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Q. Can velvet be worn for a formal occasion now?

-Velvety

162924A. Other than those rich fitted velvet jackets one can start wearing in October when the temperatures begin to drop, I’m not a big proponent of velvet in October (though it is a HUGE trend this season). It truly depends on the outfit—a red, green or black velvet dress can be a big no-no for October since so many velvet dresses scream “HOLIDAY here I come.” But a cute cocktail dress (like the ABS by Allen Schwartz Chiffon & Velvet Dress shown left from nordstrom.com) or a dress in a contemporary cut or even a fantastic velvet suit in rich shades like eggplant and cappuccino can sneak by at a formal event this time of year and look great. Use temperature and location as your guide - if you live in Colorado where it’s already snowing then wear it, if you live in Florida where it’s still beach weather then skip it until November.

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

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

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Q. Shrugs seem like a great idea for those of us with less than perfect arms. But, who should never wear them? Do they make your middle look thicker or your bust look huge?

-Arm Cover

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A. Shrugs are a great solution for a little extra coverage with tees, tanks and sleeveless dresses. To avoid looking bulky, adding extra broadness to shoulders or attention to a large chest, look for ones that are not made of thick knitted fabrics. Shrugs ultimately come in two versions - just over the shoulders with a bit of rounded ends that can either fit snugly or scoop over a bit of breast, or the other version is the tie front. To avoid adding attention to your chest, avoid the scoop side version and choose the tie front style in a material that isn’t thick. Or instead of the shrug, look for a little bolero style jacket or shrunken cardigan. At left: Laundry by Shelli Segal Cashmere Ruffle Shrug, $148 at nordstrom.com; At right: One Girl Who Shrug Bolero, $97 at nordstrom.com

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Q. HELP! I am supposed to go to my fiance’s 10 year high school reunion in early October. The catch - it’s a football game followed by all day hanging out/drinking. I obviously want to look cute (ie. - not sloppy) but also want to be appropriately dressed for a football game (ie. - not over dressed). The reunion is in early October, so flip-flops will be an option. Suggestions???

-Game Day

157844-2A. Unless you’ll be in a warm weather locale then I’d skip the flip flops, but if the thermometer outside is still hovering above 80 degrees then go ahead and wear stylish flip flops (not your favorite well-worn pair of Old Navy’s.) Fall football games always make me think of argyle, nubby fabrics and a scarf wrapped around my neck. For game camaraderie and comfort, go for dark jeans, cute slip-on flats, a chunky cardigan sweater with a button down shirt or tee underneath and a simple fitted jacket for when it turns cooler at night. If the jacket is too much for the temps outside, maybe a scarf and a cute tweed topper or driving hat is your stylish standout. Find out the team colors and find a scarf with those colors - guaranteed compliments. You may even find a “university” style sweater that fits into the theme of the day. I have a favorite from Tory Burch that always makes me feels nostalgic when I put it on. At left: Vince Cable-Knit Alpaca Wrap, $275 at saks.com; At right: 525 America Pocket Cardigan, $88 at nordstrom.com

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