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Q. This is my daughter’s first homecoming and I have a few questions for you:

1. What type/color shoe should she wear.  Her dress is lime green with sequins of blue green and a deep pink color all over it.   Any suggestions?

2. Her date is 6’ 1“ so should she keep the shoes higher?

3. As for her date, would black be just about the only color of suit/tux he could go with and would it be perfectly acceptable for him to wear a matching lime green tie?  Also, what color shirt can he go with that would be different, considering he is wearing a lime green tie. I am new at this and want it to be extra special for them.

-Helpful Mom


A. What a helpful Mom you are!  Here are my suggestions:

1. Her shoes can be a metallic blue or green, or a great pink to match the sequins, since finding lime green will be just about impossible and would be overkill with the color of the dress. If you can’t find one of those colors, then consider a gold metallic stappy heel.

2.  She should wear high heels to be closer in height to her date, but not so high that she’s sacrificing comfort and teetering so high she may fall.

3.  A black suit/tux is always classic - and let’s skip wearing a lime green tie since it is probably not his cup of tea.  He can wear a great colored tie that matches one of the sequin colors, like blue. Or traditional black tie always works and it is not necessary that his tie match her colors.

Q. I love layering my clothing, but sometimes it makes me look FAT. Any suggestions on light layering and layering for the fall?
-Desperately seeking slim 

A. This Fall is all about layering. To pull it off without adding thickness, stay away from bulky knits and multi textured fabrics. Be aware of your proportions and be sure to strike a balance. If you wear a shirt, vest and fitted jacket on top, then keep it slim on your bottom half by wearing a pencil skirt and platform pumps or slim pants and knee high boots.  Consider wearing waist cinching belts over your cozy cardigan and tank combo or keeping the layers minimal like a thin turtleneck under a dress with leggings.  If you believe you look bulky or big once you create your layered look, then you’ll certainly feel self-conscious all day.  Don’t sacrifice self-esteem just to layer your look.  And don’t forget, you may still have to fit a jacket or coat over your layers.

Below left, an example of layering without the bulk from the Max Azria fall runway
Below right, some unrealistic layering from the Marc Jacobs runway

(Photos: Marcio Madeira via

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Q. I am a hostess for my friends’ wedding and we were asked to wear an ivory/winter white suit.  I am not a shoe connoisseur and I have been pulling my hair out trying to find a pair of comfortable yet stylish closed toe, low heel shoe for the occasion - but it seems as though those are not popular colors.  I have been to numerous stores and even checked many websites but have had no success.  Is it appropriate to wear a black shoe and if so, what kind (patent leather, soft leather, etc…)?  
-Confused and frustrated   

A. I knew I could help you find choices beyond black to wear with your light colored suit.  The point is to keep the look soft and sophisticated.  Black can sometimes seem harsh. Look for ivory, taupe or beige, or other soft colors like caramel, tan or a pale gold or bronze metallic pump.  I’ve found a few picks that suit your needs (the right color, low heel and closed toe) that won’t break the bank.


Stuart Weitzman Hampton
$218 at


Fitzwell Sandy
$59.95 at


Gabriella Rocha 1437 Vivian
$64.95 at

Bridal fashion sizing

Q. I am going to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding this fall. She is letting us choose the style of the dress but she chose the color.  Cool, I thought.  The problem is that my size is not my size. Ok, I wear a 6 or 8 in all my pants, jeans, suits and dresses whether it’s Joe’s Jeans, Moschino, Gap, BCBG, or Cynthia Vincent, etc.  BUT the dress people at David’s Bridal told me my size is a 14! I’m flipping out.  I could never fit into a 14. I’m 137 pounds. So tell me, what is with these gown companies? 
-Schizophrenic Sizing 

A. Ouch! You’re not the first to have that “sticker shock” when reading the size label on the dresses or have the bridal salesperson looking at your body and suddenly claim a size horrifically larger than you’ve ever seen grace your curves. It seems cruel. BUT, don’t get hung up on the size of your dress.  Do you think you’re going to get a shake down at the wedding and someone’s going to scream out the size on the label? Most bridal designers offer their dresses in larger sizes with the assumption that the dresses for both bride and bridesmaid will be tailored to specifically fit her body shape, whether it be to hold and support larger breasts and a slim waist or fit a girl with a small bust, but with curvy hips and thighs.  So stop flipping out and know that you won’t get the pat down and be forced to divulge the size to your friends and, perhaps, beau.

Gloves for black tie?

Q. Do you wear short gloves to an afternoon black tie affair? 

Picture 3-2A. Wearing short gloves all depends on the dress you’re wearing.  Black tie is black tie no matter if it’s afternoon or evening. While many women don’t even think of wearing gloves, it can be seen as a sophisticated and elegant look.  It works best with dresses that are sleeveless to 3/4 length sleeves since it’s best to see where the gloves end and a peek of some skin.

satin gloves, shown left, $40 at

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