| Ask The Style Chefs: March 2012 Archives

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March 2012 Archives

How to pull off pleats

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Q. I just purchased a pair of J Crew Cafe capris in a gorgeous bright green and need help in what to pair them with. I am more of a conservative/classic dresser so the pants are a bit bolder than I would usually wear but I love the color. Can you make some suggestions that aren’t too trendy and more on the classic side to balance out this look?

A. Great purchase! You hit on one of my favorite trends for the season: colorful cropped pants, either monochromatic or printed. The gorgeous bright green you selected has a preppy feel to me and can easily be incorporated into a classic wardrobe. On top, try pairing everything from a blue nautical top or blazer to a white button down, blouse or chambray shirt. Your shoes can be everything from a ballet flat or loafer to a classic pump or wedge (choose a contrasting color for a little fun!). Here are some ideas for inspiration:



Q. This little beauty has a lovely back, and is a great color for me, BUT I don’t want to wear it alone. Going braless is not an option (hello, G cup) and I refuse to own skin-colored bras (because they make me feel ugly). All that said, is it possible to layer a sheer back blouse in a pretty way?

A. That is a beautiful blouse! But I can certainly see how the sheer lace details along the back would pose a bra issue. I won’t try to convince you that there are plenty of sexy and pretty skin-toned bras out there (there are!), so let’s work with options to wear with your black or colored bras.

Your first option is to wear a low-back bra, which may be difficult to find in a size G. However, several companies make low-back bra converters which work with your regular bras to create a nice backless appearance.

Your second option is to find a nude tank that closely matches your skin tone and is opaque enough to wear over a colored bra. I have a few of these and they are the perfect option to wear underneath a sheer or revealing top.

Q. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I never know what to wear. It’s too warm for winter sweaters, but too cold and unpredictable for spring and summer clothes. What do I wear during this wacky in-between weather?

A. Transition dressing can be difficult for even the most style savvy woman. The trick is to dress in lightweight layers that can be added and removed as needed, depending on the temperature of the day. This season, invest in some bold or printed blazers that can double as a lightweight jacket when your usual coat is just too warm. Layer the blazer over a pretty blouse or top that stands on its own when the blazer is removed. Pair it with slim cropped pants and a ballet flat or pump and you’ve got the perfect transitional look for work or weekends.


Mix and match your blazer + blouse + pant + shoe look with the options below:

Q. I see that pale pastels are a big trend for spring. To be honest, it has been years since I wore anything pastel. What colors can I wear them with?

A. True, it has been a long time since pastel hues were truly in style, but judging by the spring runways, it’s a trend you won’t be able to escape this season. Here are some tips for incorporating pastels into your look:

1. Pair pastels with pastels: Colorblocking monochromatic pastels was one of the most prevalent looks on the runways. However, this can be tough to pull off successfully. To avoid looking like a walking Easter egg, try pairing just two pastels together at a time.

2. Pair pastels with soft neutrals:White, khaki, grey, camel, and denim look beautiful worn with pastels.

3. Incorporate black accessories: If pastels are too girly for you, opt for black accessories to toughen them up.

4. Pair pastels with metallics: Silver and gold look gorgeous next to soft pastels.


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