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Q. I am attending a black tie evening event in NYC at the end of March. Average high and low temperatures around that time are 52 and 36 degrees, respectively. So, I think there’s a good chance that it’ll be quite chilly (for a Southerner). But, it IS late March. Can I wear a long sleeve velvet burnout dress to this event? My alternative is a black sleeveless cocktail dress with asymmetrical hem (of polyester). I’m not sure what sort of wrap would complement it AND provide some warmth.
-Burned Out
Sutton Studio Exclusive Long Burnout Dress

A. You are stretching it with the event at the end of March. It is a lovely dress. Perhaps if you wear open toed heels like in the photo and pray for cold you can get a way with it. Best bet is to pack both and check the temperatures that night. Since you’ll be indoors for the event, a little black jacket, beaded cardigan or soft wrap will do for keeping the chill off with the sleeveless dress when you’re seated.

dress: Sutton Studio Exclusive Long Burnout Dress, $119 (sale) at


Q. I need your assistance shopping for a formal dress. I fell in love with a designer who is really pricey, but the dress looks damn good! It’s Butter by Nadia brand and it’s part of her Signature Satin line. I love it in Cobalt (bright blue). This dress is amazing and can be wrapped in multiple ways to create different looks. I need the dress for a special occasion. Here’s my dilemma: Butter by Nadia advertises this dress online and online boutiques sell it for the same price in stores. I cannot afford this price. This online boutique sells it in my favorite color. Victoria’s Secret’s “7 in 1” is a look-a-like in jersey material but it doesn’t come in Cobalt. The black is okay, but don’t know if the Teal and Red are formal enough. It is $200 dollars cheaper. I’m not finding any more look-a-likes, but I have heard of a Mai Tai by Soprano that is exactly like the Butter by Nadia and it’s $50. The stores that I go to are not selling it in my color and it is a mystery to me if it is sold online. Do you know any dresses in this color and style and price? If you can help me make this happen please I would be so grateful! I’m not so good at looking online. Can’t wait to hear from you.
-Wrap it

A. I own the darker blue Butter by Nadia dress. I bought it for a Holiday party with my boyfriend and I adore it. Can’t wait to wear it again and again so I can complete the list of the “20” ways to wear it. I like the silky feel of it, the drape and the color with shine. That said, I think the dress is a good investment if you think you’ll get several more chances to wear it. However, I’m not going to recommend you eat Ramen noodles for the next two months to pay your credit card bill. Why not order the V.S. dress, try it on and play with the variations they claim? If the dress falls well on your body and doesn’t seem like it will come apart at the seams, then you may have the ideal imitation. For the V.S. color choices, I’d recommend black, but I do love the colors from Butter. You’ll surely be a stand out in the crowd in color. I did look for Mai Tai by Soprano and only found clubbing clothes on the sites where the name brought me.

Q. This Spring, I will be attending a large gathering of writers and book industry professionals. Each author will be given exactly two minutes to get up before the crowd of over a hundred and pitch their book in order to secure invitations to book fairs across the country—and I’m one of the authors. This is hugely important for my career as a novelist, and I want to give the right impression. I’m 34 and petite. I’d love to look professional but stylish, the kind of author you’d love to have speak at your book fair. Please help! 
 -Writer In the Spotlight

A. Best bet is to smile and stand with good posture. Wear an outfit that is feminine, has flair and avoids all chances of being considered stodgy, dull or conservative. I’ve found petite options from chic pants paired with a knit v-neck top to a skirt with a hem that hits around the knee. If you choose a dress with heels, then choose one in a great color that will be remembered - black at an event like this could get lost in the crowd, but a bright blue will draw attention to you. Once you snag the attention, it’s up to you to keep them wrangled with your stimulating conversation.

AK Anne Klein Petites Printed Pleated Skirt
$89.00Petite Super 120s sleeveless dressINC International Concepts® Petites Belted Sheath DressPetite wool gabardine three-button mini-hacking jacket

1. AK Anne Klein Petites Printed Pleated Skirt, $89 at
2. Petite Super 120s sleeveless dress, $180 at
3. INC International Concepts® Petites Belted Sheath Dress, $119 at
4. Petite wool gabardine three-button mini-hacking jacket (and matching pants), - Add a bright whimsical top or thin knit underneath to break the suit code. Make the suit a comfort stylish outfit rather than a conservative look.

Q. I have a navy tunic dress. It’s too cold to wear bare legged, I have black boots, dark brown boots, and camel boots, but not sure what to wear with the boots? Tights?
-Boot Strapped

A. Navy is a great neutral to build on and any of those boot colors may work, but of course, try the dress and the boots together. And tights are the ideal cover, whether patterned, textured or solid black, navy, grey or dark chocolate. For fun, try a rich color like eggplant, emerald or hunter green to pop between the hem of the dress and the top of the boots. And if you can find them, a mix of colors (think Missoni style) would be quite hip.

Q. I just moved to Wisconsin and the snow and cold have chased away all the flip-flops I wore all winter while in Texas. I’d like some cute snow boots that I wouldn’t mind wearing all day or when going out downtown. The only problem, I have wide calves. Are there any boots out there for me?
 -Cold Feet

A. These stylish winter boots should comfortably slide over your wide calves and banish the winter blues you’re facing. I also suggest you invest in several pairs of cashmere blend socks to keep your feet warm. May you trudge fearlessly through the snow and wear your flip-flops around the house…

Juicy Couture SnowflurryUgg
LibertyShearling Boots
Via Spiga GraffAquatalia by Marvin K. Ranch

1. Juicy Couture Snowflurry, $199 at
2. Ugg Liberty, $279 at
3. Shearling Boots, $89.50 at
4. Via Spiga Graffa, $260 at
5. Aquatalia by Marvin K. Ranch, $378.95 at

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