| Ask The Style Chefs: August 2008 Archives

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August 2008 Archives

Q. I love your blog so much- the personality is really fun and you have great style. Anyways, I am in love with almost every Frye boot, but I don’t want to spend $400. Do you know of any good (cheap) look-a-likes to any of their riding boots? I especially love the Campus 12R in Saddle, but I could go for anything.

A. Hey, thanks fashfile, keep up the good work with your blog too! Frye boots are famous for their classic styling, comfort and super rugged durability. They look great with everything from jeans to dresses and only seem to improve with age. So if you’re really dreaming of owning a pair, we think it’s worth the $228 investment and the years of pleasure you’ll get from wearing them.

That being said, if you’re set on saving some cash, here are a few boots that are similar in style:

14789044_21_b.jpgEquestrian Leather Boot, $125 at V276869.jpg
Na Na Leather Riding Boot, $149 at
Bronx Footwear Linus Mid Calf Slouch Riding Boot, $150 at
PALLADIUM Women’s Hasselt
$135.99 at
panthems.pngQ. I have some dress pants I purchase about 6 months ago that need to be hemmed. I’m 5 ft tall and will be wearing them with heels, the problem is I don’t know where the hem should hit the heel and the front of the pants.

A. When hemming pants, visit the tailor wearing shoes with the heel height you will wear most often. When hemmed, the pants should touch your instep in front and cover 1/2 to 3/4 of your heel in the back.
Q. I am loving this season’s focus on belts but I am having a lot of trouble adding this stylish detail to my wardrobe. I see beautiful belts everywhere I shop but the small is always too large to fit around my 27” waist. The petite stores near me seem to only carry ‘mom-style’ utilitarian belts. I want to wear patent leather and double-wrap belts too!! Can you suggest a store or online sites that have stylish belts for smaller waists?

A. It wasn’t easy, but we found a slew of belts to suit your small waist (see below). If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always bring a size XS or S belt to a shoemaker and ask him to add an extra hole for you. Or look for Ring style belts that don’t have any holes at all and are easy to adjust.

Q. This question goes against every fashion column I have ever read, but I have to ask it. Why does everyone suggest that curvy women wear boot cut jeans? I have a large chest, small waist and large hips and cannot for the life of me find jeans that look good and don’t have a huge gap in the back and/or expose things that I don’t want exposed whenever I sit down. There has been a recent trend towards “curvy” jeans which fit me slightly better than most, but the problem is that they are almost always boot cut or flair. Every column I read says that curvy women should wear boot cut jeans to even out the curves, but I find that I look like a Coke bottle in this style. In fact, I don’t think that it is particularly flattering on anyone. How out of touch with reality am I?

A. Finding a flattering pair of jeans is a constant challenge for many women, especially those with curves. As a general rule, boot cut jeans are the most universally flattering for women with your figure. However, it’s important that you look for jeans with a slight boot cut, not a wide flair - this can make all the difference and help to avoid the Coke bottle silhouette you fear. Also, experiment with straight cut styles, and even skinny jeans worn with knee high boots. Tapered jeans in general are a big no-no for women with hips and thighs.

Compare the styles below: on the left is a flaired jean (not so flattering), in the center is a slight boot cut (flattering) and on the right is a straight leg style (also flattering). All jeans are from

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As for finding jeans that fit your smaller waist, this may prove to be even more of a challenge. If the curvy cut jeans that are available aren’t fitting well, then your best bet is to take the jeans to a tailor and have the waist made smaller. A small price to pay for a great fitting jean!
Q. I am a confessed shoe-addict who adores heels (especially because they elevate my 5’5” frame) and can’t pass up a pair of stilleto pumps. Unfortunately, I will soon be starting a job where I will be doing a LOT of walking, and also spend a good deal of time in scrubs. Do you have any suggestions for cute but comfortable heels for the office (not too high) as well as shoes to wear with scrubs that AREN’T Crocs?

A. Congrats on the new job! We’re always in search of cute but comfortable heels for the office. Generally, a round toe and a stacked 2 or 2 1/2 inch heel will be your most comfortable. Also, look for shoes that have added cushioning, like our favorite Cole Haans with Nike Air technology. Here are some stylish, comfortable, cushioned office picks:
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1. Cole Haan ‘Jena Air’ Mary Jane, $295 at
2. Taryn by Taryn Rose Devour, $225 at
3. Gentle Souls Instant Hit, $265 at
4. Aerosoles Role Play, $89 at

As for what to wear with scrubs, I’m not really sure what the rules are here, but I assume you can’t wear sneakers. Though not the best looking, I’ve seen many medical staffers wearing Merrells. Here are a few comfortable options that may work for you, depending on the dress code at your workplace:
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1. Naturalizer Cresson, $65 at
2. Cole Haan ‘Air Bria’ Mary Jane, $165 at
3. Leather Comfort Ballet, $21.99 at
4. MERRELL Women’s Plaza MJ, $89.99 at
5. MERRELL Women’s Encore Groove, $74.99 at
Q. I hope you can help me with what seems like a simple quest. I have been in search of some great versatile brown heels for at least a year now. I was originally looking for brown croc heels but am open to other options. Maybe I’ll have better luck in the fall but I have a bunch of skirts & outfits that really need a basic brown shoe now. I’d probably wear them mostly to work so need a closed toe & everything right now is sandals, open toed etc. Also on the wish list - heel about 2-2 1/2 inches high or less, dark brown in color. Most flat leather brown heels seem to look cheap to me so I’ve been avoided those. Or, the brown is a strange shade. Black is so much easier - black is black!

A. We found some truly beautiful brown shoes with moderate heels, including a couple of croc pumps. These are classic shoes you can wear year round. And all but one are under $100!
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1. Nine West Nuncio 13, $69 at
2. Franco Sarto ‘Fall’ Pump, $84.95 at
3. Circa Joan & David Reginah 7, $99 at
4. Kenneth Cole Reaction Bell-issma, $89 at
5. LAUREN Ralph Lauren Tamia, $99 at
6. Terza Corsia, $79 at
7. Cour Carre, $138 at
Q. I saw a great brown motorcycle jacket by Dear by Amanda Bynes which I love, but there are no Steve and Barrys near me, and I can’t find any of the jackets online. Where can I find a similar brown vintage-looking motorcycle jacket to this one that is very affordable?

A. Found! Here are some super affordable brown moto jackets:

39822345273_lg.jpgautumncargo.png 137167400.jpg14989008_20_b.jpg 
1. Epaulette Detail Jacket, $36.50 at
2. Autumn Cargo Jacket, $29.80 at
3. FULL TILT Womens Venus Moto Jacket, $39.99 at
4. Silence & Noise Wyatt Moto Jacket, $128 at

Q. Layered necklaces are so hot right now….I’ve seen both Lauren Conrad & Heidi Klum sporting them lately. I’m dying to replicate this look in gold but not sure where to start. Can you offer some suggestions?

A. Layered necklaces can look chic and studied or effortlessly “thrown together” depending on which look you are going for. There are no strict rules as this is all about personal style and having fun. It’s also a great way to give new life to some pieces you may already own. Here are some guidelines:

1. If you prefer a neat look, try layering delicate necklaces of varying lengths. The chains should be the same metal (gold with gold) and approximately the same thickness (delicate with delicate; thicker chains with thicker chains). This is, perhaps, the easiest way to layer necklaces.

2. For a more bohemian-inspired look, try layering beaded necklaces of varying lengths and materials together.

3. Try layering a simple chain or beaded strand with a longer pendant style necklace for a look that is easy to accomplish.

Get inspiration from these layered necklaces below, or better yet, buy one that’s already layered if you don’t trust your own layering skills!

_5666237.jpg tulst2001111739_prod_zoom_front_v1_m56577569831145004._SX201_.jpg LBX12754_208634.jpg kcnydln.png 514G2C8KR5L._SS260_.jpg 414AScHtIDL._SS260_.jpg br623191-00vliv01.jpg pLIZ1-4892394big.jpg
1. Juicy Couture ‘Admiral’s Daughter’ Long Layered Necklace, $128 at
2. tuleste market Layered Ball & Chain Necklace, $140 at
3. Lucky Brand Love Layer Necklace, $95 at
4. Kenneth Cole New York Double-Layer Necklace, $40 at
5. Bead Multi-Strand Necklace, $29.99 at
6. Merona® Multi-Strand Faceted Pendant Necklace, $9.99 at
7. Square stations necklace, $49 at
8. Moroccan Haze Layered Illusion Necklace, $35 at
39997463916_lg.jpgQ. I just bought these cute High Waist Sailor Trousers from Arden B. and am wondering what to wear with them. I know that I could pair them with a black or white tank top, but I’d love your ideas on something more fun and flirty! Thank you for your help!

A. Cute jeans! To show off the sailor-inspired details, your best bet is a tucked in shirt. Given the volume of the jeans, your tucked in shirt should be slim fitting. A tank or a tee is a good option, and so is a fitted button down. Or, take a page from Katie Holmes’ style book (below) and wear a tee and a relaxed cardigan. If you’re willing to cover up the details at the waist, a slim belted top is a chic option.

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1. Nautical Stripe Tee , $13.80 at
2. Alice + Olivia Rosette Puff Sleeve Button Down Shirt, $242 at
3. Shadow Stripe Tunic, $88 at
4. Katie Holmes wearing high waisted jeans, a tucked in tee and a boyfriend cardigan

9755-556367-d.jpgQ. I just bought a cute orange patent leather Jessica Simpson bag at a great price but I am not sure if the color will still be “in” for the fall.

A. Whether it’s a bright orange or a fall-like burnt orange, we say YES! Wear your patent purchase proudly.

(check out this orange clutch shown in a Fall runway show that we recently wrote about)

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