| Ask The Style Chefs: October 2006 Archives

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October 2006 Archives

Q. I am wearing a tea-length bridesmaid dress in the middle of January.  What type of coat can I wear?  The dress is lower in the back.   
-Cover Confusion    

A. It’s best to look for a dressy jacket that is slightly cropped and doesn’t go below the hips or choose a 3/4 length that is the same length as the dress.

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left to right: Nanette Lepore Turkish Delight Jacket, $415 at; Elie Tahari Riley Wool/Cashmere Coat, $798 at; Trina Turk ‘Ellsworth’ Satin Jacket, $498 at

Q. I need an answer from someone I can trust. I have to attend a gala for the corporation I work at.  On the invitation it calls for cocktail attire. My son, who will escort me, has picked out a full-length black gown.  I am afraid it is too formal for this event.  Would it be tacky for me to be a little over dressed?  I am usually the one in the crowd that is a usually a little under dressed or barely in the appropriate category.  My son says that for once I should go all out and dress to impress, but I am uncomfortable.
-Overdress to Impress

A. First off, you should be comfortable in this dress to impress situation.  While I want you to look good, I also want you to fit into the setting and not stand out and have co-workers and colleagues wonder why you went full-blown.  In this case, a full-length gown would be too much for the occasion.  A gown is appropriate when the invite calls for it, like at a black tie wedding, a gala, a costly fundraiser, etc. It would be lovely for your son to escort you wearing a dress that hits just below the knee or a dressy skirt and top and perhaps a fitted velvet jacket or cardigan with beading or crystals.

Q. Is it ok to wear high heel boots with cute capri pants in the fall?
-Viva la Capri?

Picture 3-3A. Yes, you can wear capris, just be sure that your capris don’t look summery.  We like to call them cropped pants in the Fall and they should be of heavier fabrics like corduroy, denim or wool. And your cropped pants should cover over the top of your boots, if not then wear fun tights or have nubby socks that peek out just above the your boots.

Theory Calvan C Velvet Pants, $245 at

Q. I’m hoping you can help me! My cousin is getting married on November 5, 2006 at 4pm on Perdido Beach, Florida. What is appropriate to wear? Nothing has been said re: dress formality. While it’s the Fall season, it’s still the beach and should be warm and I’m unsure of the appropriate clothes and shoes to wear!
-Beach Be-Wonder

A. Since it’s on the beach, my first choice would be a dress that is cocktail length skimming just below your knees, second choice would be a skirt and top. Don’t wear pants—boring for a wedding and you want to move freely on the beach. Choose a light fabric like cotton or silk jersey, but skip linen since the season for that is over. Look for a dress that perhaps has short or 3/4 sleeves or wear one that is strapless, sleeveless or has spaghetti straps and bring along a little fitted cardigan or wrap. Since it’s a late afternoon into evening affair, feel free to wear pretty prints. And be sure to wear flats or low-heeled sandals and assume you’ll be taking them off in the sand so be sure to have nice painted toenails.

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from left to right: Nicole Miller Tiki Print Dress, $310 at; Single Wrap Dress, $268 at; Lumiani Quarto, $89.95 at; J. Reneé Pixie, $78.95 at

Q. I want to wear a beautiful Black Linen Suit to a wedding in Houston, Texas. The temps are still reaching 80 degrees and to me that is still warm. What’s the BLACK linen rule?
-Linen After Labor Day

A. For many parts of the country, linen is usually packed away after Labor Day. For southern states, you can stretch it through October due to warmer temperatures, but as we enter November, it’s time to put away the linen in any color unless you‘re headed on a Caribbean cruise or a night out in Hawaii.

Q. My husband and I have been invited to a posh “Night of the Stars” event. This is like a mini-Oscar evening for his firm where certain employees will be honored for their contributions during the year. It is a black tie event and I bought a long navy evening gown in chiffon, covered in tiny bead embroidered patterns. It is not fancy, but pretty and demure. Could you please give me advice on what shoes to wear? I thought I’d wear silver, but now I don’t know whether they will go. Should I try and find a pair of navy shoes. I can’t wear high heels (I think I would fall over as I haven’t worn them in 40-odd years). I like very comfortable shoes with a wedge heel. Also can you advise on what jewelry to wear? I want to look good, as my husband is one of those receiving an award.
-Looking Posh and Pretty

A. Go for silver since navy is one of the hardest hues to match. And silver is far more posh for the black tie affair. If heel height concerns you, then look for a wedge to stand stable or a shorter heel around two inches. You won’t tower over the crowd, but it will be enough to give the dress it’s glam effect. Some suggestions:

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from left to right, all available at XOXO Gianna II, $51.95; Nina Maritza-Ml, $92.95; Calvin Klein Emmaline, $133.95

Q. I am wearing a long off-white dress with sequins to my sons wedding. My question—would it look ok to wear smoky quartz jewelry (a brownish color)? Will that look tacky or awful?
-Jewelry Do or Don’t 

A. It’s a matter of trying the whole look on to see the effect. The amount of sequin coverage on the dress will determine how much jewelry you should wear.  You don’t want to overpower the whole look. So try on the dress, add the jewelry and see if you like it.  Ask a friend who not only has great style, but will also be attending the wedding, for a second opinion. Adding a bit of color is not bad.  It may look good to have something with a bit of color dangling from your ears.

Q. Is there something we can do to make cellulite disappear from our legs? I have been suffering from cellulite and I want to know if there are any products that can diminish the appearance of cellulite. That is one of the reasons why I don’t wear shorts or skirts because you can tell cellulite is there.
-Cellulite Be Gone

A. Unfortunately, there is no clear or definitive way to getting rid of cellulite - yet. Until there’s a real fix, your best bet is to try one of the many temporary firming options available. There are creams that have caffeine and other formulations that require daily application and can give the look of slightly plumped, firmer skin. There is also hosiery from Hanes Silk Reflections that has Vitamin E to smooth skin or micro-encapsulated ingredients to help diminish the look of cellulite. And wearing hosiery on a regular basis works as a compression garment to help smooth the look of legs. Some women have some success with Endermologie that works as a deep massage and suction roller on the skin.

One of the best ways to create a better looking leg is to avoid eating too many sugary or salty foods. Physical trainers suggest lunges and squats along with better nutrition and exercise. As for clothes, opt for skirts that hit just below the knee and walking or Bermuda shorts that cover the thighs but end just above the knee. If you’re worried about bumps showing through your clothes, try wearing shaper garments like Spanx to keep things smooth and firm looking.

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from left to right: Bliss High Thighs Cellulite Fighting Serum, $35 at; Bliss FatGirlSlim, $25 at; Sephora Indulgences - Full-Caff Non-Fat Double-Whipped Body Blend Set, $28 at; Hanes Body Enhancers No Hose®Firm Control Anti-Cellulite Mid-Thigh Shaper 3-Pk, $15.99 at; Spanx Power Panties, $25 at

Q. I am attending a semi formal party in the next two weeks. Although I am in the South (Atlanta, GA) it is quite cold. Can I wear pantyhose with open toed shoes and a cocktail dress? The dress is maroon. If I can wear hose what color/style do you recommend? Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
-Hosiery how-to

A. Either choose to match the dress color with a sheer patterned maroon color or go for a black patterned hose to give a little oomph to the dress. You can wear open toe shoes with hosiery as long as you don’t wear a sandal foot style hose and tuck any visible seams underneath your toes.

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Jonathan Aston Stringer pantyhose (left), $14 at
Jonathan Fleur tights (right), $14.99 at (also available in burgundy)

Vegas Nuptials

Untitled1-2Q. I am getting married in Vegas at the end of October and I have this beautiful white cocktail dress that I am wearing (I bought it but never had a chance to wear it), but I can’t seem to find a decent shoe to go with the dress.  The dress is a BCBG white low cut, above-the-knee dress.   Do you have any ideas? 

- Wedding Bells

A. For a wedding in Vegas you definitely need to add some shine and glitz to what you wear on your feet:


Touch Ups Gemini
$61.95 at


Nina ‘Mabel’ Sandal
$78.95 at


Nina ‘Barbra’ Sandal
$88.95 at

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