections to give you a head start:


MAXSTUDIO ´Orient Express´ Sandal
$138.95 at

Nine West ‘Emerie’ Sandal
$68.95 at


Laundry by Shelli Segal ‘Syna’ Sandal
$155 at

A. I have a question about ponchos.  I bought a light pink crochet poncho during the end of last winter and have only worn it once. I’d like to wear it again this spring but I noticed that nobody seems to wear ponchos anymore. I’m wondering, are they completely “out” this year?  Thanks for creating a venue where we fashion wobbly girls can get the low down without seeming dumb.
-Poncho Perplexed

A. As with everything in fashion from clothes to shoes to accessories, there are items that are “in” and items that are “out” each season.  Your poncho is, unfortunately, considered by many fashion editors and designers to be “out” this season.  It joins the multiple variations of the shrug that have also been such a hit for the last year. But, and this is a big BUT, if you absolutely love it and it looks great on you, then go ahead and wear it a few times.  But then put it in the back of your closet or pack it with your winter sweaters and realize that fashion is cyclical, so inevitably the poncho trend will return within a few years.

Q. I’m having a garden wedding this spring and am having a really hard time finding shoes.  I originally bought some silver ballet flats to wear with my simple, elegant A-line gown.  My toes peek out when I walk and the closed flats do not look very good. I really need to find something that looks great, won’t sink into the lawn and won’t make me tower over my fiancé (less then 2 1/2 inches). As far as color goes I’d love silver or white, but I’d even wear pink shoes. 
-Standing my ground   

A. Trying to navigate the outdoors on your wedding day can be tricky - you want a fabulous shoe that will fit the look of your dress, but you don’t want to get stuck in the dirt and lose your graceful poise.  Here are a few silver sandal suggestions that won’t have you sinking into the lawn or towering over your fiancé.

Barely there heels that easily navigate the grounds:


kate spade ‘boisterous’ sandal
$295 at


kate spade ‘bauble’ sandal
$350 at


A small heel to give you some height and still show off a pretty pedicure:


Lumiani ‘Quarto’
$89.95 at

Nina ‘Whist’
$82.95 at

Q. I love, love, love the dress you wore on the Tyra Banks show.  Can you tell me who makes it?
-Dress Impressed 

Detail1 1426-1A. Thanks for the compliment about the dress I wore on Tyra Banks.  These days, I am dress-buying obsessed and someone probably needs to restrain me! This nifty dress is by Conspiracy 8 and comes in two color ways: black with blue trim or chocolate with orange trim (currently on sale for $123 at It is fairly low cut so be prepared to show a little cleavage, my fave right now is to pair it with the new Wonderbra Light Lift bra.

Wonderbra Light Gel
Push-Up Underwire Bra
$21.99 at

Q. I have a beautiful bronze evening gown with rhinestone pins on each shoulder strap. I’m not sure if I should wear a silver or bronze shoe to match the dress.
-Maddening Metallic 

A. It may traditionally be synonymous with coming in third place, but for you, bronze is the winning color for your dress. There are so many bronze hues and style available that it’s best if you choose a shade slightly darker or lighter than your dress.  Here are some gorgeous styles:


rsvp ‘Venice’
$89.95 at

Caparros ‘Intact’
$58.95 at




Nine West ‘Farideh’
$70.95 at

Q. I am a 38 D, and I need a bra to lift up. I have noticed lately they are starting to droop.
-Need a Lift 

A. Weight fluctuation, pregnancy and age can create a myriad of changes in our bra size.  Before you go ahead and buy a new bra, get fitted by a bra specialist.  Many department stores have trained sales women in the intimates department.  Once you know your correct size, start looking for support or minimizing bras that will give you gravity defying effects.  The Bali Live It Up bra is one of our favorites for it’s lifting capabilities.

Bali-Bal001-3353-GsBali Live It Up Underwire
$29  (currently on sale for $23.20) at

Q. I am 5’ 2 and love the new wedge shoe look. But I read that short people should not wear shoes with ankle straps that come around the ankles. What do you suggest?
-Harried Over Height

A. Ankle straps on a gal of any height usually don’t look good unless you have a slender leg and it can, on some bodies, look as if you’ve been cut off at the ankles. But don’t stress—there are options to get the leg-lengthening high heel of a wedge without the ankle strap:

Kate Spade ‘Ariel’ Sandal
$350 at


Daniblack ‘Amalie’
$133.95 at




Aerosoles ‘Thready Bear’
$69 at

Check out more wedges in our ultimate shoe guide

Q. I like wearing narrow legged jeans/pants with cowboy boots. How can I get the bottoms of my pants to stay snug and neat inside my cowboy boots?
-Leg Up

A. The best way to keep pants snug inside boots is to cuff your jeans and fold over the excess to the back of your calf.  Then bring your sock over the jeans so it holds it all in place.

Q. I can’t tell you how many great tips I’ve gleaned from your column.  Now I’m needing a bit of your expertise on a problem I’m facing!  My company’s annual meeting is coming up and I’m stumped on ideas for an awards dinner outfit.  I just found a short sequin skirt that is a blue mist color that I thought would be fun to wear, but I’m not sure what to pair with it.  Is black too harsh with a pale blue?  Also, this certainly isn’t a very formal affair (they suggest cocktail attire) so I don’t want to go too fancy but I thought I might be able to pull the sequins off with something more understated on the top.  I’m a size 20 and have a large breast size and want to make sure that it is flattering to me. Help!  You’re so great with everyone else I’m praying you can help me too!
-Lost in Boston 

A. This kind of event is infinitely more important than a cocktail party with friends.  You’ll be making an impression on many important people company wide and showing off a more glamorous version of yourself.  This is a chance to be fun and friendly and still be professional. Any fashion faux pas will be remembered. As for a short sequin skirt, I worry about the length.  This is not an event appropriate for anything closely resembling a mini. And sequins can be bright, so if you stick with the skirt, the top must be subtle.

V0454632187019 V1 M56577569831177699My first choice would be a white top (similar to the look shown at left), but black would be fine if your wear black sandals. It’s hard for me to really say yes to the black combination without seeing the skirt. If you opt for another outfit, then go for a dress—it’s a no-fuss solution that just requires the addition of accessories and the right bra underneath. I chose a few tops and some affordable dress options as well. Good luck at the annual meeting.

left: Lafayette 148, Salon Z Stretch Cotton Shirt, $248 at

V0454637053555 V1 M56577569831205738
Lafayette 148,
Salon Z Sophie Jersey Top
$288 at

JS Boutique Shirred
Two Layer Dress
$190 at

Lily Three Quarter
Sleeve Surplice Dress
$92 at

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