| Ask The Style Chefs

ask us

( have a style question? email us )

Q:  My fiancee and I have been invited to a Bat Mitzvah reception, and she is planning on wearing a red/burgundy MaxMara dress, kind of a low cut wrap around design.  The discussion with her has been around what type of jewelry or accessories does she need to complete this outfit.  A single strand of pearls was the initial thought, though she has recently been given advice to shun any type of necklace and just go with stunning earrings.  What are your thoughts on this, as it is important that she look absolutely incredible in front of my family and ex-wife.
- Proud Beau

 A. I own many wrap dresses with low v-neck styling - I’m a big Diane Von Furstenberg fan.  Generally, dresses that have a wrap/v-neck style look best with a necklace that drops down, meaning a necklace that follows the shape of the V.  A necklace that wraps around the neck like a single strand of pearls or other kind of single strand ends up cutting off the lengthening effect of the dress. Don’t get me wrong, I love pearl necklaces — multi-strand for drama and single strand for the feminine sophistication. But you’ve got to be savvy with the message of your pearls, you’re aim for your fiancee to be a sophisticated lady in her appearance to your family can flop and end up looking dowdy or too conservative.  As a girl (all fab women are girls to me) in her 30’s, I like that I can wear a single strand of pearls with a straight-across-the-chest strapless black cocktail dress and I’d give Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” a run for her money, but if I put those same pearls with one of my DVF wrap dresses, I’d fall flat.  My readers would wonder where my pinache went! 

My suggestion for your fiancee’s wrap dress is a dangly pair of gold and beaded earrings or a more modern version of traditional gold hoops and skip a necklace altogether.  If there’s any arm exposed, then maybe add a wide gold cuff on the wrist.  If it’s a necklace you’re set on, then look for something gold that drops down towards the cleavage with some shape and beading.  Here are my suggestions:


Leaf Branch Charm Necklace
$65 at

Triple Hoops
$112 at

Ruby Pebble Earrings
$234 at

Q.  Along with at least half of the population I’ve headed back to the gym.  My workout tops just don’t seem to cover my midriff when I lift my arms to use the weight machines.  Any suggestions for longer, cute, not too pricey workout tops?   

-Afraid of overexposure

A.  The dreaded belly roll or pooch from too much holiday eating or a sabbatical from the gym can lead to sudden self defeat when your shirt rides up while working out. The best way to keep your determination, confidence and see results is to avoid the baggy t-shirt and find tops that have stretch (to help flatten the tummy while you workout), wick away moisture and are comfortable. Here are a few inspiring and stylish tops to keep you lifting:

31032 Teal Dt 
Empress Tank
$39 at


Under Armour Metal Sleeveless Tee
$34.99 at

Padidas1-2441847 Pattern W345A-1

Response Court Capsleeve
$45 at

Q. I’m having a beach wedding in May in Bermuda. My dress is a sheath style halter in silk charmeuse and the color is called latte.  It is best described as a deeper ivory color.  I am planning on doing the ceremony barefoot but for the reception (under a tent) I wanted some options for shoes.  I don’t want to do dyeables.
-Dyeables Don’t/Won’t Do

A. I’m not a fan of dyeables for anybody’s wedding. You need style and fancy flair in a fabulous pair of shoes that don’t scream matchy-matchy. Before you buy a pair of sandals, think about the length of your dress and what the difference will be between walking on the beach barefoot and then slipping on heels for the reception.  Do you want more height at the reception?  Might you slip onto the sand for photos and a view of the sunset?  You probably don’t want to be tied up or strapped into sandals that require more than slipping on and off for the occasion.  Enjoy the chance to be footloose and fancy free some moments on the beach or dance floor and other times, elegant and sophisticated.  And due to the “latte” color and choice of a sunny location, I would shop for dressy sandals in light gold tones. Here are my suggestions for your destination wedding that give you height and elegance, but also the chance to toss them off easily:


Nina Verlie Glittering Sandal
$79.95 at


Kate Spade Lover
$298.95 at


Nine West ‘Accolia’ Sandal

$68.95 at

Q. I am a bridesmaid in a wedding and the bride is concerned with what color shoes we should wear.  Our dresses are tea-length and chocolate brown.  Dyeables are not an option, as it is an outdoor wedding and the dye will run.  She’d like us all to be in the same shoe due to the length of the dresses. 
-Shoe Review

A. Just like we worry about the dress and the surefire phrase you can wear it again, you’d like to make sure the shoes you invest in can actually be worn on another occasion.  The chocolate dress and the shoes do not have to match exactly, and thank goodness for that since no one wants to look like a chocolate popsicle.  Your shoes can be a lighter or darker version of the hue of the dress or go one step further and look at bronze as your metallic choice to give the dresses more “shazam!” as Beyonce would say.


Nina Mabel Braided Sandal
$79.95 at


Chinese Laundry Wesley
$54.95 at


RSVP Venice
$89.95 at

Q. What is the recommendation for hose color with shoes?  Can tights/hose be darker than the shoe?  (An example of a probable fashion faux pas in my past history - red and black plaid skirt with black tights and red shoes.)  Is it still recommended when wearing solid black or navy to have a unified color from head to toe? 
-Hopeless With Hosiery

A. I agree, your red and black plaid skirt with black tights and red shoes would have been better on a six year old, but there aren’t necessarily hard and fast rules with hosiery.  I recently wore a black sweater with a thin belt at the waist over a black pencil skirt and black opaque tights and gave the whole look character by wearing greenish teal suede high-heeled round toe pumps. Had the outfit been brown, I could have added bronze metallic or a dark, less shiny gold  pump or even an animal print. Navy can be one of the hardest shades to match up head to toe so it takes a gal with attitude to add a little color like greenish teal, olive or hunter green and burgundy.  While black certainly looks chic head to toe, it’s nice add a bit of color with a shoe or accessory in a deep hued color. Just be sure to see yourself in a full length mirror before you walk out the door.  If you like it, then wear it.

get the scoop

subscribe to our free weekly email! rss feed follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Pinterest!

like us on facebook!

subscribe + win


Around the Web: