Q. First of all, you are absolutely my style lifesaver! I check this website constantly, always hoping to find that you've updated your column. It's wonderful and really useful!
I am going to New York in February, and need advice on what to pack. I know it will be cold and that I will be doing a lot of walking, so I specifically need a few suggestions for footwear (I was thinking maybe a tall black leather boot that could be dressed up or down?) and also just general style advice for a Southern girl who prefers not to stand out like a sore thumb when visiting the big city. My hostess in Manhattan is extremely stylish (works in fashion) and I know we'll be going out quite a bit, so I need some suggestions for outfits and especially shoes that will be warm, comfortable enough to sight-see and shop all day in, and still look great.
A. First off, you need a coat that will transition from day to evening, whether you wear jeans or a dress. A shearling or wool blend coat that hits around the knees and is tailored to your shape should work for the whole trip. Dark jeans, a fitted jacket in velvet or wool with a belted waist will work with a t-shirt or sweater by day and a jewel toned top at night. Pack a knit or jersey dress -- by day, layer tights and knubby knee highs with knee high boots, and at night pair it with lace tights and patent leather peep toes.
Include a black or brown pencil or a-line skirt and an animal print top that you pair with the skirt and a belt. Pack a long sweater that you can layer with a thinner knit or long sleeve top and wear with skinny jeans tucked into knee high boots. Bring along a pair of stylish “sneakers” or as I call them “kicks” that are meant to be worn with pants or jeans, not to the gym.
Accessories can help any outfit, from a chunky necklace to a thin long chain that can be doubled or tripled around the neck. Pack an Hermes or “Hermes-like” scarf to wear around your neck with a white button down shirt, dark jeans and great earrings. Don’t forget a wide belt that can be worn high to make an empire waist look, and if you have patent leather you’d be right on trend. As for boots, you may want to pack two pairs: one with a high heel for night and one with a low heel or nearly flat for day. And consider two colors to also stretch your wardrobe—like a black high heel and a brown low heel. Here are some suggestions for day and night boots that can be worn with multiple outfits:
left to right: Nine West Elwell, $161.10 (sale) at zappos.com; Aerosoles Rodeo, $89.99 (sale) at aerosoles.com; Aerosoles Minnesota, $89.99 (sale) at aerosoles.com; Nine West Blum, $107.10 (sale) at zappos.com