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Q. I bought a black pantsuit at the end of the season last winter which consists of a longer, three-quarter length jacket and matching boot-cut pants.  I have never owned a suit with a three-quarter length jacket before, so I was curious as to (1) whether or not it is a stylish option for fall, and if so (2) is there a "right" way to wear the jacket?  I am not sure if I should leave it open, or button any of the four buttons, etc.  Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
—Right Way or Wrong Way

11310A. There will always be a long list of standard options in suits from short jackets to long jackets, dress suits with matching jackets, double or single-breasted jackets and then choices of pants and skirts. What makes a suit stylish is the fit on your body and how you complete the look from the top to the accessories.  The jacket needs to fit you well and not be oversized or boxy, especially if you are petite since a longer jacket could make you seem even shorter. As for the buttons, it depends—if you’re trying to achieve a more fitted or conservative look then button 2-3 and leave the bottom one undone. Try to avoid the easy choice of a white shirt, choose a color or a patterned shirt or wear a knit top that isn’t bulky.  And you could jazz it up with bigger style jewelry or an Hermes or Hermes-like scarf at the neck. It’s always better to keep the attention towards your top half to create the illusion of height with a longer jacket.

shown right: a classic and more conservative way to wear it, from nordstrom.com

Q. I am looking for some advice on what to pair with a fitted blue jean jacket. Is it ok to wear it with blue jeans? I remember hearing my sons joke about that combination as being the "Canadian tuxedo". Jacket time is here.  Can you help?
—Jeans with Jeans

V0473030378638_v1_m56577569831130802A. I’m used to seeing the jean jacket and jeans combination on true cowboys and cowgirls on trips out west to places like Wyoming and Montana. It’s a sexy rugged look that works for them. But if you’re not one of them, then I’d suggest finding a stylish alternative.  And nowadays just about anything works with a fitted jean jacket from corduroys to trendy gauchos and shortened pants to a-line skirts and western or bohemian style skirts.  Magazines have even shown jean jackets with ball gown skirts.  I have always loved the classic look of model Lauren Hutton who has always looked fantastic in khakis, a white button shirt and a well worn jean jacket. It’s just a matter of dressing head to toe and then pulling on your jacket to see if you feel comfortable. And sometimes it’s a matter of the color of the denim.

shown left: Elie Tahari Eugenia Denim Jacket paired with a full skirt and boots, from saks.com

Q. My daughter and I are traveling to New York in mid-November.  I just wanted to know if it is already cold enough to bring a coat, hat, gloves, etc. and is wearing mostly black still ok?
—Clueless in California

A. Definitely pack your coat, hat and gloves.  It always seems to turn into jacket/coat weather by Oct. 30th.  You may be able to leave the hat in the hotel, but it’s always good to be prepared.  And if you hadn’t heard, black is back this season and in New York black is NEVER out of style.   Black is chic, simple, hides a myriad of flaws and easily disguises your tourist status.

Are nylons OUT?

2629Q. Hi Alison!  I say nylons are O U T “OUT”; my girlfriend disagrees.  My opinion is that nylons (nude, taupe, etc.) are a huge fashion faux pas, but sheer black are ok with a cocktail dress…but NEVER with sandals or an open toe.  What do you think?
-Are Nylons a No No

A. Although I personally am not a big fan of hosiery, it does help many women hide minor bulges and flaws.  I usually discourage younger women from wearing flesh-toned hosiery when they usually have great legs.  Go bare I say!  But if you do want to wear hosiery, then choose from all the creative styles that saturated the runways this season. Sheer black hose with a cocktail dress is the norm for many women.
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When it gets cooler, there are tights, fishnets and patterns to choose from to wear with skirts, dresses and even as trousers.  And just a tip—many women in NYC, including fashion editors, wear tights or patterned hosiery with peep-toe shoes to add a pop of color and extend the length of time they can wear their fashionable shoes — just be sure there is no visible seam.

Above left: Jonathan Aston Double Diamond Tights, $13.99 at mytights.com
Below right: Jonathan Aston 40 Denier Opaque Pantyhose, $12 at
figleaves.com

Q. I like wardrobes, what kind of jewelry (closets) are best for easy display and daily access/organization of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and hair clips?
-Easy Access

A. I’m a big fan of keeping my jewelry organized and easy to find. I own a leather jewelry armoire from Hold Everything and I can’t imagine what my drawers would look like if I didn’t. I also keep additional necklaces organized in soft cinched bags and small boxes in the top drawer of my dresser.
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leather jewelry armoire
$345 at holdeverything.com
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Athena mahogany jewelry chest
$189.95 at ross-simons.com
B0002Kv90S.01-A8K3K4Or6Exja. Aa225 Sclzzzzzzz

Alexandra jewelry box
$149.25 (sale) at
bombaycompany.com

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