| Ask The Style Chefs: February 2008 Archives

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February 2008 Archives

Q. I just moved to Wisconsin and the snow and cold have chased away all the flip-flops I wore all winter while in Texas. I’d like some cute snow boots that I wouldn’t mind wearing all day or when going out downtown. The only problem, I have wide calves. Are there any boots out there for me?
 -Cold Feet

A. These stylish winter boots should comfortably slide over your wide calves and banish the winter blues you’re facing. I also suggest you invest in several pairs of cashmere blend socks to keep your feet warm. May you trudge fearlessly through the snow and wear your flip-flops around the house…

Juicy Couture SnowflurryUgg
LibertyShearling Boots
Via Spiga GraffAquatalia by Marvin K. Ranch

1. Juicy Couture Snowflurry, $199 at
2. Ugg Liberty, $279 at
3. Shearling Boots, $89.50 at
4. Via Spiga Graffa, $260 at
5. Aquatalia by Marvin K. Ranch, $378.95 at

Q. I love your site and would love to get your advice on a matching issue. I have a casual chocolate brown blazer that has a velvet-like texture to it and I’m looking for an everyday shoe that I could pair it with. Comfort is super important to me so something that is either flat or has no heel would be perfect. I’m concerned that wearing brown shoes is too matchy, but that black wouldn’t be appropriate (in any case, I have way too many black shoes). And can you recommend any cute footwear in neutral colors?
-Matching Madness

A. Wearing brown flats with a brown jacket is not too matchy-matchy. I’ve shopped for flats that should offer all day comfort and are far from plain jane styles. Whether textured, embellished or in a pattern, these flats should stretch to coordinate with other items in your wardrobe.

Nine West
LeduceCity suede ballet flatsMaisie printed calf-hair driving mocsCorso Como Fleur

1. Nine West Leduce, $82.95 at
2. City suede ballet flats, $125 at
3. Maisie printed calf-hair driving mocs, $250 at
4. Corso Como Fleur, $130 at

Q. I’m getting married in June. My fiance is Indian and my family is of Scandinavian descent. To capture both of our cultures and personalities we are having a wedding focusing around pinks, greens, metallics, and adding paisley and embroidered elements which are very prominent in both themes. We are having a garden style wedding with our siblings as our honored attendants. We are keeping it really simple yet elegant (and inexpensive). I’m wearing a traditional white dress, my fiance is wearing a black traditional Indian outfit and our sisters are wearing black dresses and pink Pashminas. Our question: What should we have our brothers wear that would be very informal but classy? I was thinking of either a white shirt with a black tie or an Indian-style white shirt with light embroidery and a Nehru collar (which we cannot find anywhere!). Do you have ideas or suggestions?
-Culture Combination

A. A white button down shirt and tie is just fine, but have the men wear a tie in a color from the wedding to keep the colors bright and fun. I like the idea of extending the cultural expression at your wedding. Check out sites like and where you’ll find traditional Sherwani garments, Nehru shirts and colorful embroidered shirts. Here are a few additional sites and looks to help you shop and make your shirt choice.

Pink Half Silk ShirtMagenta Half Silk Mens Shirt323 C250597AWhite Nehru Collar Shirt

1. Pink Half Silk Shirt,
2. Magenta Half Silk Mens Shirt,
3. Nehru shirt,
4. White Nehru Collar Shirt,

Q. I’m wearing a gown for a ball next month and I don’t know what to wear over it for the cold weather. I was thinking a long cashmere or satin coat, or maybe a warm shrug, but I can’t find anything anywhere that would look good. Maybe you know where I can look for something?
-Cold Weather Cover

A. It’s difficult to find a long coat this time of year, but I found some fancy options that still work as a chic cover for a long dress and are appropriate even with your dress flowing out from beneath. And after scouring several sites, had the most options at a more affordable price.

 Tulle Funnel Neck Coat MARC BY MARC JACOBS Gold Threaded Trench Coat Andrew Marc 'Mode' Double Breasted Wool CapeMichael Kors Double-Breasted Satin Trench Coat

1. Tulle Funnel Neck Coat, $38.90 (sale) at
2. MARC BY MARC JACOBS Gold Threaded Trench Coat, $262.90 (sale) at
3. Andrew Marc ‘Mode’ Double Breasted Wool Cape, $158.90 (sale) at
4. Michael Kors Double-Breasted Satin Trench Coat, $199 at

Nine West Heech
Q. I am crazy in love with! I just ordered these gladiator sandals by Nine West. Can you give me some outfit suggestions?
-Standing Tall

Nine West Heech sandals, $92.95 at

A. You want to be sure you don’t add anymore “weight” to your outfit so keep the pieces light. Wear trouser jeans to balance the wedge heel or skinny jeans cuffed or long to reveal the full sandal. As for skirts, an A-line or a pencil style that has a hem that hits around the knee will be most flattering. It’s a strong shoe that you can balance with softer pieces on top unless you kick it rocker chic and add a modern cut jacket.

Sleeveless sash tunic Kimchi & Blue Floral Cutout TopStriped boatneck T

1. Sleeveless sash tunic, $44.50 at
2. Kimchi & Blue Floral Cutout Top, $42 at
3. Striped boatneck T, $22.99 at

 Lux Hi-Waisted A Line Skirt Lux Carousel Circle SkirtCuffed denim caprisTheor2021411496 Prod Medium

4. Lux Hi-Waisted A Line Skirt, $58 at
5. Lux Carousel Circle Skirt, $68 at
6. Cuffed denim capris, $29.95 at
7. Theory Strani Pant, $225 at

Q. I’m getting married this summer and I want a ’60s inspired knee-length lace dress with sleeves that won’t break the bank.
-Lace in Place

 ABS by Allen Schwartz Lace MinidressA. Oooh, this is a little tough. I scoured online retailers and found this lacy dress, but you may find your best options by working directly with a wedding dress designer or getting help from a fabulous vintage store like The Way We Wore in Los Angeles. You can contact the owner Doris Raymond (323-937-0878) and fill her in on what you’re shopping for. She’s an incredible curator of vintage fashions.

ABS by Allen Schwartz Lace Minidress, $330 at

Q. What are your suggestions for a stay at home mom (40) with 4 kids, 7 years old and under who works part time? I am looking for a polished casual look that suits my very active lifestyle (I walk everywhere).
-Walkin’ Workin’ mom

A. To move flawlessly from errands to playtime to work, you need footwear that is comfortable and ranges from cute kicks to flats and low heels with padded insoles. I’m a big fan of Cole Haan’s collection with Nike Air technology. For a look that can go from work to running after the kids, trouser jeans are a must have. Take a look at our Classics Rock style recipe for tips on choosing button down shirts, a sporty blazer and other key pieces that can be paired with jeans or pants. Additionally, you’ll need shirts and skirts with stretch, fitted cotton jersey tops, and jackets that can pull double duty for play and work.

Jackets that can work and play and clearly don’t define themselves by a stuffy office:

 Semantiks Mandarin Collar Sharkskin Jacket  Stem Organic Cotton Jacket  Norma Kamali Oversized Turtleneck Jacket
1. Semantiks Mandarin Collar Sharkskin Jacket , $138 at
2. Stem Organic Cotton Jacket, $68 at
3. Norma Kamali Oversized Turtleneck Jacket, $375 at

Pair them with:

Slim stretch shirtSoft knit long-sleeve scoopneck tee TOMMY HILFIGER Montauk Paisley Shirt
Diane von Furstenberg Gilligan Pant  David Kahn Jeans Stretch Trouser Jeans Cole Haan Fiona Mid Air Pump Cole Haan Air Bria Woven Ballet
4. Slim stretch shirt, $59.50 at
5. Soft knit long-sleeve scoopneck tee, $38 at
6. TOMMY HILFIGER Montauk Paisley Shirt, $69.50 at
7. Diane von Furstenberg Gilligan Pant, $275 at
8. David Kahn Jeans Stretch Trouser Jeans, $168 at
9. Cole Haan Fiona Mid Air Pump, $278.95 at
10. Cole Haan Air Bria Woven Ballet, $178.95 at

Q. I’m invited to a formal Saturday night affair at the end of March in New York. I’m stumped regarding what season to dress for. It will probably be too cold for summer fabrics and styles, but too late in the season (after Easter) for wintry velvets and taffetas. Please offer some help both for my 7-year-old daughter and myself!

A. While March is considered the beginning of Spring, in reality there could be a fluke snow storm. But when it comes to a formal affair, many of the rules of seasonal dressing don’t apply since many dressy looks don’t cover us from head to toe. Best scenario is to choose a dress that is cocktail length and wear with tights or sheer hosiery and a high heel that is closed toe, d’Orsay or peep toe. If you wear a full-length dress feel free to skip the hosiery and wear a heel of your choice. Think silk, jersey, and even taffeta still.

Silk taffeta Felice dress Maggy London Ruched Crinkle Chiffon Dress Kay Unger Ruched GownSophia long silk dress

1. Silk taffeta Felice dress, $235 at
2. Maggy London Ruched Crinkle Chiffon Dress, $158 at
3. Kay Unger Ruched Gown, $388 at
4. Sophia long silk dress, $225 at

And for the little one:

Alexis silk faille dress Us Angels Tulle & Satin Dress

5. Alexis silk faille dress, $168 at
6. Us Angels Tulle & Satin Dress, $98 at

Apres Ski Style

Q. I am about to go on my first ski trip (to Meribel in France) and have no idea what to wear for apres ski. I am really impressed with your advice on the website but could not see anything relating to skiing. Are you able to help? There are 14 of us going and we are all in our early to mid-twenties. The expectation is that the apres-ski will form a major part of the trip! I am particularly confused about footwear. I have read mixed things about the need to take extra-grippy footwear for getting around the resort. If I am to buy moon boots or some other alternative how can I make them look stylish (tucked in jeans are a complete no-no as I am hefty of thigh)?

A. You need to keep your feet warm and toasty, avoid tumbling on icy streets and still look cute and cozy for those drinks by the fire chatting with handsome European guys. I’ve made some simple picks of sweaters for the cozy look that you can layer with tops underneath and boots that your jeans or corduroys will easily fall over without a need to tuck in, but you could cuff if you wanted to.

Braided Neck Hoodie Triple Five Soul Upland Mock Sweater DKNY Jeans Cabled Turtleneck Sweater DKNY Jeans Half Zip Sweater

1. Braided Neck Hoodie, $118 at
2. Triple Five Soul Upland Mock Sweater, $69.99 at
3. DKNY Jeans Cabled Turtleneck Sweater, $69 at
4. DKNY Jeans Half Zip Sweater, $69 at

La Canadienne FayeLa Canadienne Alexa

5. La Canadienne Faye, $190 at
6. La Canadienne Alexa, $260 at

Q. How long can you wear boots for into spring?
-Boots On

A. While I’ve been surprised to see women wearing boots in 95 degree heat in Florida and California in the summer (how stinky and sweaty!), I still have high fashion hopes that most women know that boots are for cooler temperatures. Typically, the season is late September through March.  You can squeeze in April if your city gets hit with the occasional freak snowstorm or cold snap.

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