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Q. I was just wondering if nail polish color and purse color should be in contrast to one another? Also can multi-colored purses be carried everyday? And should light colors or dark colors be worn during fall/winter?
- Purse-onal Questions

A. To answer your multiple questions:

1. Don’t bother with questions about nail color matching your bag unless it’s a specific event that you’re dressing up for. We’ve headed into Fall so give your toe color a break and keep to light colors since few people will see your tootsies. To avoid garish looks with your fingernails, choose colors that aren’t too dark and no funky colors like blue or green.

2. Your everyday bag can be multi-colored, but if the colors are pastel you should hold off and carry in the Spring.

3. When it comes to colors for Fall and Winter, it’s most important to find colors that look best with your skin tone.

Q. I’m looking for a cute hat to wear on cold and rainy days that won’t leave me with terrible hat head (i.e. no tight fitting, knit hats). I am looking for a newsboy cap or a fedora-type hat. I know they’re very hot right now and can be found almost everywhere, but my problem is, I have a small head and most hats are too big for me. Even hats that are labeled "small" are too big. I need a hat that won’t blow off on windy days or when I’m riding my bicycle. Can you help me find an adjustable or small size hat?
-Hat Attack

A. I’ve never had your problem - most hats are too tight on my head so I’m always looking for the medium or large size.  And I, too, like them a little loose so I can “try” to avoid hat head.  But if you’re looking to be able to keep that hat on when it’s windy or when you’re riding your bike, you need a hat with a buckle so it’s loose on some days and tighter on others.   Before shopping for a hat, especially online, take measurements of your head so you can find the right circumference or diameter that will fit.  And don’t assume that a knit hat is not right for you, I have a knit newsboy cap that is loose on top, but fits around my forehead so my hair doesn’t get flat.  Also, don’t forget to spray a little hairspray on hair or in the hat to avoid static and loose fly-aways during the dry, crackly months of winter.

Twill Cabbie with Buckle
adjusts for all head sizes
$18 at


Suede Cabbie with Buckle
adjusts for all head sizes
$19.99 at


Burberry Wool Bucket Hat
check out their hat size
guide for the right fit
$195 at


Q. I am taking my husband to the VA Symphony for his birthday. What would be appropriate to wear for both of us?
-Wear to Where

A. When it comes to events like the Symphony, Opera, Ballet and Theater, I recommend that people dress well for the occasion.  It’s not often that you spend much more than the cost of a movie ticket for a night out with your husband, so it’s a chance to dress up rather than wear your favorite jeans.  And what girl doesn’t like to receive compliments for looking pretty? For your husband, a sport jacket, button down shirt, tie, nice pants and well-shined shoes will be appropriate. For you, wear a dress or a skirt with details like beading and a cashmere sweater or even a velvet suit.  There are always options for a ladylike, chic look and sometimes it can just mean adding a printed scarf or long earrings to a simple solid colored dress.  And wear great heels! 

Q. I’m a mom of an 18 month old and 4-year-old boys. I want to graduate from a diaper bag to an everyday tote. I’m trying to find a basic black leather tote (with inside pockets that holds my cell phone and sunglasses) that isn’t over-embellished with decorative items. Have any suggestions on where to look?
-Bag It All

A. Now that you don’t plan to carry a dozen diapers, baby bottles and toys, you need a sophisticated, classic tote that will last for several years and not go out of style.  I’ve picked out several stylish totes that can carry your essentials as well as a bit of the baby gear. For a variety of totes that won’t put a dent in your budget and aren’t over embellished check out these sites:,,,, and

Leather tote
$198 at

MICHAEL Michael Kors
Double Zipper Tote
$298 at


DKNY Urban Fusian Shopper
$185 at

If you still feel as if you need more pockets and compartments for all your essentials, try adding a Purseket organizer. It comes in several sizes with many different fabric options and can be moved from bag to bag when needed.
$16 to $22 at

Q. I am attending a black-tie event in November.  I don’t feel comfortable in floor-length dresses.  Is tea-length acceptable?  If so, what do you suggest?  Help…and hurry! 
-Black-tie challenged

A. If celebrities can walk the red carpet for the Oscars and Emmys in sophisticated tuxedos (a la Greta Garbo and Diane Keaton) and sweet tea length confections (think Sarah Jessica Parker), then it’s certainly fine for you to attend a black tie event in a dress that doesn’t skim the floor. Here are a few favorite finds:

velvet dress
Laundry by Shelli Segal
$265 at


BCBG Max Azria
´D Esprit´ Trimmed Point Strapless Dress
$400 at

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