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Q. My cousin (who is like my sister because I’m the only child) is finally turning 21 this July.  I want to get her something that’s stylish, fun, hip, but will also be cherished for the rest of her life.  I fell for a charm bracelet from Juicy Couture, but they‘re completely sold out.  Any ideas?
-A Charmed Search

A. Since you seem to like the charm bracelet idea I searched for worthy replacements and I think even better options for your gift giving dilemma. I wanted to offer up choices of items that weren’t merely trendy, but also within the same price range that could be worn for countless years. 

Br Bangle Bali ThFrom haleym.com, you can send photos of you and your “sister” cousin and she will custom make a set of charm bracelets.

 

 

Twoclover Lgmandbvintage.com will custom make a bracelet or necklace made with vintage charms chosen especially for the wearer.

 



Charmbraceletcharmedlifejewelry.com offers bracelets with various affirmation charms in the shape of circles or hearts. Choose phrases that are personal to your relationship with your cousin.

 

 

 

401-B32-MopThis mother of pearl bracelet from tiffinidooris.com has the look of a charm bracelet with five mother of pearl petals.



D0467640352928 V1 M56577569831200250Julie Sandlau’s charm bracelet features a trio of delicate charms at saks.com

Q. It’s the beginning of the rainy season where I live and I need help finding a cute and fashionable umbrella to take around. I’m really into the clear ones with designs on them and can’t seem to find any. Can you help??
-Stay Dry Stylishly
 

Nmd2489 An A. We girls at StyleBakery.com are big fans of the Burberry bubble style clear umbrella that comes in several color combos.  We wax nostalgic about having worn yellow rain slickers to elementary school and splashing in puddles. Of course, I still splash in puddles with my toile rain boots on!  With a clear umbrella you can stay dry and still see what’s ahead of you.  I’ve found a few “clear” choices for you along with a pattern that just jumped out at me.

Burberry Clear-Panel Umbrella, $115 at neimanmarcus.com

see also the Kate Spade clear stick umbrella for $95 at neimanmarcus.com

Rb01 White-1


We found a few cute clear umbrellas
at
umbrellasusa.com, like this clear bubble stick
version for $17.90

 5142765




Echo Print Umbrella
$45 at
nordstrom.com
(also in a great striped print that I love!)

Q. When is the season for cropped pants? What is the best way to wear the new summer short trend?
-Shorts Unsure 

V0416340339630 V1 M56577569831226572-1A. The stores are so flooded with cropped pants and shorts this season that it’s difficult to find a good pair of lightweight pants. Cropped pants have become a year round length for pants, but in order to wear them for each season you need to choose appropriate fabrics.  For summer, choose cropped pants in cotton, linen and denim and pair with flats, sandals, wedges and espadrilles.  For winter, choose cropped pants in wool blends and velvet and wear them with your knee-high boots.

As for shorts, inseam lengths matter. Unless you’re under 25, skip any inseam that isn’t 5 inches or longer - nobody needs to see butt cheek when you bend over or bend down!  Obviously, shorts worn with tees and tanks and cute kicks (sneakers) are meant for sporty activities.  If you’re looking for a stylish option, pair your shorts with a cuter top, add long beads and wear with sandals that have some kind of heel. For a “night out” wardrobe or even casual Friday at the office, pair your longer length shorts (they hit just below or at the knee) with a cute top, fitted jacket and sassy wedges or espadrilles to give you height. For a classic look, wear your shorts with a crisp, fitted button down shirt and roll up the sleeves, a belt with a bigger belt buckle and sandals.

BCBG Max Azria Diana Cuffed Shorts (shown here), $108 at saks.com

Q. I’m in New Orleans and find myself hard-pressed to find unique items that I’m looking for. Some of my favorite boutiques are still closed, so I’ve really gotten more involved in online style searching and purchasing. I do find it more difficult, however, to find specific articles that I’m looking for when I don’t have a particular brand in mind.

Right now, I’m dying for a cute, very sheer, beach tunic for a trip I’m taking to Belize at the end of June. Do you have any sites and/or designers you could recommend for finding some of these?
-Fashion-starved since Saks closed   

A. Love the summer heat and I, too, can’t wait for the beach.  Here are a few of sheer tunic cover ups to consider:

P D636437long, sheer and gorgeous
print tunic with sequins from Delfina Swimwear
$191.99 (sale) at
vivre.com

 5184260-1a little sexy

La Blanca by Rod Beattie Crochet Tunic
$86 at
nordstrom.com

74146 Wt0022 Su06 Msomething simple
Washed Guaze Back-Tie Tunic
$29.99 (sale) at jcrew.com

 5163653wear it on the beach or out to dinner

Lilly Pulitzer ‘Plum’ Tunic
$188 at
nordstrom.com

Q. I saw something in a magazine about a designer handbag club. You pay a yearly fee and then you basically swap the “it” bag of the season for a period of time without having to buy the bag. Are you familiar with the club and any info on the web?
-Lookin’ to be It 

Hp SosA. Yes, it’s called bagborroworsteal.com. You can choose from Trendsetter, Princess, Diva or Couture status.  Membership starts at $9.95 a month and you can borrow the bag for a month, six months or even a year.  Plus, you can borrow more than one bag at the same time, it all just depends how much you want to spend and how badly you want that “it” bag hanging off your shoulder.  This is a simple and more affordable way to dress like the rich and famous.

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