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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  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 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 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. I am a nurse in Minnesota, wearing scrubs nearly every day. What would be the best coat for me that would look ok with my super casual attire?
- Casual Coat   

A. A casual coat - that’s easy.  You live in Minnesota, so what you should be asking for is a casual coat that will keep you WARM.  We StyleBakery girls are big fans of lightweight, warm and comfortable puffy coats for causal attire and shearling for stylish attire when you need shelter from the cold.  Most coats are on sale this time of year, so now is a great time to buy.

Here are some suggestions for puffy, quilted coats that offer a body conscious fit (also check out our recent Coat Check style recipe) :

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left to right:
Down Parka With Faux Fur, $125.99 at

Via Spiga Sunburst Three Quarter Length Down Coat, $148 at
Quilted Down Coat, $89.50 at

Q. I have been reading the StyleBakery website, and I really appreciate the advice you offer.  Not too long ago I changed jobs, and now I have to wear more dressy outfits than before. Recently I realized that I’ve grown so accustomed to wearing sheer hosiery, so that I feel underdressed without them.  I wear a mix of skirt and pant ensembles, but generally wear pantyhose with either, now that summer is gone. 

I was dressing up for a date recently and I was wearing a blouse, pants, heels, a scarf and a blazer.  I wanted, of course, to look my best for my date, but when I put the outfit on, I felt underdressed - I didn’t have pantyhose on.  I fixed that of course by putting pantyhose on underneath my pants, before I left my apartment.  Then I clearly realized that I like to wear pantyhose and consequently they benefit my outfits by giving me added confidence about my style, even though sometimes, my legs aren’t even showing. 

My question is, well, did I discover for myself a little gem of a fashion secret, or is it just me being particular about hosiery?  My friends don’t wear sheer hosiery that much (we are in our late twenties).  They don’t find it appealing - but I do.  Is it possible to grow to like to wear pantyhose like that?
-Positive for Pantyhose 

1000Ssp-1A. Simply put, stick with what gives you confidence. Hosiery helps smooth your body and will make clothing look better on your body.  It works as a compression garment by minimizing your tummy, hips and thighs, lifting your butt a bit and, over time, can diminish the look of cellulite.

Many women like the smoother look that hosiery gives their legs. So while some of us like to go bare legged whenever possible, you should feel free to stick with your confidence-building hosiery-wearing self.  One thing to note, if your sheer hosiery is of the “nude” variety - be sure that the hose matches your skin tone exactly and has a transparent look (see this post for our favorite invisible sheer hosiery). Also, why not experiment with a variety of patterns or colored opaque tights?

When wearing hosiery underneath clothing, you might want to try Spanx Footless Body Shaping Pantyhose, you get the same confidence as hosiery but with a little less coverage and the ability to wear strappy sandals.

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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