| Ask The Style Chefs: January 2009 Archives

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January 2009 Archives

Q. Just wondered what to wear to a super bowl party?

A. Sunday afternoon, chicken wings and nachos, football… such a gathering calls for casual, cute clothes. Whatever you wear, make sure it’s comfortable - there’s a good chance you could be sitting on the floor to watch the game if seating is limited. Our suggestion: sweater and jeans with a pair of boots, or a tunic sweater, skinny jeans or leggings and ballet flats. Here are two looks to guide you:

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B. Chyll Rachel Cashmere Short Sleeve Sweater in Rum Raisin and B Chyll Joy Cashmere Open Sweater at

alloyimage.gifQ. I’m looking for these cute sequin flats from a few seasons ago but can’t seem to find them. Can you help?

A. Unfortunately, these Dollhouse “Twinkle Toes” flats are no longer available. We did find some other cute sequin flats that you may like. (P.S. sequin flats are a fun way to dress up a basic jeans look - wear them day or night.)

Q. I heard that satin will no longer be in this summer, I recently bought and already own a few satin tops that are really cute and I can combine with several other clothing items. Can I still wear them and not look outdated? Please advise…

A. Of course you can wear satin this summer! Don’t worry so much about what is “in” or “out” - if you love something and feel good in it, then wear it. Yes, fashion can be fickle, but other than super trendy items, most items (and fabrics) can be worn for years without going out of style. In the case of your satin tops, it is more about the silhouette of the items than the fabric when considering whether they are stylish or not.

Here are several pretty satin tops to wear now, this summer and for years to come:

Q. Where can I find a trenchcoat? I am a petite size, 5’2”, 85 pounds. I want a color that is ivory, black, white, houndstooth; but preferably ivory or black. I want something that is cut above the knee, preferably mid-thigh. I want something under $100 that is preferable available in the stores. Something under $40 would be even better, since the economy is so bad right now! I want a single-breasted, belted, with buttons (not gold buttons), something very fitted, hugs my curves, I want one with a collar that can be popped up/flipped up (to cover my neck), I want something with the detail of “fold-over tabs with button” on the front shoulder/chest and wrist. I want something that is fully lined, with pockets. It would also be nice to have big pockets inside.

A. A girl who knows what she wants! It sounds like what you’re looking for is a classic 3 season single breasted trench coat in a neutral color, petite size. Something that should be in every stylish girl’s closet. The below styles meet most, if not all, of your requirements:

This classic coat features a button-out lining for added versatility and three-season wear and comes in petite sizes.
Available in a variety of fresh colors and comes in petite, regular and tall sizes.
This classic coat features a removable lining, comes in petite sizes and several colors, including black.
Button details, available in red, white and black.
Q. Hi, my best friend is getting married in June. Her wedding colors are baby pink and chocolate brown. The Bridesmaid Dresses are tea-length. The top half is pink and the skirt is brown. She wants us to wear chocolate brown shoes but with money being tight I am having a hard time finding inexpensive shoes. Help!

A. Sure thing! Here are several styles under $90, some as low as $44!

Q. I have been invited to a wedding in which the attire is listed as “formal resort wear”. I have no idea what this means. This is a winter wedding in a cold weather climate. Please help me.

A. I’m having trouble figuring out why a bride chose “formal resort wear” for a cold weather wedding - a wedding in the tropics, I understand. Bride’s prerogative, I guess!

Resort clothes are typically vibrant, playful and cheerful; made of lightweight fabrics intended for a winter getaway to a warm climate. Formal resort wear is usually a little less dressy than typical black tie or formal wear. My guess is that the bride wants you to wear pretty dressy dresses that are fun, festive and bright. Pair yours with pretty metallic sandals and playful jewelry and you should be set.

Since it will be chilly out, wear your usual dressy coat and take it off as soon as you get inside. Have fun, and pretend you’re on a tropical cruise somewhere!

Below are a few dresses suitable for a formal resort affair:

Q. I purchased a vintage-looking black two-button leather blazer that looked cute online, but when I tried it on, it made me look a bit too “mature” (I’m 28 and I wear a size 8)…what (if anything) can I wear with it to make it look trendy and more updated?

A. Great purchase! A vintage-inspired leather jacket is a great investment piece that you’ll wear for years. Take your cue from the looks shown here to wear yours in a modern, youthful way:

You’ll notice that all of the above looks include a v-neck or scoop neck underpinning. Generally, this gives the jacket a more flattering and young look than a turtleneck or high crew neck underpinning would.

Try pairing your leather jacket with:

  • a pencil skirt and ankle boots
  • a flirty, feminine dress
  • a fitted tee or tank, skinny jeans and knee boots, ankle boots or even ballet flats. Add a loosely wrapped scarf for an added layer of chic
  • a tank top, boot cut jeans and ankle boots

Also, try pushing your sleeves up a little for the latest “boyfriend” jacket look

Q. My wife has a gold charm bracelet, but no charms. I would like to buy her some charms for her birthday but have no idea where to begin. Any suggestions?

shoecharm.pngA. What a lovely and special gift idea. Charm bracelets are a great way to create a customized ever-evolving piece of jewelry, a sort of wearable personal scrapbook. When searching for charms, it’s best to choose designs that have meaning to the wearer. Juicy Couture offers a huge selection of affordable charms (like the shoe charm shown here, $48). We found these as well as offerings from Links of London and Jay Strongwater at If you’d like to go the luxe route, Tiffany&Co. offers a large variety of charms.

Vintage charms are another option, and a great way to create a one-of-a-kind instant heirloom. You can hunt through antique stores or comb through ebay, but I’m guessing you don’t have the time or desire to uncover a vintage treasure. Instead, head to or for a great selection of vintage charms. You can even send M&B a wish list and they’ll help you create a custom piece or hand-engrave a vintage charm.

Q. My dilemma… I forget every year that I have this problem. I’d love your suggestions. Once the cold weather hits, I don’t want to wear my cute shoes for a couple of reasons - dangerous on the ice and not very warm. I know there are always boots but even cute boots aren’t very warm with the thin soles and sometimes heels. I’m a mom of two who mostly wears jeans, t-shirts, sweaters…casual wear. No skinny jeans here… I’m usually running around doing errands, driving the kids etc…I want some cute shoes or boots to wear inside and outside that are warm and somewhat durable. I have winter boots but get SO sick of wearing them all the time. And, I’m not talking about during a snowstorm but after it’s snowed and there is still snow on the ground but the roads & sidewalks are cleaned up. Any suggestions? Thanks!

A. Believe it or not, you don’t need to trade your “cute” shoes for winter boots when the weather gets cold and soggy. Weatherproof shoes have come a long way and women no longer need to settle for traditionally unstylish snow boots. Two of our favorite brands are Aquatalia and La Canadienne, each offering a huge variety of weatherproof shoes, ankle boots and tall boots that are so stylish, you’ll want to wear them even when the weather is fair. Though some styles are a little bit expensive, consider it an investment in a shoe you’ll wear for many winters to come. Below are just a few of our favorite styles, most of which are perfect for your casual, on-the-go lifestyle - and some are even on sale!

Q. I am a stay at home Mom and would love some fashion advice as to what kind of dress to wear to a sunset beach wedding. We are going to Playa Del Carmen at the end of January for my sister-in-law’s wedding. Can you give some ideas or where I should shop online for a fun dress that I can also wear for the summer in Iowa? I want it to be a classy but somewhat sexy dress to wear in the summer. I am slim and 5’7”. Can you also tell me what shoes and jewelry to wear? I need all the help I can get.

A. How amazing, a beach wedding in the tropics in the middle of winter. Here’s your chance to wear something fun, flirty and playful. Look for tropical prints, florals or pretty colors in softly flowing fabrics and swingy shapes. Avoid anything heavy, dark or too constricting. Be sure to wear flat or low-heeled sandals and be prepared to take them off in the sand (pretty toenails are a must!) Since the affair is at sunset, you should also bring along a lightweight wrap or cardigan in case it’s chilly.

Here are a few looks to wear to the wedding and all summer long (click on each item for purchasing information):

start with a pretty dress
add a lightweight wrap or cardigan
add flat sandals
finish the look with flirty earrings and bangles

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