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Q. I am attending a Military ball in about two weeks. I have found a gorgeous red satin dress. It has a low V neck, and a low back, fitted through the bodice, then A-lines down to my ankles. This is the second formal affair I have attended in fourteen years…. so I am kind of out of the loop when it comes to evening etiquette. I have no idea what color shoes I can wear, what jewelry would look good with it, makeup??? Should I steer clear of red lipstick? I’d like to do a smoky/evening eye…. would that look OK? I have auburn hair and brown eyes. I do live in HI, so I do have a summer tan. Any advice would be of great help. I am 32, but I don’t want to look like a young hooker or teen.
-Red Bliss

A. You won’t look like a hooker or teen, the dress sounds just right for the event.  I’m always happy when people choose color instead of black.  Choose gold metallic strappy heels or something strappy with jewels or crystals - you can choose black satin if it has something added to it.  As for jewelry, go for the earrings as your emphasis—colored beads or cubic zirconia or faux diamonds. They don’t have to be big or dangly—just elegant. I like the idea of a soft, smoky eye, just keep the rest of the makeup natural. And if you choose a red lipstick (I’d suggest a gloss or a lip stain + gloss), make sure it works looks good with your skin tone, not the dress.

Steal Eva Longoria’s and Lauren Graham’s red carpet style with these pieces from emitations.com

Tpa 1918 59147388
Tpa 1918 63596149-1

 

Q. I am in search of the perfect cocktail dress. I adore antiquing and vintage finds so I’d love to find a unique, one-of-a kind piece for a cooler than cool invite in November.  I’ve checked out the overpriced consignment shops in LA with snooty service and the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, but where else can I shop?
-Want One of a Kind 

A. Perfect timing!  I just returned from the ultimate vintage shopping experience - a vintage clothing and accessory shop where the owner is top notch informed. She’s a curator of clothes and the salesgirls are equally as helpful.  Check out, The Way We Wore in Los Angeles (323- 937-0878).  I recently spent three hours scouring the racks with my shopping compandre, Jordan, and played “dress up” while he sought out shoes to try with each outfit.  They even offered us muffins and drinks - who does that anymore?  I handed over my credit card for several purchases including a 1930’s gown and two 1950’s dresses that are truly unique. Check it out and tell her I sent you.

Q. With leggings and skinny jeans in fashion, does that mean leggings and skinny tapered sweats are the “in” thing to wear to the gym?  Are flared sweat pants out?  Are leggings and huge t-shirts “in” for the gym, like they were in the 80s?
-Gettin’ Physical

Picture 1-5A. Please skip the huge t-shirts. It wasn’t flattering then and it certainly isn’t “in” now.  Stick to what flatters your body most when you hit the gym.  You want to be motivated, not disappointed. Wear tops that give you the right support when you’re moving, jumping, etc. and pants that have a bit of Lycra. Consider sticking with boot cut style which are usually flattering on most body types.  Remember, just because it’s a trend, doesn’t mean it’s right for every body.

check out activasports.com for a great variety of workout gear for women like the Scout Performance Color Blocked Bootleg shown here, $72

Q. My third daughter is getting married in March and she wants me to wear a brown color.  She says it suits me for my hair and skin, but to me, March is a Spring thing and browns signify  fall…what  should I do? Time is running out.
-Spring Thing 

 5243020A. Brown, chocolate and bronze colors don’t necessarily signify Fall when worn as a dress or a formal suit.  What’s most important is that the color looks good with your skin tone, that you choose a dress or suit that fits your body well and is flattering to your figure and that you feel good wearing it and representing your family.  And, of course, you’d like to make your daughter happy as well.

The Adrianna Papell Charmeuse Halter Gown with Scarf shown here would look just as beautiful in the Spring as it does in the Fall.  $168 at nordstrom.com

Q. We have been invited to my husband’s cousin’s wedding in Connecticut this October.  This is the first time I am stumped about what the 2 girls (age 9 & 13 ) and I should wear.  The reason I am unsure is because we are going to the rehearsal dinner with the family.  Is it  inappropriate to wear the same dress to the dinner and the wedding or should the dinner be more casual with slacks and then a dress to the wedding?  I only have a week and a half to get us all situated so it would be great if you had some advice.

A. Don’t repeat, that’s a big no-no.  The rehearsal dinner is an intimate, special occasion that only certain people are invited to.  Depending on where the dinner is being held will dictate the dress code.  I would suggest that you choose an outfit that is considered a step above casual. It is always safer to look better for an occasion than being dressed down.  Dress better and people will remember your respect for the occasion and sophistication.  I’d choose a simpler dress or a skirt with an appropriate top.  And obviously your dress for the wedding should be dressier than the rehearsal gathering.  As for the girls, they can be more casual if they are attending the rehearsal, but put them in dresses for the wedding day.

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