| Ask The Style Chefs

ask us

( have a style question? email us )

Q. I am hoping you can help me with all of your expert ideas. I am about to share my first year anniversary with my boyfriend on the eve of Christmas and it is our very first Christmas together as a real couple.  We have been friends for years so I should have clues but I truly am at a loss for gift ideas.  I want to give him a personal, heartfelt present.  He is extremely loving and romantic and he appreciates thoughtfulness. 

He is Italian with fine taste and he has everything he could ever desire as he is wealthy, which makes it harder for me.  I want to give him something tailored to my sentiments for him. He loves scuba diving, fine fabrics and we both love holidays in the sun.  He is an adventurous thrill seeker. Would you have any first-class gift ideas for my beloved?
-For Mr. Adventure

A. For your thrill-seeker beloved, check out - they offer true adventure trips that take a few hours or a few days with choices like race car driving, bull riding, skydiving, glider rides and more.  If they don’t have options convenient to your location, you can at least get some great ideas.  For the man who can easily buy himself the Rolex, Mercedes and fine Italian suits, it can be thoughtful and fun to engage his adventurous side. Some of my best memories are of the exciting  trips I’ve taken from flying in a vintage bi-plane to white water rafting to hot air balloon rides in Sonoma Valley. Guaranteed he’ll remember anything that gets his adrenaline pumping - especially if it’s something the two of you can share together.

How to wear a beret

D0403524829810_v1_m56577569831131435Q. I have a hat question:  I’ve seen some very cute berets and I’d like to get one, I just want to be sure about the right way to wear it fashionably!  Should it be tilted to one side (left or right?), or just worn centered?
-Hat Sassy

A. Don’t get hung up looking for rules, especially when there aren’t any. There is no right way to wear a beret, it’s just about which way you prefer and how it looks best on you.  I’ve seen it centered, slightly right and slightly left.  Have fun!  And if someone questions your new purchase just say, “C’est la vie.”

Above: Lola wool felt beret, $75 at

AxdressQ.  I bought a silk chiffon red dress from A/X for my company’s holiday party and I have no idea what to wear it with.  What color shoes go with it?  What type of jewelry? I work at a trading firm on Wall Street and the party is going to be at a trendy Meat Packing District loft-type space.
-Party Wear

A. For a party dress like this, look for metallic gold, a rush of rich red or sassy black with rhinestones to slip your feet into and definitely wear earrings that dangle.  I’d skip a necklace and if you still want to wear more jewelry, then choose a few thin gold bangles or a big faux stone cocktail ring.

Shown left: silk chiffon dress, $109.99  (sale) at


JLO by Jennifer Lopez ‘Jenni’ Sandal
$114.95 at


Argento Vivo Ruby
& Pearl Earrings
$198 at

Meg’s 12 Carat Gold
& Amber 14k CZ
Cocktail Ring
$99 at

Q. What color shoe should I wear with Winter White pants?
-Shoe Color Confusion

A. Play off the color of your top or jacket.  White is a neutral so anything will work, but keep it toned down.  If you’re wearing winter white from head to toe, then look for caramel, latte, soft metallic pinks, pale autumnal colors, even opt for patterns like animal print or plaid. Of course, black and winter white is always a chic combination. Some suggestions:

827184452dClaudia Ciuti Rum
$285.95 at


Vigotti R1969
$37.95 at

Giuseppe Zanotti
E5703 Pump
$185.95 at

AnthQ. I am trying to figure out what to wear to family gatherings during the holiday season. I need something that strikes a good balance of dressed up but somewhat casual so I look nice and pulled together but not over the top or inappropriately dressed. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have.
-Festive Dress

A. Keep it simple.  Don’t wear jeans.  If you want to be comfortable, avoid wearing a dress. The items that strike a good balance of festive, but not over the top, are velvet pants or a fitted velvet jacket, a camisole top with lace or in a silky fabric that can be worn under a jacket or a cardigan, a cardigan with details like beading and a skirt than can be paired with knee high boots.

shown right: the teahouse wrap and gray pants strike the perfect balance, $138 at

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: