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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

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.

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.

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.

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

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