| Ask The Style Chefs: September 2009 Archives

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September 2009 Archives

Q. I’ve just purchased a sleevless black dress that has a wide belt which sits just below the waist. The dress is very fitted and comes to the knee. I have a pair of black stylish heels. If I do decide to wear hosiery would I wear nude, black or a color….I would appreciate your opinion.

A. The beauty of a black shift dress is that it’s a neutral canvas that works with a multitude of colorful accessories and legwear. Skip the nude hosiery this season and opt for black tights or one of this season’s bevy of colors, prints and patterns instead.

Q. I recently bought this boyfriend vest but I have no idea what to wear with it aside from jeans and a tank. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

A. You can absolutely wear it with jeans and a tank or a long sleeve shirt. Another option that is very in style right now is to wear your vest over a boyfriend shirt paired with leggings or skinny jeans/black pants and ankle boots or pumps. Here is a look below to inspire you:

Q. Will boyfriend blazers be in style during the fall?

A. The answer is a resounding YES! If you were lucky enough to buy a boyfriend blazer in the spring, then you’re all set. If not here are a few options for you in every price range:


Q. I have been eyeing a metallic tote to add some dimension to my mostly neutral wardrobe. Would a metallic tote look out of season in the winter? Thanks so much for your help! I love your website!

A. While not as “hot’ as they have been in past seasons, there are many gorgeous metallic handbags out there right now. They can absolutely be worn in the winter and are great for brightening up a neutral wardrobe. Another handbag color to consider is red. Not only is red super hot this season, but it’s a classic color that is ideal for adding dimension to a neutral wardrobe since it pairs well with so many colors. Here are some tote options for you to consider:


Q. I am an active college student searching for a large stylish bag to hold a couple of books, my school supplies, makeup, etc. Where can I find something large enough that’s still trendy and affordable?

A. We found several stylish handbag options to take you from class to shopping to dinner with friends, and not a boring tote or collegiate backpack in the bunch. The best part? Nothing costs more than $100:


Q. I’ve been stuck in a jeans and t-shirt rut since university and have finally decided that enough is enough. I have some perfectly nice clothes that I’ve never worn because I don’t know how to put together outfits. I also have a lot of questions, but I’ll just go with this one for now. I have a corduroy skirt that has been hanging in my closet for ages because I don’t know what to wear with it besides a boring black top. I’m 27 years old, 5’0” and an average build (I’m not straight up and down but I’m not curvy either). I have dark red hair and very pale skin so too much black close to my face tends to wash me out. I’m on a pretty tight budget, so Target/Old Navy-like prices would be ideal. Thank you so much for your website!

A. Great news, it’s time to pull that corduroy mini out of the closet! Wear it with tights and boots or leggings and heels; on top, layer on cardigans, blazers and jackets for a great look. We were inspired by this laid back layered look from the Dsquared² fall runway (shown right) to create the affordable looks below:

Q. I will be attending a 700 guest wedding in a few weeks and I am confused about what to wear. I am a size 16 and have tattoos and facial piercings. It’s so hard to find a dress that would accommodate my style. I love the rocker look but do not like showing my legs. so i tend to wear tube dresses that hit mid calf. What would you suggest for plus size dresses and shoes?


A. We totally dig the rocker look, but even rock stars have to dress for an elegant affair. Below are a few dresses that don’t show too much skin and won’t compromise your edgy style.

Choose an edgy, yet evening-appropriate shoe to complement your dress:

Q. I loved your feature on how to wear leggings last year. I was wondering if you could do a more current feature on how to wear leggings this fall, preferably for a mix of temps. Are leggings still current or should I skip them and move on to denim leggings?

A. Leggings are not only current, they are hotter than ever. Everything from basic black to denim to wild patterns and colors were shown all over the fall runways. Leggings look best worn with longer tops like a boyfriend blazer or chunky knit sweater; or worn in place of tights with a skirt or dress. This season, pumps or ankle boots are the hottest pairing for your leggings, but you can also wear knee high boots and even flats.


Here are a few leggings looks for inspiration:

Q. I’d like some help with my summer-to-fall transitioning! I just bought a fabulous knee-length white linen skirt during the rash of Labor Day sales, and I’d like to wear it to work. It’s still summer weather where I live (in the 80s). Should I pair it with black tights and flats? Or, since it’s September and technically Fall, should I pack it in the closet for next spring? Any help would be appreciated.

A. Though we’re all for wearing white after Labor Day, linen can be tricky. If you live in a warm climate, you can still wear this tropical fabric as long as the weather is still hot. Here in the northeast, it’s already getting chilly, so it is no longer appropriate to wear linen.

If you’re still experiencing summer weather and would like to wear your white linen skirt, we suggest pairing it with black, an eternally chic combination. As for wearing black tights, if it’s warm enough for linen, then it is too warm for tights, so go barelegged instead.


Q. For some reason I stuggle with wearing patent leather shoes. I have a couple of pairs of shoes that are patent; one is navy and one is dark red. I don’t wear them because I question if it’s the right time of year. What season is it appropriate to wear patent or is it always ok to do so? Please set me straight.

A. Patent leather used to be strictly a spring and summer skin, but in recent years, it has not only been okay to wear in the fall and winter, it has actually been a trend (read this post from last year). For fall, we love patent leathers in black, red, navy and purple, but more important than the color is the style of your shoe. If the silhouette is fall-appropriate, then go for it. Below are some patent accessories that are new for fall for inspiration:


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