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72233_bk0001Q. I recently bought this black chiffon skirt with sequins from J.Crew.   I am planning on wearing it to a semi formal attire party where everyone will be wearing dresses.  Any suggestions of what to wear on top?  Keep in mind that I’m only a teenager and don’t have the bank account I would like to have. Thanks!
-Skirt SOS

A. We like coming to the rescue of stylish budget-minded girls like ourselves.  I went “window” shopping on several sites for you and found several party-worthy tops that would do your skirt justice and not make your bank account look suddenly bleak. I decided to stick with black tops to give the illusion of a dress since you believe many girls will be wearing dresses. And each top has something to be desired whether it be sparkle, shine or a great shape. Don’t forget a great pair of earrings to finish the look.

Yq3631_001deep v-neck tank
$49 at

Sparkle & Fade
Sequin Inset Cami
$19.99 at


Sparkle & Fade
Glitter Tank
$24 at

Q. I love wearing shrugs with camisoles, but I’m wondering if one can safely (and fashionably) wear a shrug over a white blouse?
-Shrugging My Shoulders

A. Do you think you need a license to wear a shrug safely? It won’t bite. You’ll only know if the shrug looks good if you try it on with the white blouse and YOU think it looks good.  My only advice is that the blouse should be fitted and not boxy, oversized or appear to add extra bulk to your figure when you wear the shrug.  There are also shortened cardigans and 3/4 length sleeve cardigans that can look good with a button down shirt and still give you a shot of color and another layer with your outfit during the cooler months.

Q. I love leopard print shoes, but have no idea how to wear them. I work in an office, but don’t know how to wear them so that they aren’t too showy or inappropriate. How can I work this?

Sp05f2677cA. Isn’t the idea of wearing leopard print shoes a chance to add a little panache to your outfit? Simple tips for wearing your leopard shoes in a professional office:

  1. Don’t wear other animal prints
  2. Keep the rest of your outfit classic
  3. Don’t wear more than one other pattern or print
  4. Don’t be shy about showing off your style

A pair of animal print shoes can make a classic outfit like a black or chocolate suit look more stylish.  And don’t assume that your top has to be white—choose other colors like burgundy, deep green, bronze, black or chocolate in silky blouses with a bit of shine.

Check out some of our favorite animal print pieces

Q. Can you please recommend a few designers whose clothes are cut smaller? Tahari fits me like a glove, but is pricey. I am thirty-nine years old with three children, do not want to shop in the Juniors dept., but finding the right fit in anything is a real challenge. I find that most Petite departments are frumpy and provide just the basics. How about something fun? I wear size 0 pants at Banana Republic and size 2 at the Gap. Oh, and did I mention I prefer the fitted look?
-Needing Proper-Fit

A. I’m the same size and I, too, have a problem finding clothes that fit.  My best finds, besides Theory and Tahari, have been Joie, Club Monaco, Benetton and Vince.

Q. Is it okay to wear a brown silky blouse with black dress pants? I think I have seen a mannequin with this color combination and liked it. This is for a casual type Holiday Party. It is actually a brown spaghetti top silky camisole with a brown shrug.
-Color Combination

A. Go ahead and wear the brown and black color combo. Many people thought you couldn’t pair black and blue together, but that’s no longer true too.  The fashion “gods” know we don’t have the time, budget or stamina to spend at malls looking to find the perfect hued match of browns or blues, so we rely on black to help us out.  The other suggestion would be to wear winter white pants with your brown ensemble.

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