| Ask The Style Chefs: October 2010 Archives

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October 2010 Archives


Q. With the cooler weather quickly approaching, I am on the hunt for shoes I can wear during my winter commute. I typically walk about 30 blocks to/from work and need some comfy shoes that keep my feet warm. Unfortunately the shoes I have found so far may be supportive and warm, but they are not cute, or the shoes are cute, but have no support whatsoever. Are there any particular brands or shoe styles I need to look into? I would love your advice!

A. One of this season’s hottest trends also happens to be super comfortable and cozy for winter: shearling and faux fur lined boots. Available in a range of heights and price ranges, the waterproof version of this boot will not only keep your feet dry, but also warm.

Since the shoes you wear to brave the weather and walk 30 blocks might not be the same ones you want to wear all day at the office, we suggest carrying a pair of heels in your work tote to change into (or leaving a pair at work). The boots will also ensure that your pants or tights remain dry.

Below is a selection of warm, comfortable shoes in shearling and non-shearling styles that will be perfect for your winter trek to work:

Q. I am in search of a sequin mini dress with 3/4 quarter or long sleeves to wear to a wedding in NYC in February. This dress seems to be impossible to find for under $300. Can you help me find something cute and classy?


A. We love a good sequin mini dress, especially with long sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves which help give a short dress a more sophisticated silhouette. We found some beautiful dresses in your price range below that are so pretty, you won’t want to wait until February to wear! You’ll get plenty of wear out of your dress for holiday parties or New Year’s Eve. You can also dress it down for a fun night on the town with a leather or denim jacket, or a blazer.

Q. I bought an amazing pair of brown lace-up (granny style) boots. I have no clue what to wear with them besides pants. The weather is turner colder and I want to show them off!


A. You’re right to want to show off your lace-up boots this season! Your options for what to wear them with are numerous, including dresses, skirts, skinny jeans and leggings. Wear them with anything you would wear with a tall boot or riding boot. Here are two looks for inspiration:

Q. Cold weather is coming! For northern girls like me (Milwaukee!) the cold weather season presents a difficult challenge for me, as my favorite clothes to wear are flats with trousers, flats with skinny jeans, flats with anything! But I don’t like them with socks, and then my feet get cold! Can you provide some variation on the flats with pants look for winter? Do socks look ok with this style?


A. I’m a big ballet flat person myself and wear them as long as possible into the cold weather without socks. When I finally can’t stand cold ankles any longer, I typically turn to ankle boots and tall boots. However, I have also been known to wear socks with flats on occasion.

Some flats are easier to pair with socks than others. For instance, an Oxford flat or menswear-inspired shoe looks great with a sock, and mary jane style flats tend to look great with tights. The trickiest kind of flat to wear with a sock is a ballet flat or similar shoe that shows off a lot of the top of your foot (instep), however, it can be done. The key to pulling off this look is to match your sock color to your shoe color. Black is always the easiest, so a black sock with a black shoe looks fine. Choose a smooth sock (or tights) that won’t bunch up.

There is a big trend towards socks this season, however, as designers sent many looks down the runways showing off socks with heels, sandals and ankle boots. Try experimenting with some fun socks with your flats in a “meant to be seen” fashion.

Your other alternative, of course, is to switch to a flat ankle boot or flat tall boot. You’ll get the same comfort you’re used to without worrying about socks and exposed ankles. Here are some styles to try:

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Q. I’ve had my eye on Hunter Boots for almost 2 years now. Each year, I feel like it won’t be in style the following year and that I shouldn’t invest so much in Rain Boots (since I live in Sunny Southern California). After 2 years, I still want them. I wanted to know if it would be a good investment for my boot collection. If so, any recommendation on color and what type of outfits to pair it with?


A. Even in sunny southern California, you still need to be prepared for the occasional rainstorm - and there’s nothing that’s more practical and stylish than Hunter boots (or Wellie-style rain boots). Wellies are the rare combination of classic and trendy style. The key to finding a pair that you won’t tire of is to choose a simple color, rather than some of the flamboyant prints that come in and out of style. Believe me, you’ll wear your rubber boots for years and years. The color you choose depends on your personal style, but here are some options with staying power from Hunter and other brands:

As for what to wear them with, they pair easily with skinny jeans and leggings. But we also love them with shorts, dresses and skirts - perfect for sunny California! Here are some more ideas on what to wear with your rain boots.

Q. I put together a black sequin blazer on a black chiffon dress that formed a glorious mixture. I wonder what accessories I can wear with such an outfit. I do know which bag and shoes that go along, but I can’t seem to figure out what necklace, earrings, and bracelet, etc., noting that I will be attending a cocktail party.


A. Since you’re wearing a dress with a jacket, consider skipping the necklace (which might compete with the sequins) and opt for dramatic earrings and a cocktail ring instead. The great news is that black provides you with limitless options! You can go simple with black, diamonds or pearls, or add some colored stones for drama. Here are some suggestions:

Q. I am almost 6’ tall with an athletic/hourglass figure. I can range in size from an 8-14 depending on the season. At an 8, I’m about as lean as I can get and at 14 I’m enjoying extra goodies and drinks, but still not “overweight” by any means. I know it’s not a good habit, especially for my closet.


I am a 12-14 right now. I have a pair of dark skinny jeans that fit really well and an awesome pair of on-trend knee high, flat brown boots. Are these ok for me? I feel like I should wear something to cover my larger parts (hips/outer thigh), but am having a hard time finding the right look. I’ve searched for long tunics and sweaters, but am just not sure what to wear with my skinnys/boots…or if I should skip them until I am smaller again?

A. Yes, yes, yes! You are tall, found a pair of dark skinny jeans that look great on you and have amazing knee high flat boots - what more can a girl ask for? Whether you are a size 6 or a size 16, your tall frame is made for this look! Your instincts are correct to look for sweaters, blazers and tunics to help conceal your bulges and give you a lean silhouette. Here are some options for you:

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