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Q. Is it just me, or is finding a pair of flats with arch support like searching for the Holy Grail? I have flat feet and stand all day long for work, so I need something supportive that’s not a sneaker … but also fabulous and stylish. Unfortunately, it seems like all the shoes I’ve tried in stores and online have thin soles and little or no cushioning. (The few that do fit the bill comfort-wise look bulky or geriatric.) I’d love to find something work-appropriate in a cranberry and/or metallic, but at this point, I’m not picky about color! (On the technical side, is there any reason why designers *can’t* add cushioning or support to their flat or low-heeled shoes? Seriously — I’m curious.)

A. It may seem like an impossibility, but fashion and comfort are not always mutually exclusive when it comes to shoes. More designers these days are making foot-friendly and fabulous footwear. Cole Haan’s line of Nike Air® cushioned shoes is one of our favorites, and Aerosoles is known to have some stylish offerings on occasion.

Here are several ultra-comfortable flats that you can wear to work:

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Cole Haan ‘Air Sierra’ Flat
Cleverly concealed Nike Air® cushions the foot for long-lasting comfort.
$185 at nordstrom.com
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Cole Haan ‘Air Camille’ Flat
Padded footbed is coupled with concealed Nike Air® cushioning for maximum comfort.
$195 at nordstrom.com
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‘Trina’ from Walking Cradles
Padded footbed with massaging bumps offers soothing support.
$83 at zappos.com
SORBET_PD.JPGAerosoles Sorbet
Extra cushioned footbed gives day-long comfort.
$69 at aerosoles.com

6627-600491-d.jpgMagnolia by Lumiani
Fully cushioned footbed.
$130 at zappos.com
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Gentle Souls Bay leaf
Flaxseed pillows conform to medial and lateral arch.
$195 at piperlime.com
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‘Wassilla’ flat from Vaneli
Cushioned footbed creates slipper-like comfort.
$106 at zappos.com
pl592664-00vliv01.jpgClarks Adore Yours
Cushioned footbed and crepe outsole.
$105 at piperlime.com
Q. I would really like to purchase a blazer for fall. My plan is to wear it with jeans and some sort of shirt when the occasion calls for something less casual. I’m a stay-at-home mom so I don’t really need something for work right now. I have found a few possibilities but, they are all wool or a wool blend. I live in Texas. There really aren’t more than a few days a year when that much warmth is needed. Suggestions?

A. We love the versatility of a lightweight blazer - wear it when it’s warm with just a tee or a tank or layer it up when it’s cool with a sweater, scarf or turtleneck. We found a bunch of non-wool options for you below - and none of them cost more than $125.



Outlook.jpgQ. Im trying to find a pair of nude patent heels like these but can’t afford $595 Christian Louboutin shoes. Do you know of any nude patent closed toe pumps out there?

A. Sure thing! Check out these more affordable nude patent pumps:


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1. Dolce Vita Madison, $136 at zappos.com
2. Vigotti Valerie, $149 at zappos.com
3. Kate Spade Kelley, $332 at zappos.com
4. Cole Haan Carma Mid Air Pump, $279 at zappos.com
Q. I’m a college student already on the lookout for raincoats, since fall and rain will be here before I know it (and I need to make up for my future procrastination with some planning ahead). I want to get a more mature-looking trench coat style (I’m done with North Face rain jackets) but I can’t decide between brown or black. I am loving this brown Michael Kors Reversible Leopard Coat but am torn between this Anne Klein Bonded Polyester All-Weather Coat in black. Which would be a more versatile option?

A. I’m glad you’re ready to give up your North Face in exchange for something more sophisticated and stylish - and you can’t go wrong with a classic trench. Both of your choices are chic, flattering and timeless, it’s just a matter of whether you wear more brown or black. If either color works in your wardrobe, then the Kors coat gets extra style points for reversing to a leopard print for when you want to make a statement. We found a few more choices in the price range that you may like:


Q. What’s the deal with the new fall sandals that are on the market - I’m curious if you are to wear them with tights or strictly bare leg?? I’ve seen a few I want to purchase but I’m unsure how to pull them off! Any tips would be great!

A. Tights are the way to go when the weather gets cold. Whether you choose a basic dark tight as seen on the Thakoon runways (below, left) or a fun patterned tight as seen on the D&G runways (below, center and right), you can wear these sandals through the fall season.

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