| Ask The Style Chefs: March 2010 Archives

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March 2010 Archives

Q. I bought a few pairs of gladiator sandals last summer, can I still wear them?

A. You’re in luck! Grecian-inspired sandals continue to be a huge trend this season. We especially love them worn with dresses and skirts. Here are some of this season’s stand-outs:


Guess what? Gladiator sandals aren’t the only spring trend you already own.

Q. I am in the process of applying and interviewing for jobs in the graphic design field. What are your suggestions for appropriate interview attire? I want to look professional and respectful, but also show style and personality. I think in the creative industry employeers will want to see individuality and style, but I’m not sure how to balance that with professional business attire.


A. Although you’ll likely be able to dress casually if you land a job in the graphic design field, you should dress professionally for the interview. You can avoid anything that looks too “buttoned up” or corporate, but you don’t want to wear anything too fun or funky that might be distracting. In other words, dress stylishly, but not too trendy; professional, but with a bit of personality. It goes without saying that you should avoid anything that shows too much cleavage and skirts that are too short (make sure you sit in your skirt to see how much leg shows).

A dress is always our favorite interview option, it is an effortless way to look pulled together without having to worry about matching a top to a bottom. Here are a few options for inspiration:

Black and white is a forever chic combination. The graphic print dress (above left) is a great alternative to a classic monochromatic sheath dress. Swap out the belt for something a little more stylish and layer on a black blazer for a look that is just right for an interview for a graphic design position. Black pumps and a chic tote with subtle stud details adds just a touch of trendiness.

For the look on the right (above), a solid colored shirtdress is the perfect background for stylish accessories. An elegant, yet not over-the-top, statement necklace and cuff bracelet show your creative personality. A neutral tote with interesting texture detail and gorgeous peep-toe pumps help create a head-to-toe chic look.

Q. Are pleated skirts out of style?


A. Pleated skirts are most definitely still in style. The most ubiquitous silhouettes this season are pleated full skirts and short “skater” style skirts. Whether you wear one of these or a more traditional pleated skirt, try tucking in a tank or button down shirt, or pair it with a jacket, cardigan or blazer. Here are some looks for inspiration:

Q. Are oversized clutches still in for Spring/Summer 2010? I recently bought a gray clutch with zipper details, what can I wear it with for both everyday wear and going out?

A. Though the oversized clutch isn’t on everyone’s top 10 list this season, you can absolutely still wear yours without fear of being a fashion victim. An oversized gray clutch can be worn with virtually any look this spring, day or night. Some favorite options: with a feminine floral dress; with a pretty printed blouse and skinny jeans; a boyfriend blazer and a printed full skirt… you get the idea, pretty much any look works!


Q. I’m going to Montego Bay for a vacation/wedding, not mine. I’m trying to figure out what to pack. I’m thinking shorts, tanks and bikinis but what about the wedding? I’m not sure what to wear that would be appropriate but comfortable in the heat. It’s semi-formal. Could you give me some hints? Thanks.


A. How fun! Without doubt, you want to wear a pretty, fun, lightweight dress that has a hint of island attitude for a destination wedding in Jamaica. Look for fabrics like chiffon and jersey that won’t wrinkle in your suitcase. You didn’t mention whether the wedding is inside or outside, so be sure to pack a pair of glam flat sandals in case the ceremony takes place on the beach or grass.

Q. I am attending a girlfriend’s wedding at the end of March in San Diego. Her ceremony and reception will be held at a Yacht Club, I was wondering what would be most appropriate.

A. Assuming there wasn’t a recommended attire on the invitation and that the wedding is in the evening, women should wear a pretty cocktail dress in a classic silhouette and men should wear a nice suit. Since we are headed into spring, we recommend wearing something with color or one of this season’s pretty pastel dresses. Don’t forget a wrap or cover-up in case some of the affair takes place outdoors. Here are a few options:


Q. HELP!! My Fiance’s mother is throwing us an engagement party luncheon at a country club at the end of March in Boston and I have no idea what to wear. I went looking for dresses last weekend and found a few that I liked but I think they are all a bit to fancy for a luncheon. From people I’ve talked to, they all say something along the lines of “Sunday Best” but I can’t seem to find something that looks good and doesn’t look either matronly or like a child. I have a few weeks but I’m starting to panic that I won’t have anything and will have to wear my standby LBD and I don’t want to wear black, it’s my engagement and I think I should be in color or white or something that makes me stand out a bit…but clearly I’ve never done this before so I don’t know. I know the LBD is always classic and I can add color with shoes, purse and jewelry, but I’m a very classic girl, at least where jewelry is concerned, so I was hoping to be able to wear my grandmother’s pearls or her diamond necklace. Any tips would be really helpful!

A. Deep breath. Your engagement party is going to be wonderful, no matter what you wear, but of course you want to look great since you’ll be the center of attention. Though it is a luncheon, feel free to dress a bit nicer than the guests, it’s your party! A dress or pretty top and skirt is your best option. Though we are huge fans of a classic little black dress, you are correct that this occasion calls for something a bit more colorful or bridal. You’re in luck - pretty spring dresses are everywhere now, you just need to find your perfect one.

Since we love the idea of you wearing your grandmother’s pearls or diamond necklace, we have selected some pretty dresses with necklines to accommodate them. Here are some pretty, yet classic, ideas for you that will look great in photos 20 years from now:


Q. I’d like to go green for St. Patrick’s Day and was wondering if there were any rules on wearing green and mixing greens. I heard green is a trend for spring, so how can I wear green fashionably?

A. I’ve never been one to wear green on St. Patty’s Day, but lucky for you, it is a big trend for spring! We’re seeing everything from pale pastel and jewel tones to blue-green marine hues and military olives. I do love to see different shades of green mixed together, but it is not an easy look to wear head-to-toe. Try mixing in gold, copper, yellow, blue, nude and more to blend with your greens. Here are some gorgeous green pieces to incorporate into your wardrobe, for March 17th and beyond:


Q. I recently bought this adorable dress from Old Navy but I am having a hard time figuring out what to wear with it other than boring flip flops. Can you give me some suggestions on how to make this dress more versatile?


A. Your chambray dress is perfectly on trend this spring. Skip the flip flops and dress up your chambray dress with one of this season’s must-have nude sandals. Add a chic cuff bracelet or open up the top buttons and wear a statement necklace to add more style to the look.

Q. I am in a wedding this spring and the bride has chosen some really beautiful stilettos for us bridesmaids. My problem? I’ve had the “luxury” of a casual-dress environment for the last several years and very rarely wear heels anymore! I will be in these shoes for at least 12 hours; I really want to enjoy her wedding and not have to resort to flip-flops (horror!) or - ahem - getting drunk to relieve my aching feet. Do you have a “best” insert/insole recommendation?

A. Lucky for you, these heels aren’t too high, so they won’t completely destroy your comfort-shoe-loving feet. However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have comfort insoles on hand to help you dance the night away. For years, the StyleBakery team has used Foot Petals “Killer Kushions” to soften the pain of our cute-but-killer heels. They have a slim profile, so they work with even the most bare sandals.

We also really like Dr. Scholl’s for Her High Heel Insoles which are made specifically for heels that are 2” or higher. They work by taking the pressure off the ball of your foot. They are clear and have a slim profile, so they work with virtually all shoes.

We can’t guarantee that either of these products will give you an ache-free evening (even a 2” heel can hurt after 12 hours on your feet!) but they will certainly help. And a glass of champagne or two wouldn’t hurt either.

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