| Ask The Style Chefs: February 2007 Archives

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February 2007 Archives

Q. I have bought several blazers over the past 2 years and find that I enjoy wearing them with jeans and cute tops when I go out, but have a hard time transitioning them into my work wardrobe.  I would do button-downs in fun colors, but unfortunately, I have a larger chest and button downs just don’t work.  Any ideas on what to pair them with (or where to find button down shirts that fit?

A. My advice for busty girls is always to buy a top that fits around the chest and then head to a tailor to have the rest of the shirt fitted to your body.  Or, for the perfect fit off the rack, Rebecca & Drew makes an ingenious line of shirts and shirtdresses that are sized by cup size that won’t gap on even the bustiest girls. Also, look for stylish knit tops and thin sweaters to wear under the blazer as an alternative.

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Rebecca & Drew Swiss Dot Blouse,
available up to size 38D
$165 at

Q. Would you pair a black shirtdress with a navy blue leather belt, or are the colors too closely matched? Should I opt for a more contrasting color?

A. I love the idea of a contrasting color like red, burgundy, olive green or even white when the weather turns warm. Here are a few options that would look great with a black dress:

Cynthia Rowley Leather Obi Belt Two Tone Obi Belt Patent Leather High Waist BeltLeatherock Wide Patent Leather Belt

left to right: Cynthia Rowley Leather Obi Belt, $78 at;  Two Tone Obi Belt, $78 at;  Patent Leather High Waist Belt, $68 at; Leatherock Wide Patent Leather Belt, $68 at

Lucite Shoe Search

Q.  I am hoping you may be able to help me find a pair of shoes that were made by Stuart Weitzman. Not too long ago I had gone on the Stuart Weitzman website and saw a pair of shoes that I fell in love with. The name of the shoe is called “EXPOSE“. The shoe looks like a Cinderella glass shoe. I really fell in love with that shoe and I am trying to find that shoe but I am not having any luck in finding it. I really hope you are able to help me.
-Cinderella Search

A. Best hope in finding the shoe is to contact Stuart Weitzman customer service on the website or contact a Stuart Weitzman store and they can do a computer search for the shoe. If it’s at the end of season for that shoe you may be out of luck.  But lucite will be around this Spring from other designers as well. Here are two to try:

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Nina ‘Rain’ Sandal, $97.95 at; Stuart Weitzman Lucite Wedge, $298 at 

Q. I recently bought a pair of leopard print, pointed toe, high heels. I want to wear them with a black turtleneck and jeans, however I am not sure what stockings to wear with the shoes. I’ve tried opaque and black but am not sure what the correct style is. I live in an area that gets cold in the winter so I am unable to go without stockings entirely (like I see the stars doing in all of the magazines). If you could give me some advice as to what to wear with jeans and leopard print shoes I would really appreciate it.
-On the Prowl 

A. A black turtleneck, jeans and animal print shoes are a favorite look of ours, so kudos to your chic sense of style. You’ve already answered your own style question - opaque and  sheer hosiery both work, it just depends on how much coverage you want.

Q. I am 16 years old and love the classic style. Ever since I was little I always wanted to be a ballerina, however am not. Ballerinas always have a laid back look but still look polished and cute, and I would love to have their style but don’t know what to wear and how to put it all together and not look like a poser or looking like a ballerina.  If you could help me put together some outfits without looking too matchy-matchy it would be greatly appreciated.
-Ballerina Butterfly 

A. You’re in luck - ballet-inspired styles are a big trend for Spring. Simple ways to add a bit of “prima ballerina” to your wardrobe include wearing leggings with mini skirts and dresses, adding ballet flats to your shoe wardrobe and shopping for thin knit wrap sweaters to wear with tanks, camis and tissue tees. And the young ballet dancers in NYC always seem to have their hair in a bun when they’re headed to class. I picked some inexpensive options to add to your wardrobe:

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left to right: Danskin Wrap Sweater, $28 at; Frenchi Wrap Sweater, $44 at; Steve Madden Tipie, $77.95 at; Gabriella Rocha Elodie, $49.95 at

Q. I am invited to a black tie event. The invitation reads: Black Tie - Denim - and Sparkle. There will be prizes given out for the best attire that combines all the aspects.  It is formal so I was wondering, do you have any ideas of how to wear a long gown with denim & sparkle and still look formal? I wear a size 4 and I am up for anything!
-Sparkle & Sass   

A. Have a Bedazzler?  This is the time you get to truly mix sophistication and whimsy.  One of my favorite photos from an old issue of Vogue is of a model wearing a long black ball gown skirt with a white tank top and a dark denim fitted jacket.  You could take this look and add the sparkle.  Look for a top that already has its own jewels, gems or sparkle or buy a black or white top or even a tank and add your own fabric paint that has sparkle, or pick up a Bedazzler and add your own “jewels.”  You can also wear a fitted denim button front shirt over a ball gown and tie the bottom of the shirt at your waist since you can’t tuck it in. It would be preferable to find a strapless or thin strap dress for this look which can also be worn with a denim jacket.  If there is no sparkle to be had, then add diamonds (real or faux) or other bright jewels for the sparkle effect.

Try wearing this dark denim fitted jacket ($98 at

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Paired with a simple white tank or shimmering top and ball gown skirt:

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left to right: white tank, $14.50 at; BCBG Max Azria Drape Neck Sequin Top, $298 at; JS Collections A-Line Taffeta Skirt, $98 at

Or choose a black tie dress instead to pair with your denim jacket:

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left to right, all at Strapless Polka Dot Prom Dresses by Jovani, $440; Short Bubble Prom Dresses by Betsey Johnson, $390; Strapless Little Black Dresses with White Embrodiery, $110

Q. I’m going to be a bridesmaid and was told to pick any shade of purple for the dress color.  My question is, I’ve been told that I have yellow in my skin and that I fall into the warmer tone or autumn category.  What purples would look best with my skin tone?  I know pastels totally wash me out.
-No Passion for Purple

A. Skip the pastels and go for deep rich purple and preferably something with a bit of shine like silk shantung.  It’s hard to give you an exact color name since every designer names colors differently. If the dress is being made, then be sure to look at several “purple” hued swatches to choose your favorite and one that will work best with your skin tone.  If you’re shopping for the dress yourself then try on several and look for a dress, that while you may not love the color, is cut in a shape that compliments some part of your figure, like showing off collar bones and shoulders or a cocktail length to show off great legs.

Q. I am in a wedding and the dresses are latte colored with a chocolate brown sash around the waist. We are not sure what shoes to wear. The dress is long, and we have been looking for a trendy (but inexpensive) shoes to wear, and we are trying to stay away from the dyeables. What do you suggest?
-Girl’s Guess

A. Latte is a hard color to match. Shop for a cream or pale gold heel or a chocolate strappy shoe to bring out the color of the sash. Stay away from the dyeables. I’ve found a few options that are under $100 and also come in other color choices:

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left to right, all from BP. ‘Beauty’ Pump, $59.95; Nina ‘Cupcake’ Sandal, $59.95; Enzo Angiolini ‘Maylie’ Pump, $88.95

Brand DressQ. I have the dress that I want to wear to a special awards dinner, but I don’t know what color shoes to get?  Can you give me some guidance on what style/color to look for?
-Color Query   

A.  My immediate reaction is “gold.”  Look for gold strappy heels to pair with your dress.  Black would be too safe and not lift the color of the dress, and trying to find a matching shoe would be impossible.

S07 8355.Psd-1Q. My bridesmaids will be wearing this dress to my wedding, any suggestions for shoes?

-Shoe Help 

A. Choose silver strappy or peep toe shoes for your bridesmaids (they’ll be happy that they can wear the shoes again!)  Another suggestion—let your bridesmaids choose their own silver heels so they can be happy with the fit, heel height and not be complete clones of each other.

Here are a few pairs they may like:

Calvin Klein EmmalineHouse of Dereon 'Hot Rocks' SandalKenneth Cole Reaction 'Rags to Riches' PumpTyler by Richard Tyler 'Witness' Pump

left to right: Calvin Klein Emmaline, $130 at; House of Dereon ‘Hot Rocks’ Sandal, $159.95 at; Kenneth Cole Reaction ‘Rags to Riches’ Pump, $78.95 at; Tyler by Richard Tyler ‘Witness’ Pump, $98.95 at

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