| Ask The Style Chefs: March 2011 Archives

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March 2011 Archives

Q. I’m going to a wedding in LA next month and absolutely stumped at what to wear. It’s going to be at a country club in the mid-afternoon. I was told suits for the guys, but wasn’t given any indication on what to wear as a girl. I’m 5’8, size 12-14, with a smaller waist and more junk in my trunk, and I want to also look as slim as possible! What do I wear??

A. Afternoon weddings are my favorite! They are a great excuse to get dressed up and wear a pretty dress, without having to invest in something black tie. In other words, you’ll get a lot more use out of the dress you choose! Play up your assets with a fitted top that shows off your waist and shoulders and look for a skirted bottom that flares out to conceal your “junk”.

For a spring afternoon wedding, I love a pretty printed dress, so here are a few options to choose from. Add a pair of heels, some fun jewelry and a pretty clutch and you’re all set!

Q. I loved the Clarks Indigo booties that were recommended on your site for a winter shoe. I would like something similar for spring, but with spring details (maybe open toe). I would wear them mostly with jeans or cargos. Can you recommend something comfortable, but stylish for a 40 year old mom-on-the-go? Love your site!


A. I’m so glad you liked your Clarks booties as much as I did this winter! Though they have a heel, they proved to be very comfortable for me as well. For spring, I’ll be replacing my suede booties with a wedge espadrille that has enough of a heel to make my legs look longer, while still being comfortable and manageable for this woman on-the-go (yours truly). Don’t let the platforms scare you, they are far more comfortable than you think, thanks to rubber soles, and the heels feel lower than they look.

Espadrilles look fantastic with jeans and cargos, not to mention shorts and dresses. And if you opt for a neutral color, they can be worn with everything. Here are some great picks to consider making your go-to spring/summer shoe:

Q. Ever since Mila Kunis showed up on the red carpet with a lavender dress, I’ve been searching desperately for one! I’d love to wear lavender to an upcoming spring wedding but I keep striking out! Please help me find a lavender-themed outfit for this wedding!


A. Mila Kunis’ Elie Saab dress was indeed gorgeous, and such a beautiful shade of lavender. I searched everywhere and was unable to find a dress that exact shade of loveliness, but here are some lavender and lilac dresses you may like:

Q. My sister recently got the Marc Jacob Hillier Hobo purse. It’s adorable but way out of my price range. Where can I find a similar purse at a more reasonable price? Also, I’m hoping to find one in white for the spring.


A. The Marc Jacobs is a simple, classic style that is clean with no embellishments. We found several white hobos for under $100 that look very similar to the MJ version. Enjoy!

Q. I am looking for a pair of really comfortable pants that don’t look like run-of-the-mill sweats but that I can wear and feel as though I’m wearing run-of-the-mill sweats. I’m afraid of yoga pants because they accentuate every flaw and I have to stand by my belief that leggings should not be worn as pants (and yoga pants are, essentially, leggings with flared bottoms). Can you help me find something comfy that I could actually wear in an airport without feeling like a slob and that I don’t need to wear special underwear with?


A. If you’re really looking for an upgrade to run-of-the-mill sweatpants, you’ll be thrilled about spring’s new dressed up sweatpant trend. Though I’m not sure I would spend $175 on a pair of Alexander Wang sweats, there are more affordable options available from a variety of designers. Here’s a selection of super cozy sweats to wear on the street, not at the gym:

Q. I want to graduate from the backpack to the messenger bag, mostly because, as my father told me, “no one looks good in a backpack,” but I don’t know what to look for and how to find one that will actually last without breaking the bank. All I need is something to carry my laptop and a few books (okay, not all).


A. I tend to agree with your father’s style advice: backpacks are not the most flattering bag option. Luckily, cross body (or messenger) bags are hot right now, so there are many stylish options available in a variety of price points. We scouted out some affordable styles for you that are a bit more chic and feminine than the traditional (and typically masculine) messenger bag. Most of these should fit a laptop and some books.

Last week we answered the question about how to wear bright bags for spring. Now that we’ve shown you some great runway-inspired styling options, we thought it only fair that we scout out some of the best bright bags for spring. Here are some of our favorites to update your wardrobe in every price range:


Q. I’ve been seeing a lot of super bright bags for spring, but I’m not sure what to wear them with. Before I spend money on one, can you give me some ideas on how to wear it?

A. Absolutely! Bright bags are a big trend for spring, adding an instant pick-me-up to any look. There are several ways to incorporate a colorful accessory into your look:

Perhaps the easiest way to wear a bright bag is to pair it with neutrals like white, black or tan, letting the colorful accessory pop.


A trickier trend that was huge on the runways is to pair a bright bag with other brights, creating a color blocked contrast.


Finally, you can go matchy-matchy with your bright bag, pairing it with similarly hued clothing.


Now that we’ve covered how to wear bright bags, in our next column, we’ll help you find the perfect bright bag, so stay tuned!

Q. I have my own engagement party coming up this weekend. I was hoping to find more of the spring colors out in the stores, but that doesn’t seem to be the case yet. I found a pretty black satin Betsey Johnson Dress. It’s to the knee and fitted. Is it wrong to wear black to my own engagement party? Are there any other options to order ?

I was thinking of adding fun shoes to it to make it a little more colorful and spring, maybe hot pink or light pink ? My wedding colors are raspberry, blush and silver, so I thought this might be cute.

Would a fun shoe look ridiculous ? Can you recommend some great high heel shoes for this occasion ? Thank you very much!!!

A. Congratulations on your engagement! While black would not be my first choice for you, what’s most important is that you feel good in your dress. A little black dress is a classic and works for pretty much any occasion, so if you love your dress and feel confident, that’s what matters.

I love the look of a bright shoe with a LBD, it’s a great way to add some fun and a touch of spring to your look. Also consider adding a bright earring or statement necklace (not both) to the look. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

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