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Q. I am going to Paris in a week, and need to know what to pack. I need to be comfortable, but also want to look chic. Is this possible? What are your recommendations for clothes and especially shoes that can take me from the museums to the cafes to wandering the streets? I love StyleBakery, and know that you can help me.
-C’est Chic

A. Simply take an eagle’s eye view of the wardrobe you plan to pack and add some stylish accessories - and take out the athletic sneakers. Pack a low-heeled sandal that can take you walking through the Tuilleries or paired with a dress for dinner at a bistro. Add a stylish ballet flat or low wedge espadrille and a cute pair of kicks (my term for sneakers like Puma or Adidas that are meant for wearing with khakis or jeans and not for working out) to walk the streets and visit museums (may I suggest the Rodin, D’Orsay and Picasso museums?).

Pack a short sleeve fitted white button down shirt or a long sleeve that you can roll up your arms. They’ll look clean, fresh and simple. Pair them with a pretty necklace that has some color. Pack a few skirts, pencil or A-line, that aren’t too mini nor too long. Add a pretty cotton top that is simple in design with a little ruffle, a wrap style, nautical stripes or a scoop or v-neck. You can even pack a pair of nice shorts (not the ones meant for casual t-shirts on weekends) and wear with a button down shirt, belt and your sandals or espadrilles. Add in pants in white, khaki or navy.

Most Parisians are classic dressers. Somehow a shirt, solid sweater and dark jeans look better on them than the average American - it’s not fair! Just keep your clothes looking classic and add accessories like great belts, earrings, a beaded necklace, or cuff bracelet to give them oomph. It’s a scorcher over in Europe this summer and they don’t have powerful air conditioning like we do, so dress in clothes that are airy and light. Wear your skirts day and night. And add a silk jersey dress like one from Diane Von Furstenberg (there are plenty of less expensive styles) that you can toss in your bag, won’t require ironing and looks great on any body type. Bon voyage!

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Cole Haan offers a great selection of stylish and comfortable shoes using Nike Air technology. The ‘Air Bronte Bit’ slide and ‘Air Beau’ flat shown here from nordstrom.com are great travel choices.

Q. Love the site and the emails!  I am attending an evening wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this Labor Day weekend.  Can you suggest some stylish options for the ceremony?  It will be a formal ceremony, but on the beach…don’t want to be overdressed, but appropriate for the occasion! Thanks so much…you ROCK!
-Formal and Beachy 

A. Mariachi music!  Yeah!  Get ready to dance, dance, dance. You need a dress that is festive, colorful, and easy breezy.  Avoid black.  Go for color and even better, choose a patterned dress - it will express more personality.   It’s going to be hot, hot, hot, so choose a dress that moves easily and be prepared to go barefoot on the beach and carry your sandals.  Kick up some sand and be sure to dip your toes in the clear blue water.

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Nicole Miller
Tiki Print Resort Dress
$300 at
edressme.com

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Nicole Miller Border Print Tie Front Gown
$355 at
nordstrom.com

Rampage

Charmeuse Smocked Scarf Print Dress
$56.10 at
rampage.com

Q. Where can I find a black, flat lace up espadrilles without any beading.   I have the beaded ones from Nine West but the beads keep falling off. I have a problem wearing heels but love the lace up look of espadrilles.
-In need of espadrilles 

A. For a huge selection of espadrilles check out espadrillesetc.com. Otherwise how about these suggestions:

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Steve Madden ‘Barrier’
$93.95 at zappos.com

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Seychelles ‘Ribbon in the Sky’
$59.95 at
nordstrom.com

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BP. ‘Congo’ Sandal
$59.95 at
nordstrom.com

Q. I have a question and I am keeping my fingers crossed that you can enlighten me.  I am a recent graduate with a degree in fashion design.   I have bought all of the resume books and cover letter books but still can’t find anything with enough flair for the fashion industry.
I have the resume part down, but how does one ask for an internship in the fashion magazine industry? What should I say in my cover letter, and further still, what should I not say? I hope you can help. Any advice would be appreciated.
-Fashion Hopeful

A. I would hope you wouldn’t find a copy of “you” in a book.  Instead of copying a letter already written, pull bits that help illustrate your excitement and creativity. More importantly, define for yourself exactly what kind of job you’d like to aspire to.  Do you want to be a fashion editor, a stylist, market editor? 

Since you’re willing to ask for an internship, you probably already know that your first job will most likely be the grunt work - errands, ironing, packing, steaming, making appointments for your bosses, etc.  Before you ask for an internship (which is usually non-paying), ask for an assistant position with a low paying wage, but a start up the magazine ladder. Honesty, enthusiasm, and offering to work hard (example-you’re active so lugging trunks for shoots will be a breeze, you’re organized so clothes and accessories will always be accounted for, lists will be catalogued, etc.). Briefly explain your love of fashion and why you’ve chosen to pursue it in the magazine industry. Leave any negativity out of the letter and be ready to follow up with a phone call since magazines get inundated with young graduates wanting to work for fashion magazines. 

Send your package to not only the editors of the magazines, but also to the human resources departments for each publishing house.  Call the publishing houses and find out the appropriate people in HR to send your materials to so as not to just write “attention: human resources”. And be ready at the interview to talk about the magazine you are applying for a position with in regards to the editors (know their names), designers they have recently featured, the fashion spreads, etc.  Assert your willingness to work hard, learn fro your superiors and contribute to the magazine.  Good Luck!


Q. I’m 15 years younger than my husband.  We both work out and are fit.  His son is getting married - afternoon wedding.  The bride and I are very close.  She said she doesn’t care what I wear to the wedding.  My concern is that I want to look elegant but not draw too much attention to myself from my attire.  The ex-wife is much heavier than I am, and also 20 years older.  I’m struggling finding the appropriate attire.  A beaded suit is not me at all, yet I don’t feel a black little dress is appropriate.  I’m a very outgoing upbeat person — any advice on what I should wear?
-Formal and Fretting 

A. You’re fit and fabulous and there’s no reason to look dowdy or play it safe and be a wallflower.  Weddings are a girl’s chance to dress up, heck, we just don’t get enough opportunities during the week to pull on a gorgeous dress. And don’t worry about drawing attention—all eyes will be on the bride, everyone else is just an afterthought when we all compare what we’re wearing. So look good in a dress and heels.   I scoured the stores and came up with options that are elegant and sophisticated without being daring.  You can stand proud and know that you look good, but are not making a statement.

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J Crew Avery silk short cross-back dress
(available in many colors)
$195 at
jcrew.com

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Maggy London Halter Dress with Charmeuse Waist
$160 at
macys.com


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Anne Klein Dress Silk Georgette Dress
$220 at
nordstrom.com

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Anne Klein Dress Charmeuse Waist Dress
$210 at
nordstrom.com

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