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Q. I love your website- and especially love reading your advice.  So here’s my question for you: I will be traveling to Iceland in May. During this trip I will also be traveling to England, Scotland and Ireland. Can you recommend what to pack for such diverse climates, an easily totable bag since I will be frequently on the move, and a stylish jacket that will keep the wind out and keep me warm without looking like the marshmallow man?  I’m in my early 30s-and certainly do not want to look like a tourist! 
-Don’t want to pack a million bags

A. I’ve been to all of these countries and I can attest to a need for a coat in all four, though you will need more protection in Iceland. I visited Iceland several years ago during the month of July when they had finally cut a path through the snow up to the ice covered lands and glaciers. If you stay in Reykjavik, you can get away with a warm wool or cashmere blend coat and warm layers. Stick to a 3/4 length coat that hits just above or below your knees so your butt is covered for more warmth. Cashmere or wool blend knee socks, thin layers that insulate like silk long underwear, tights and cashmere turtleneck sweaters  are a must to pack.

For the European countries, you’ll get a chance to enjoy Spring. Bring a small umbrella (there’s a reason it’s so green, it rains for short periods often.) The coat design should be simple so it matches more of your wardrobe and can be worn open in warmer temps. Keep it out of your bag so you have more room for clothes and toiletries. Pack only essential toiletries. Wear your boots or sneakers on the plane so you again save room in your bag. A blazer style jacket or short thin trench can work double duty as an indoor jacket when worn with a t-shirt or button down and as outerwear when layered with a sweater underneath.

Here are some coat options including a parka with a zip out lining to help you temperature adjust:

DKNY Coats Double Breasted Wool Coat Steve Madden Metallic City Parka with Removable LinerLarry Levine Single-Breasted CoatKenneth Cole Notch-Collar Trench Coat

1. DKNY Coats Double Breasted Wool Coat, $209.98 at bloomingdales.com
2.  Steve Madden Metallic City Parka with Removable Liner, $148 at nordstrom.com
3. Larry Levine Single-Breasted Coat, $141 (sale) at macys.com
4. Kenneth Cole Notch-Collar Trench Coat, $255 (sale) at macys.com

I’m assuming since you’re looking for a totable bag, you plan to do some laundry along the way since you’ll be visiting so many places. Here are some options:

Gloria Vanderbilt Luggage Lightweight 21" Expandable Carry-On Rolling UprightFilson Extra Large Outfitter BagA. Saks EXPANDABLE 21" Expandable Carry On

5. Gloria Vanderbilt Luggage Lightweight 21" Expandable Carry-On Rolling Upright, $59.99 at ebags.com
6. Filson Extra Large Outfitter Bag, $365 at ebags.com
7. A. Saks EXPANDABLE 21" Expandable Carry On, $59.95 at ebags.com

Q. Can you give me a few ideas of current fashion trends that work for those who are short-waisted? I’ve heard that wrap sweaters and dresses are good choices. How about wearing longer tops, or using one of the many options for wearing belts?
-Lost on Length

A. To start with, avoid this season’s high-waisted pants. Instead, choose pants and skirts that are low-waisted, hip huggers, hipster pants and low-slung.  Also, pants and skirts without a waistband will usually sit lower. Don’t hesitate to choose pants that have details like cuffs or decorative taping along the sides that will bring the eye downward and create the illusion of length.

Pair shorter skirts with longer jackets to balance your proportions. Wear tops like sweaters, tunics and jackets that hit below your waist, but hit above your behind or you risk shortening the look of your legs.

As for accessories, choose skinny belts that are the same color as your top and wear them below your natural waist to further lengthen the line of your upper body. Dresses are a great choice since they can create the illusion of a longer torso, especially wrap dresses in a pattern that keeps the eye moving. Generally, the wrap part around the waist will sit lower on your body.

Q. I am a 22 year old student working at a bookstore. Some days I work in the cafe where our uniform is all black, and others I work on the book floor where the uniform is dress/business casual, basically just no jeans. I am 5’1" and a size 16. I want to look unique but professional on the book floor, and also need some color! I am having trouble because I love the girly bows and knits and vintage looks out right now, but don’t want to look too young because of my stature. One other concern I have is that I have a large chest, and don’t want to have a lot of cleavage showing, but don’t want to be completely covered up in a turtleneck.
-Black & Color

A. You have to be careful if you’re petite and busty with bows and ruffles that can add extra bulk and attention. I adore that you want color since one job requires an all black wardrobe. I stuck with top choices in a variety of styles, all bright colors and no turtlenecks. And always wear a good supportive bra that is smooth under your clothes - it can make a big difference in how your clothes fit.

Modal Scoopneck Tee w/ Flirty TiesSatin TrenchStudio 1940® layered metallic sweater Rocawear Brown Knit Houndstooth Trim Belted Top

1. Modal Scoopneck Tee w/ Flirty Ties, $66 at kiyonna.com
2. Satin Trench, $99.50 at lanebryant.com
3. Studio 1940 layered metallic sweater, $26.99 at fashionbug.com
4.  Rocawear Brown Knit Houndstooth Trim Belted Top, $58 at torrid.com

Q. I have a long winter white skirt and a black and off-white top.  I am unsure what type of shoes and what color hose or tights to wear.  I am 52 if that matters. 
-White in Winter

A. For most women, I would suggest black opaque tights and black pumps or peep toes. And even a stylish 52 year old woman can pull off the new high-heeled oxfords to pair with your skirt for an ultra-chic look.  And of course, a slim fitting pair of pull on knee high boots. Swap the top and you can pair the skirt with brown boots, grey patent leather or even deep color like burgundy.

 5466219 Biala 'Magia' Oxford

1.  Martinez Valero ‘Heat’ Tall Stretch Boot, $188.95 at nordstrom.com
2.  Biala ‘Magia’ Oxford, $199.95 at nordstrom.com

Ms118Q. My bridesmaids are going to be wearing this dress, but in the Sangria color at my wedding.  The color looks just like a ripe raspberry in person.  I want to let the girls buy/wear their own shoes, but I have NO idea what color to pick!  Any suggestions?  I thought about a bronze heel, but I’m a bit clueless when it comes to this kind of thing.

-Clueless about Color

A. Pretty dress choice. If you choose an optional bow or ribbon, you can have the bridesmaids wear shoes that match the accessory. Otherwise, a metallic bronze, silver or gold would look lovely. Choose the color, but let them buy a heel that works for them, not everyone can walk in towering heels. Plus, every girl has a different cash flow so while one may find a fab heel from Jimmy Choo another may be happy with a find at Payless.

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