| Ask The Style Chefs: July 2012 Archives

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July 2012 Archives

Q. I’m looking to invest in a nice bag that I can wear to work, out to dinner and on weekends. In other words, one bag that I use all the time. My maximum budget is $500, can you recommend some good 24/7 bags?

A. Absolutely! Our favorite bags to wear everyday, everywhere are medium-size satchels since they easily transition from work to weekends (and everywhere in between). If your wardrobe tends to consist of mostly neutral colors like black, brown, tan or grey, you might want to consider investing in a bag with a little personality, perhaps a pretty animal print or a rich red hue. If your wardrobe tends to be more colorful or print-heavy, then a neutral bag is your best bet. Here are some beautiful satchels to consider:


Q. I wear a DD bra and can’t seem to find a good strapless bra. Can you recommend one?

A. I, too, have always had trouble finding a strapless bra that offers the right kind of support and comfort. It’s important that you get the right size bra, particularly when it’s a strapless style. The back size should be snug enough that there is no slipping or gaping, and the cup size should fit properly so there is no spillage or smooshing. If you haven’t had a recent professional fitting (free in most upscale department stores), it is definitely worth taking the time. Or, follow these bra fitting tips.

The bra experts at recommend the Va Bien Ultra-Lift Strapless Convertible Bra as the best fitting strapless bra. It’s available up to size H and I cups, so it’s made for women with full busts. The Freya Deco Strapless Underwire Bra is also an excellent and popular strapless style for fuller busts.


Q. I bought the Steven by Steve Madden Pembroke bootie in leopard. Is this something I can wear into Fall 2012? Or is this a trend that peaked in 2011? I often think of leopard as ‘timeless’ but I wasn’t sure when it comes to specific items, like booties!

A. Leopard print is indeed timeless, and one of my all-time favorite prints - especially on accessories like shoes and bags. You can indeed wear your leopard booties through the rest of 2012 and beyond. To prove just how deep my love for leopard goes, here are 9 pairs of shoes I’d wear now and forever.


Q. My little brother is getting married this August. I would like some ideas for a soft, romantic, and sophisticated dress that won’t break the bank. I’d prefer a shorter dress because it’ll probably be humid, but am not opposed to something longer and flowy. I’m thinking something in a soft blush, nude, peach, or even green color.

A. Since you didn’t specify whether the wedding is black tie or less formal, or exactly what your budget is, we have chosen a selection of soft, romantic dresses for $250 or less. Since your dress of choice will live on forever in family wedding photos, we selected timeless styles, rather than trendy. Congrats to your “little” brother!


Q. I am looking for a stylish, summery, comfortable, flat work shoe that can be good for lots of walking (tours) and be good in the dirt of the garden (garden tours). Some ideas are: metallic tessa clogs, minnetonka loafers, flat espadrilles….anything come to mind that would be a winner?

A. It sounds like you need a comfortable, chic flat that can withstand a lot of walking and perhaps dirty or muddy conditions. The clogs you mentioned are certainly an option, but Minnetonka loafers and flat espadrilles are not ideal for walks in the garden as dirt will cling to the surfaces of the shoes, making it difficult to remove. Your best bet is to look for a flat or low wedge with a rubber sole that will provide comfort and a washable barrier for dirt. Boat shoes are made for outdoor living and come in a great variety of prints and colors, making them a great option for walking tours. A comfortable, yet sturdy, sandal is also an option if your job allows it. Here are some styles to help you get started with your search:

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