| Ask The Style Chefs: June 2010 Archives

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June 2010 Archives

Q. I love the look of sundresses in the summer, but I’m a bit self conscious of my arms. Every dress I see seems to be sleeveless! Can you help me fun some pretty casual dresses with short sleeves?


A. You’re right, it’s not easy to find a casual sundress that has sleeves. In addition, designers tend to compensate for coverage on the arms by shortening the length of the dress, which makes it difficult for women no interested in showing a lot of skin. After hunting around, we found 8 beautiful and breezy day dresses that aren’t too short and have sleeves - just add sandals!

Q. I love the skinny cargo pant trend! How can I dress them up to make them appropriate for the business casual dress code at the office?

A. We are huge fans of this surprisingly flattering (and fun!) summer trend. Obviously, skinny cargo pants are appropriate for weekends and non-work environments, but incorporating them into your work wardrobe can be tricky. If you work in a business casual or casual office, we recommend pairing your skinny cargos with a feminine top, button down or blazer and a pair of heels. Save the tank tops and flip flops for your off hours, as these are too casual for any office. Here are some looks for inspiration:

For affordable skinny cargo pants, check out our picks for under $100

Q. I love all of the summer bags you featured today and I’m hoping you can do the same with summer clutches. I have a few parties and events this summer and I’d love to wear a pretty clutch with my summer dresses.

A. Summer fashions and lush tropical evenings call for bags with an island-inspired vibe, in simple shapes and natural textures like raffia, canvas and wood. These clutches are the perfect blend of glam sophistication with a laid-back attitude that easily moves from day to sultry night:

Q. Is it still ok to wear my black leather hobo bag, or is it too heavy for summer? Can you recommend some more summery styles to wear every day? I don’t want to spend a lot on a summer bag. Thanks!

A. While not necessarily a faux pas, a black leather bag tends to look a bit heavy next to lightweight summery clothes. There’s no rule that says you should replace it, but if you’re in the mood to lighten up, here are some chic summery bags that are perfect for everyday and under $100:


Q. I am always on the hunt for alternatives to a classic t-shirt to wear in the summer with skirts and shorts. Can you recommend some that are under $50?

A. With all the pretty t-shirts available this summer featuring embellishments, ruffles and more, there’s no reason to settle for a plain t-shirt anymore (unless, of course, you want to!) Here are some pretty options, all under $50:

Q. I’m looking for skinny cargo pants for the summer to pull off a fun casual vibe without resorting to jeans. I’d love to mix the edginess of the cargos with flirty heels and cute tops, any suggestions that won’t break the bank?


A. We love this look for summer too, but the ultra-hot J Brand Houlihan is a bit pricey at $230. Here are some options under $100 that will look amazing with heels and a pretty top:

Q. I found this beautiful green dress to wear to my father’s wedding in July. It is a daytime wedding in New York City so the style is a sort of summertime chic. I am not sure what shoes fit with this dress. Black seems too nighttime and wedges seem too casual. Also most of the styles I find have ankle straps and I don’t want to cut off my already short legs. Any suggestions?


A. Your best bet is a barely-there strappy sandal in a light or metallic color. Here are some leg lengthening options that won’t break your budget:

Q. I bought a black lace skirt that’s above the knee and a bit form fitting, what do I wear (top, shoes, jewelry) so it doesn’t look clubbish or trashy?

A. Take inspiration from these looks below and try pairing your short lace skirt with a soft t-shirt, tank or blouse to add some laid-back casual flair. Wedge heels or chunky black sandals complete the look. When the weather gets cooler, you can add a boyfriend blazer on top of the t-shirt or tank, black opaque tights and booties.


Q. When it gets too hot out to wear jeans, Casual Friday becomes the toughest day of the week to get dressed! Do you have any fashionable ideas for me? Thanks!

A. Casual Friday is the perfect opportunity to wear some of your less corporate, summery pieces paired with a pair of cute (not beachy) sandals. Trade in your jeans for stylish chinos, white jeans or slim cropped pants and pair them with light, airy tops. A lightweight jersey dress or shirtdress is an easy piece to throw on in the morning, and if your office allows, longer length sleek shorts are also a great option. For accessories, always have a lightweight scarf or thin cardigan on hand should the air conditioning kick into overdrive. Here are some looks for inspiration:


Q. Seriously, why are all the cutest dresses this season so short? Every one that I try on is cut so short, that I’m worried I will flash the world with the slightest breeze or if I lean over. What’s the trick to wearing these dresses for women who aren’t comfortable with minis?


A. I know what you mean, there are some ultra short minidresses out there this season, you wonder if anyone over the age of 16 can wear half of them. In cooler months, it’s easier to go short if you pair it with opaque tights, but in the warmer months, it can be trickier. If you do choose to wear a mini with bare legs, make sure you wear opaque boy shorts underneath so you’re covered in case a breeze blows.

If you just aren’t comfortable going so short, though, I’m right there with you. But that doesn’t mean we can’t wear some of this season’s cutest dresses. Try wearing a minidress with skinny white pants, leggings, or even shorts. Here are some looks for inspiration:

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