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Q. I am attending a wedding in early August and have purchased a strapless, knee length deep purple/berry colored dress. I have no idea how to wear this dress. I have been searching and searching on how to accessories with the shoes and the bag and jewelry. I am not into fashion at all, but I don’t want to look like hot mess. I read somewhere that gold shoes look nice with berry dresses, but I’m still not sure about the bag and jewelry. Please help me!

A. You can absolutely wear gold shoes with your purple dress, but I actually prefer silver shoes. Black shoes are also an option, and a great way to carry your dress into winter when paired with a black fitted tuxedo jacket. But I digress… For a summer wedding, try silver shoes, turquoise jewelry and a silver clutch for a standout look. For your jewelry, choose either dramatic earrings OR a statement necklace, and a bracelet or ring. Here are some options for inspiration:

Q. I’m planning several getaways this summer and am on the hunt for a new weekend bag, can you recommend some?

A. We recently came across the amazing Weekender Bag from Kate Spade Saturday that is by far the best of its kind. At a reasonably priced $170, you get a coated canvas bag that not only looks great, but has tons of features that make packing for the weekend a breeze. Inside you’ll find several pockets including a removable cell-phone compartment and drawstring pockets to hold all your accessories. Perhaps the feature we love best, however, is the separate zippered shoe compartment which easily holds a couple pairs of sandals. It also comes in a variety of colors and prints to suit your style. Check it out at saturday.com — and while you’re there, check out some of the other chic/functional bags including a picnic tote that folds out into a blanket and a cooler tote.

(P.S. If you’re feeling really creative, there’s even an option to customize your own small weekender with several colorblocked combinations and a monogram.)


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Q. I recently picked up some striped tees (the open V-neck from Anthropologie in orange and yellow) and the Dotted tee in navy from JCrew. They are just casual tees, but I would like to wear some type of necklace with them. I’m stumped as to what works with these (if anything). Can you give me some suggestions?

A. I love the idea of dressing up a basic t-shirt (printed or plain) with a statement necklace — the epitome of laid-back chic that’s perfect for summer. Look for bold bright candy colored necklaces and chunky chains to make a statement, or go for something more delicate for a subtle look; the possibilities are truly endless. Here are some options for every budget and style.

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Q. I’m a student and on a really tight budget. I want to buy a few items for spring to update my wardrobe. Can you recommend a few trendy but affordable items?

A. Absolutely! Sometimes all it takes are a few high impact pieces to freshen up your look for a new season. (Start by checking out our Spring 2013 Trend Report for an overview of what’s hot now.) We put together a 5-item shopping list to give you an instant update:

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Start with a piece of statement jewelry. A colorful stone necklace like the one shown above or statement earrings will do the trick. Stripes are huge for spring and this Gap academy blazer looks great with just about anything and doubles as a light jacket.

Jeans are a mainstay for any college student; make yours printed and cropped this season for a cool update. We particularly like this soft floral pair for under $50. If you haven’t heard, leather is making a surprise appearance for spring. This vegan leather flared mini is an affordable take on the trend and perfect for date night or when you want to dress up a bit.

Sixties-inspired chunky low heels are making news this season and this pair features a gleaming silver metallic heel. Add to that a touch of chic snakeskin and you have one must-have pair of shoes.

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