| Ask The Style Chefs: June 2008 Archives

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June 2008 Archives

Q. I am getting married in September, and I plan to change out of my official, very heavy, wedding dress into a more fun, easy to dance in dress. Can you recommend a great second dress? I should mention this is a VERY formal affair. - Formal Seconds

A. If you’re thinking about dancing, then you have to choose long or short and I’m a fan of changing from a gown to a dress of less weighty material and shorter length. I adore Monique Lhuillier for her ethereal ready to wear dress collections that easily can star in the second act of your wedding. Other designers to consider for the second dress would be Vera Wang and 3.1 Philip Lim - he has a white Grecian style dress that is gorgeous from his spring collection.

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3. Chiffon Halter Dress at
Q. I’m 5’2, usually a size 2, and I’m trying to figure out what length of shorts or capris will be most flattering. I don’t want to look stumpy or shorter than I am. I think I have pretty nice legs for a 30 year old, but also want to dress appropriately for work, vacations, or for chasing around my infant son. - Short Sized

A. For petite gals like you, the longer the capri pants, the better. Look for styles that are straight leg styles, not wide, and that hit just above your ankle. This will still give the impression of length. I just picked up two bright pairs from Club Monaco, one teal and one red that can easily transition in look just by swapping flats for wedge sandals at night. They are an ideal length and style.

As for shorts, skip the long styles and choose shorter lengths, specifically ones that have 3-5” inseams or ones that stop at mid thigh. If you have good legs, then don’t cover them up with Bermuda or walking shorts since those will just stunt your height. If you intend to wear shorts to work, then opt for a mid thigh pair and be sure to pair the shorts with a conservative top like a button down shirt tucked in and a fitted cotton or linen blazer.

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1. Petite city-fit stretch chino café capri, $79.50 at 2. Theory Women’s Whythe Radar Ankle Pants, $215 at 3. Chino 5” short, $39.50 at
91eILCKRtVL._AA280_.jpgQ. I had to buy these “Minx” shoes by Luichiny ($88.95 at It was an impulse - buy now, figure it out later. Now I’m having trouble figuring out what to wear with them other than a plain black short dress. I do know that I should go with basic and simple.

- What Now?

A. Basic and simple does not mean that the look has to be boring or a solid color to wear with your new embellished heels. I envision a black and white patterned, fitted sheath dress or a pencil skirt worn with a flowy ruffled top. Tops from designers like Geren Ford, Diane Von Furstenberg or Tucker would work or a dress from Alice + Olivia. Here are some ideas:

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1. Alice + Olivia Polka Dot Tulip Dress, $330 at
2. Alice + Olivia Pleated Puff Dress, $495 at
3. Maggy London Print Silk Twill Shift Dress, $148 at
4. Milly Cotton Jacquard Dress, $385 at
5. Black and White Cotton Dresses by Tibi, $360 at
6. Alexander Wang Seersucker Silk & Wool Dress, $650 at (expensive, but so chic!)
Q. I am going to a summer wedding and need some advice on my outfit. I purchased a pewter color dress from J Crew to wear to it, but my dilemma is the accessories. I want something to make the outfit pop. I was thinking some marigold yellow color shoes and a Pashmina might be nice…do you have any suggestions?
-Pop in Pewter

A. You’ll surely help your look pop by adding bright colored strappy sandals. I found multiple choices in yellow and blue online at shops like, and

Q. My favorite tank top from last summer was Susana Monaco. When I went to buy another one for this summer, I realized she changed the styles and no longer makes the one that fit me perfectly. Any secrets to finding leftovers from last year?
-Tanked Last Year

A. That can be nearly impossible when the item is a year old. While many chain retail stores like J.Crew and Banana Republic make the same tees and tanks each year, designers like Susana Monaco have to keep their designs fresh. Best bet is to try some of her newer styles or find a tank top from another designer and if you love it, buy two. Or as a last resort try, but for a tank it may not be worth the auction.
Here are two possible replacements from the same designer:

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left: Susana Monaco Jennifer Tank Tunic, $113 at

right: Susana Monaco Urban Gather Tank, $102 at
Q. You’ve been a big help before, now I’m wondering what to wear for an internship in downtown Washington DC this summer. They have told me that business casual is the norm for the office but I’m wondering what that exactly entails. Are open toed sandals normally okay? I’m a big fan of printed skirts, can one of those be worn?
-Business Curious

A. Generally, a company that says business causal is not expecting you to wear a conservative business suit. This will give you more stylish options. Printed skirts paired with flattering tops are an ideal fashion choice for your internship. And open toed sandals should be fine, but perhaps wear a pump or peep toe the first day and take a look at the staff to get a sense of what the rest of the team is wearing. If you have any questions always look to a stylishly dressed superior for company policy guidance.

Here are a few business casual looks from

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Q. Summer is here and I can’t wait to be out of school and done with “teacher clothes” for a few months. I’m looking for a pair of white pants to wear to daytime social events (backyard parties), but would prefer them to be chic and sexy enough that I can wear them out at night. Also, I’m on a tight budget, so I would appreciate some suggestions under $50.
-Tight Budget in White

A. You need a pair of white pants that work day and night. And best bets for finding a pair within your budget of under $50 is to stick with the large retail chains like,, and I was able to find several pairs that should fulfill your needs to go from casual get-togethers to chic parties:

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1. Wide-Leg Cuffed Trousers, $32.50 at
2. Sunkissed khakis, $34.99 at
3. Quinn Low-Rise Sailor Flare, $39.50 at
4. Rubbish® ‘Sadie’ Pants, $38 at
5. Ultimate Linen Trousers, $32.50 at

Q. I am trying to decide what to wear for a 7-day honeymoon to Greece (specifically Santorini and Athens) in July. I want some flirty, sexy, stylish, yet comfortable outfits for the hot weather there. We will be doing a couple dressy dinners, sightseeing, laying by the pool and walking along the beach, and maybe going out to a bar/club. I want to look chic and hip—it’s my honeymoon! I am a 25-year-old size 4/6 with a larger bust (34D). Any suggestions on what I could buy and pack for this trip? Thank you so much!
-Honeymoon to Greece

A. I, too, am headed to Greece this summer for nine days so I’ll share some of my packing list along with a few suggestions regarding your specific needs.

I’m packing:

  • Three bikinis Maxi dress
  • White cotton sundress and a brown braided leather belt
  • Cotton patterned tunic to wear with shorts and as a cover up
  • Three pairs of shorts-two short in length, one mid thigh
  • Four tank tops-two solid, two striped
  • Two white v-neck t-shirts
  • White eyelet top
  • Patterned cotton camisole
  • Two skirts that are above the knee-one patterned, one solid color
  • One pair of lightweight cotton ankle skimming cropped pants (mine are teal color)
  • Wide floppy brimmed hat from Hat Attack
  • Flip-flops
  • Tan slip on flats from Cole Haan
  • Gold gladiator sandals
  • Lots of sunscreen

TIP: Be sure to pick up a handmade pair of sandals made to fit your feet while you’re there
Some more ideas:

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1. Silence & Noise Printed Maxi Dress, $68 at
2. Trina Turk ‘Pim’ Shorts, $178 at
3. Milly Mykonos Tile Capsleeve Top, $234 at
4. Pura Lopez ‘M678’ Sandal, $245 at
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5. Diane von Furstenberg ‘Tuvallu’ Print Dress, $325 at
6. Milly Jungle Leaf Push Up Tank Dress, $326 at
7. Printed ruffle shift, $68 at

Q. I recently bought this pair of shorts from Anthropologie. I’m having trouble finding a shirt of the right length and style to go with them. Most of my t-shirts are too long, and look lumpy when they cover up the sash, but they look weird tucked in. Do you have any suggestions? I’m 5’ 4” and a size 4.
- Shirts for Shorts

A. I shopped multiple sites and found looks that were fitted enough to look smooth and stylish when tucked into your new shorts. I also made a point of shopping for colored tops to show you the variety of colors and patterns that will work with the shorts rather than playing it safe with white tanks and t-shirts. And a quick tip, be willing to swap out the belt once in a while (assuming it is not attached) and wear a different belt like a stripe or pattern to get even more mileage from your shorts.


1. Airy ribbon washed favorite tank, $19.99 at
2. Polka-dot short-sleeve slim shirt, $58 at
3. Short-sleeve slim shirt in botanical Liberty Fabric, $98 at
4. Cap-sleeve ruched top, $39 at
5. Free People Sundial Racerback Tank, $24.99 at

Q. I have my 10-year reunion coming up and purchased a fabulous Milly zebra printed dress (I have attached a picture). I am only 5’3” so the dress isn’t quite so short on me, but with the sleeveless shape, I am concerned about shoes. I do not want to look too tart-y!
- Reunion Blues


A. We all obsess over making a grand impression at our reunions. We want to look cool and hip, young and stylish. We want to make ex-boyfriends think of us fondly and the snotty girls jealous, and mostly catch up with the old crowd we haven’t seen in years while still looking good. I found several options that range from very hip to straight forward classy.


Dress: Zebra-Print Shift Dress, $126 (sale) at

1. Very Hip: Vince Camuto Alfie, $132 at
2. Still Hip: Lauren Ralph Lauren Women’s Aaralyn, $100 at
3. L’Autre Chose Shoes Open Toe T Strap Pump, $310 at

4. GUESS by Marciano “Hutton” Strappy Sandal, $95 at
5. Chinese Laundry Women’s Colette, $69.99 at
6. Franco Sarto Women’s Utopia, $74.99 at

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