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Q. For years I have been wearing athletic sneakers with jeans whenever I have on a t-shirt.  My husband recently told me that he thinks this looks terrible!  He considers these shirts as ‘nice’ shirts because t-shirts have logos.  I am at a loss as to what type of shoes to wear with jeans and ‘nice’ t-shirts.  I am not a cutesy type girl, so the little ballet shoes, while adorable, are not me.  I also wonder what color to buy.  Is there a color that “goes with everything”?
-Tee Wonder 

A. Trade in your true athletic sneakers and opt for what I call “kicks” or “trainers.”  They’re the kinds of sneakers that you wouldn’t work out in since they don’t have full support, but they’re cool to walk around in and come in a range of stylish colors.  When it comes to kicks, avoid a pair that is white since they’ll resemble the athletic sneaker too closely.  Black also has a hard time being stylish.  Choosing a main color like brown, blue or green paired with another brighter color as trim will go far in your wardrobe. Also, flats can be stylish without being cutesy and are one of our favorite options to wear with nice t-shirts. 

Since you enjoy wearing t-shirts, why not kick it up a notch to polo shirts or tops with any kind of extra detail like ruching, scoop neck, or puffed sleeves in varied colors.  A colorful pique collared shirt will look far more interesting and can go from activities to a casual dinner while a t-shirt alone is limiting.  Here are a few suggestions of shoes and shirts to expand your wardrobe within a comfortable range:

 

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left to right from zappos.com:  Converse Jack Purcell Dance Slip, $45; PUMA Future Cat Low, $100; Converse All Star Slip, $47; dollhouse Praise, $55.95

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left to right from nordstrom.com: Halogen Long Sleeve Pinch Front Tee, $28; Michael Stars Johnny Collar Top, $51; Hard Tail Cap Sleeve Bubble Tee, $60; Juicy Couture Bubble Sleeve Tee, $62

Q. I read your column regularly and think you have great advice which is why I hope you can help me out.  I am a pasty Swede who lives in the Midwest with skin the color of snow and light hair and eyes to match. Black and white colored tops are too harsh for my skin tone and make me look even more ghostly. Can you suggest some tops that would be flattering to my pale skin tone?  Best of all would be tops that flatter my skin tone while also cinching in at my waist. 
- Skin Like Snow

A. Skip the blacks and pastels and embrace color.  Choose colors like green, deep pink, plum, ink blue and even berry tones.  These colors will either add a bit of color to your skin tone or flatter your ivory skin and light hair to make it a striking contrast.  I’ve picked out a few suggestions of tops that will flatter your shape and help brighten your pale look:

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left to right from nordstrom.com: Rachel Pally Caftan Top. $176; C&C ‘Brooke’ Empire Tunic, $88; Matty M Balloon Sleeve Knit Tunic, $68; C&C ‘Pandora Dot’ Top, $68

Q. Wow!  Great web site.  I was unable to find the answer to my question, so here goes: I am a 48 year old plus size woman and work as a Legal Secretary for a corporate law firm.  The Powers-That-Be have decided to switch our holiday evening party to a luncheon this year at a trendy restaurant in Washington DC.  I am at a loss as to what would be appropriate holiday attire for this event.  I know it is more casual than an evening event, but I am not sure what would be appropriate for a luncheon. We will be at work in the morning, then walking to the restaurant from the office.
-Work Wear Wonder   

A. While the timing may have changed from evening to lunch, there is no reason you shouldn’t wear something more stylish for the occasion - especially since it’s at a trendy restaurant. This calls for a dress. Wearing a dress will help you stand out from the pants and shirt crowd, give you a youthful appearance and allow you the opportunity to break from the “what you wear to work every day” look.  Add some nice hosiery and heels and you’re ready for holiday cheer.  I’ve picked out some great dresses that are age and event appropriate:

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left to right:
Maggy London Faux Wrap Shirtdress, $138 at
nordstrom.com
Lily Three Quarter Sleeve Surplice Dress, $92 at
nordstrom.com
Ruched Surplice Dress, $116 at
kiyonna.com
Poet Sleeved Faux Wrap Dress, $128 at
kiyonna.com

B000J3Vzzw.01-A2Fmoxn01Tsnyy.Pt01. Sclzzzzzzz Sx288 V34087409 Q. The dress I plan to wear on New Year’s Eve is one that hugs every curve. It is not tight or structured, but the material is thin and metallic so EVERY seam of what I wear underneath will show. Plus the straps are too thin for me to get away with bra straps. Is there any underwear that one can get away with under such a revealing dress? I am looking for something that won’t wrinkle or ride up or squish me  into an unnatural shape. Picture the Bebe ‘silk crinkle dress’ that Mischa Barton is wearing. Could she possibly be wearing anything under this?
- Barely There
   

16846FasA. She’s certainly not wearing a bra, so get ready to go braless.  Fashion Forms offers many options that provide support with minimal coverage ranging from the Nu Bra Ultralite Backless Bra (shown left) to Ultimate Silicone Gel Petals.

R363994-P392716-Front-1As for underwear, you’ll need to go with a g-string. A g-string is the smallest and thinnest item you can get away with under your dress. And be sure that the g-string fits comfortably and isn’t tight since you don’t want to any lines or small bulges.

shown right, DKNY City Gem thong

Q. Can a man wear a camel colored cashmere sport coat in the winter in Europe?
- Man Stayin’ Stylish

A. Yes, it’s cashmere.  Have him wear it with a button down shirt and crew neck, zip front or cardigan sweater layered underneath and he will fit perfectly into the European crowd. He’ll look sporty and stylish.

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