| Ask The Style Chefs: December 2010 Archives

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December 2010 Archives

Q. I am attending an upcoming wedding. I have my dress picked out, but I’ve been requested to wear flats, something I don’t usually go for. What are some good formal options that won’t dress down my outfit?

A. When searching for dressy flats, look for sparkling accents like sequins and jewels, or formal embellishments like ribbons, bows and velvet. Here are some options that we’re loving. (TIP: After your event is over, wear your dressy flat with jeans and a blazer or cropped skinny pants and a chunky sweater.)


Q. I love how nude heels go with everything and elongate your legs. My problem is I have very tan legs (I’m Filipino) and really light feet from sock tans and running shoes since I’m an avid runner. Luckily, the line isn’t quite distinct. It kind of blends. Should I wear nude pumps that match my legs’ tone or pumps that match my feet? My logic is to go with the lighter nude since wearing pumps that match my legs would look like “colored” shoes on my feet instead of “disappearing”. The lighter nude would match my feet and elongate the length of my legs, despite the two tones. But I’m not very sure if my reasoning is sound and I would like a second opinion. What do you think I should wear?


A. Nude heels, or heels that match your skin tone, have the wonderful effect of elongating your legs, as well as matching any outfit. Since your feet and ankles are lighter than the rest of your leg, your best bet is to find a pair of heels that matches your foot and ankle as closely as possible, since this is the area of your leg that will be closest to your shoes.

Another option is to use self tanner on the lighter areas so that the color more closely matches the rest of your leg. If you’re not a big fan of self tanner, you can try a daily moisturizer that gives you a subtle gradual tan like Jergens Natural Glow.

Below is a selection of nude and tan heels to match a variety of skin tones:

Q. I just had a baby six months ago and am still trying to return to my pre-pregnancy body or close to it. I am 5’2” so I am already short and now I have a pooch around my mid-section. I also have no hips and very a little tush so I do not have curves. I am having trouble finding flattering clothes to camouflage my mid-section without turning to empire, maternity styles. I feel like a few years ago the baby doll/empire waistline was really in, but now everything is slim and tight. I have tried a belt around my mid-section but I still feel like that doesn’t help and almost emphasizes it. Also, I live in a warm climate so throwing a jacket or blazer over everything isn’t always practical. Is it possible for me to find fashionable, yet flattering outfits?


A. The key to dressing for your post-pregnancy body is to emphasize the positive while camouflaging your mid-section. In your case, slim legs and hips are your best feature- which makes wearing this season’s skinny pants and leggings (or even shorts if it’s really warm) ideal. Pair your slim pants with a blousey tunic top and an optional lightweight cardigan or vest for a flattering look. If you’re dressing for a party or a night out, opt for a short shift dress to help conceal your tummy and show off your legs. Avoid belts and slim jersey tops which will only accentuate your tummy.

Here are some silhouettes for inspiration:

Q. I’m looking for a stylish, yet warm and cozy boot to wear this winter. I love how soft and comfortable UGGs are, but I just cannot bear how unattractive they are. Can you offer some more fashionable alternatives that are just as comfy?

A. There’s a reason the admittedly not-so-cute UGG boots have stuck around for so many years - they really are incredibly soft, warm and comfortable. However, they’re not the only cozy game in town. Here are some chic alternatives to the ubiquitous UGG shearling boot:


Q. I’m trying to score a trench coat on sale during the holidays. I’m looking for a single breasted trench coat in petite with a removable lining and removable hood. The hood is not a must-have, but the removable lining is. I have searched and searched for years and I have yet to find one. Any help would be appreciated!

A. You’re right, that is a tall (or petite!) order. We found the perfect coat for you that meets all of your requirements and is available in brown or black. The Gallery ‘Nepage’ Three Quarter Length Trench, on sale for $129.90 at It’s a classic single breasted style with a removable lining and detachable hood which will give you 3-season wear. Below are a few more options as well.

Q. I love my ballet flats but as real winter approaches, I want a little more covering my toes — but I don’t want to lose the polish that ballet flats offer (or their lightness & ease). I am seeing a lot of tall boots or biker boots, but I am not a biker chick — I am a prep! Help!


A. We, too, love our ballet flats. But at some point when the temperatures drop low enough, we are forced to give them up for something a bit more practical. As a replacement, I am assuming that you’re looking for flat shoes that suit your preppy style. Since you mention tall boots or biker boots as an option, perhaps you are not limited only to shoes and will consider a boot as well. A classic riding boot always looks polished and it’s a very comfortable option. Flat booties, desert shoes and menswear-inspired brogues are also chic alternatives to the ballet flat.

Below are some polished, comfortable and easy shoes to consider that will keep your toes warm:

Q. I want to wear this super cute dress to two different holiday parties. One is for hubby’s work/client party (read: conservative, stuffy lawyers) and the other is a more casual gathering with friends. I live in Florida so I don’t need to be in heavy layers, but tights and a little something to cover my shoulders would be perfect. Can’t wait to see what you come up with, because this one has me stumped!!

A. You picked a great dress with many possibilities. For your husband’s work party, I suggest slipping a blazer or tuxedo jacket over the dress, adding a pair of black tights and heels. A great necklace and clutch will finish the look. For a gathering with friends, I recommend adding a lightweight leather jacket or a sequin trimmed cardigan, each paired with a chic pair of booties, no tights. Or, you could always wear the dress alone paired with booties and an edgy necklace for your casual get-together.


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