| Ask The Style Chefs: July 2009 Archives

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July 2009 Archives

Q. I bought a pair of linen colored linen pants. Can you help me figure out what color shirt to wear? For example, can I do white even though the pants are more “Natural” in color? Or should I do a brown. And what about shoes? I have a great pair of bronze/bone slingbacks that look great with the pant, but again, don’t know what color shirt to wear with them.

A. The great thing about a natural colored linen pant is that it looks great with EVERYTHING. Crisp white paired with natural linen is a classic chic look, add in brown and bronze and you’ve got the timeless “safari” mix of hues. In addition to this neutral mix, natural linen looks great with pale blush colors, black and brights like turquoise, red, yellow, green, pink and orange, to name a few. Here is some inspiration for mixing colors with natural:

Q. I’m always on the search for a great t-shirt…my problem is that they usually aren’t long enough…any ideas??

A. Luckily, many brands are now making longer length (or tunic length) tees, we’ve featured a few below. Another option is to look for tees that come in tall sizes, like those from Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic. Finally, you can always layer a long tank underneath your tees to achieve the length you’re looking for along with a chic layered look.

Q. I recently bought a pair of unlined white linen pants that have a sash belt. I wanted to pair them with a “deep sea aqua” sleeveless fitted shirt and tuck it into the pants to show off the belt. Is it acceptable to tuck a dark colored shirt into unlined white linen pants? Or should you go with a lighter color shirt so that it cannot be seen through the pants?

whitelinenpants.pngA. Aqua and white are a gorgeous combination, however, if your shirt is showing through your pants, you should definitely go with a lighter color. Unlined white linen pants can be tricky, since many colors can show through. Also, be sure to wear nude colored underwear to avoid any show-through (white underwear is a big no-no!)

chunkyshoes.JPGQ. I am hoping you can help me. I keep hearing about chunky heels making a comeback, and although I’m not a big fan of them, I kept an old pair of shoes that I purchased about 10 years ago because I loved how they looked. They looked super cute with my jeans and short black shorts so I’m wondering if I can wear them again or not. The heel is pretty square but it’s on a platform so I’m not sure if this is ok, or if I’m going to regret I wore them halfway through my night out by looking or feeling totally out-dated.

A. Isn’t it great when you’re smart (or lucky) enough to hang on to a trend that makes its way back to being stylish? Your 10 year old chunky heels are a great shoe to wear now and in the fall. Don’t believe us? Check out these shoes, all with similar chunky stacked heels:

Q. I’m in my mid-40s and starting to go into menopause. Suddenly, I’m feeling like a wrinkled old lady and nothing in my closet looks good on me. I know it’s probably the hormones talking, but do you have any tips on how to dress my age and still look stylish?


A. Of course it’s the hormones talking! After all, you’re the same person you were a year ago, so menopause doesn’t mean you have to suddenly dress like your grandmother. And if you think hot flashes are all bad, watch this cute video at and you’ll feel better about your enviable flush. The point is, don’t let menopause steal your confidence and young attitude!

If you’re thumbing through the latest issue of your favorite fashion mag and just not identifying with the trends worn by the 20-year-old 110-pound models, you’re certainly not alone. But other than a few trends that are best left behind (we’re talking to you rompers and short jean shorts), most can be worn by women of all ages and sizes if you choose the right pieces. Often times, pairing a trendy piece with classic pieces like dark denim jeans or a pencil skirt is all it takes to make it seem age-appropriate.

Here are just a few of our favorite summer looks that look great on women over 40:

2. Full Skirt + T-Shirt: a full skirt with a simple top is one of those timeless trends that look great on women of all ages. Skip the flip flops and wear heels or chic sandals instead.
1. Floral Dress: Floral dresses often seem so young and girly, but these are sophisticated and chic.

This post has been brought you by Only in a Woman’s World.

Q: I just bought a gorgeous, and very practical, red leather handbag (the Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Teri Tote). Its my first red purse and I’m just wondering if I have to match the red handbag with red shoes?

marcj2143512466_prod_zoom_back_v1_m56577569831480960.jpgA. Red handbags are one of our favorite ways to accessorize, since you can wear them with almost any color in your wardrobe. Forget about matching your red bag to red shoes and instead opt for brown, black, camel, tan, white, gold, silver, bronze, blue, green… In other words, wear your red bag with everything and don’t worry too much about matching the color to your clothes or shoes.

(The Teri tote is no longer available online in red, but we found a similar Marc bag at, shown here)

Q. Please help! I purchased a tie dyed scarf from Old Navy with combination of hot pink, coral, and light lavender. I don’t know what color shirt to wear with it. I am thinking of wearing a jean jacket with it. What color shirt should I wear with jean jacket? If I wear denim trousers, what color shirt would look best? I love this scarf, but I am afraid of wearing too much pink if I combine it with a hot pink shirt.

A. Great purchase! We are huge fans of colorful summer scarves. Your pink dip dye scarf will really “pop” when worn with denim, so go for it. In addition to denim and white, don’t be afraid to mix colors (another trend we are huge fans of!). Here are just a sample of colors to wear with your scarf. Don’t worry too much about looking “matchy”, just experiment and have fun!


For more on how to wear summer scarves:

Q. I have fallen in love with an orange-red maxi dress that i found on Forever 21, fits very well and seems extreamly comfy…but was wondering what I could wear over it. Usually I’d just wear a black or white cradigan over it, but am looking for something that would make the dress pop, and not look like a walking rainbow. Please Help.

A. You could go with a cardigan if you like (white, cream, yellow, etc.), but one of our favorite things to throw on over a maxi dress is a little denim jacket. It is the perfect complement for a long summery dress. Another option is to tie on a lightweight scarf. And when the weather cools, we love a leather moto or biker jacket.

Q. I’m looking for a stylish summer dress than i can wear to work (business casual) and wear to weekend events. I like to dress up but have trouble finding dresses that are flattering to my petite (5’2”) curvy (size 4-6) frame. Dresses either have too much fabric and make me look bundled up or are too revealing. Please help me find something in between that is stylish too!!

A. You are on the right track by choosing a dress to wear to your business casual office and on weekends. Not only are dresses versatile, they are also the easiest thing to throw on in the morning - no worrying about matching up tops and bottoms - just one piece and you’re good to go!

Since you are petite, it is important that you shop stores that carry petite lines. This will ensure that dresses are cut to fit your shape, without all the extra fabric you’re complaining about. You’ll also save a bundle on trips to the tailor! We especially like Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and J Crew for their selection of petite sizes. Take note, though, you’ll often have to shop online for the largest selection since many stores only carry limited petite (and tall) sizes.

Here are some dresses we found for you to wear to work and on weekends. If you’re concerned about a dress being too revealing for work, try layering a cami underneath to cut down on cleavage, or wearing a cardigan over the dress to cover up arms if necessary.

Q. I love wearing tights with high heels, but how do I prevent my feet from slipping inside my shoes!

A. It sounds to me like your shoes may not fit properly. We are huge fans of Foot Petals products which offer various shoe inserts to help your shoes fit better. If this doesn’t keep your foot from sliding, you might want to try a little double-stick wardrobe tape like Topstick on the soles of your tights to help prevent slippage. Finally, you might want to opt for heels with ankle straps or t-straps which will help keep your foot in place.

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