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White in Winter

Q. I’m going to New York City next month and would like to know if I can wear white or cream colored pants?
-Right White

A. Winter white pants look crisp during the winter and look great paired with black turtleneck sweaters or a striped cashmere boat neck sweater.  Just be sure that the pants are made of winter-appropriate fabrics like wool or denim.


Q. I have my own engagement party to attend at the end of this month and have no idea what to wear.  The theme is basically an Après Ski Party, but I really cannot wear just a turtleneck or be all bundled up.  I will be switching between inside and outside and it probably will be below freezing.  Any ideas for a cute, somewhat sexy, outfit without looking too much like that Pillsbury doughboy?
-Pretty Not Puffy

A. You want “Ski Bunny” with warmth.  Start with a pair of boots that can translate from sitting by the fire to walking outside in chilly temps. If you have warm feet and good gloves or mittens, you can pop outside for quick moments without sacrificing your look.  And instead of a coat, why not have a down vest that’s not too puffy nearby.  Choose a stylish cashmere sweater, layer a knit or silk camisole underneath and wear a skinny cord pant or a skirt with tights and nubby socks to peek out the top of your knee high boots. Here are some sweater options:

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left to right: BCBG Max Azria Chunky Cardigan, $118.80 (sale); Max Studio Metallic Striped Tunic and Chunky Rib Sweater, $98.99 (sale) + $218; Aqua Cashmere Car Coat Sweater, $178; Alice + Olivia Long Wrap Sweater, $149.99 (sale) - all at bloomingdales.com

Q. I have just discovered your site and it is now marked as a “Favorite.”  Wow!  I will be attending my best friend’s engagement party in mid-February.  It is an evening party, thrown by a very wealthy family at their home, which only begins my troubles.  The guests will be a mix of old friends and people with whom I would like to network.  I am an attorney, but I would like to wear something fun that makes a good impression.  HELP!  Also, a little help on what the husband should wear… the invite does not indicate a dress code.
- Party Wear Perfection


A. Since the party is for your best friend, you should make a good impression and dress up for the fete.  Even though you hope to network, this is a festive occasion, so you want to avoid anything resembling workwear. Ask your girlfriend what she intends to wear and use that as a guide while shopping at the store or sifting through your closet.  A little black dress or a patterned wrap dress will surely do the trick, or wear a pretty top and skirt. Be sure nothing is too revealing and wear some great heels and knockout jewelry.

Your husband should wear a sports jacket, button down shirt, tie and nice pants.  He can always remove the tie if the guests are dressed more casually.  Have fun!

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.
-NYC Style 

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:

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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

Q. I have a berry colored kimono style dress (cotton stretch material).  I plan on wearing it with brown slouchy boots.  My question is do I wear tights under the dress? It’s cold out… I don’t mind wearing no tights but if I do, then what color.  Any suggestions?
-Gotta Get Leg 

A. If the temperature has dropped, then don the tights.  For this look, the “rule of two” probably works best—meaning, match either your shoes/boot color to your tights (in this case, brown) or choose a tight color that is similar to your dress. If you want to add a little sass to your outfit, then choose tights that have texture or a weave of more than one color:

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left to right: Aristoc Enclosed Diamond Non Control-top Tights, $10.25 at alexblake.com; Pretty Polly Argyle opaque tights, $9 at figleaves.com

for more hosiery how-tos, click here

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