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Q. This summer I have purchased a couple of bold print dresses, one by Velvet and one by ERGE. They both have deep V necks, and are more casual than dressy (both a lightweight jersey knit). I really don’t know what kind of a necklace (or other jewelry) I should were with these. A bold necklace seems to compete with the print and just looks like too much, and a delicate necklace looks out of place. Any ideas?

A. As the owner of several printed v-neck day dresses, I have a lot of experience accessorizing them. This summer, my jewelry of choice is a long pendant necklace or long chain necklace and a gold bangle. Here are some jewelry options to pair with your summer dresses:


Q: I’m attending a swanky black tie wedding this fall, and I’m not sure what to wear. I’m very petite (5’1”, 107 lbs) and any floor length dress I buy will have to have about 6 inches hacked off the bottom. Any suggestions that won’t break the bank in alterations? I love to use but I’m afraid I won’t be able to do that for this event.

A. If you shop in the petite department, you shouldn’t have to alter the length of your dress very much, if at all. A floor length petite dress is made for people that are under 5’3” generally. Add to that a pair of heels and you should be all set! Below are some petite sized cocktail dresses and full length dresses to wear to your black tie wedding — and most are under $200.


Q. I have a few metallic handbags (a gold hobo and a silver clutch) but I’m not sure if they’re still in style. Can I wear them this summer?

A. Metallic accessories are always in style! Yes, some seasons they are considered a “trend” but they’ve also become a wardrobe staple over the past 10 years or so. As far as I’m concerned, you can never go wrong with a metallic sandal or a glittering handbag — they are the perfect neutral accessories to wear with almost anything in your wardrobe, day or night.

I especially love metallic accents in the summer; a flat gold sandal worn with shorts, a skirt or a day dress is pretty much my go-to summer look. A silver, bronze or gold handbag works year round, but I particularly love one paired with summery white, turquoise, yellow, and pink.

Here are a few metallic accessories you’ll want to wear for years to come:


Q. I’m going to a 40th birthday party at night (6:00-10:00). The invitation says ‘black tie, flip flop’ affair — at a house in Florida on the bayou. What to wear?

A. This party dress code is a new one for me, but such a fun one to tackle! Black tie and flip flops sounds like the summer answer to “creative black tie” or “denim and diamonds”. My suggestion? Throw on a pretty, summery cocktail dress with, yes, flip flops! Don’t be afraid to go for the glitz with sequins. Guys can have a lot of fun with this dress code too: a tuxedo jacket, t-shirt, and bow tie with jeans and flip flops.

Here are a few dress/flip flop combinations for you:


Q. I hate swimsuit season. I’m invited to a few pool and beach parties this summer but I absolutely loathe putting on a swimsuit for various reasons (cellulite, some unwanted pounds, etc.) What can I wear to a pool party besides a swimsuit that won’t look out of place?


A.I can definitely sympathize since I’ve never been 100% comfortable wearing a swimsuit either. However, it’s important to remind yourself that no one has the perfect body! We all wish we could be slimmer, taller, tanner, more toned, etc. It took me a while to realize that I’m my worst critic and that no one is judging me for the way I look in a swimsuit. By avoiding wearing a swimsuit, you could be missing out on a lot of fun!

The bottom line? Confidence is sexy. So if you feel good about yourself and try to push your insecurities aside, I promise you, no one will notice the few extra pounds you may have gained over the past year. That being said, there are a few things you can do to feel more confident and look your best in a swimsuit:

  1. Find the swimsuit that flatters your figure. Forget about trends, swimsuits are all about fit, so it’s important to find the right swimsuit for your figure. And don’t be discouraged if you need to try on 50 swimsuits before finding the one that works best for you, it’s worth it!
  2. Look for slimming swimsuits. Hidden tummy panels and strategically placed details can work wonders for your figure - and your confidence. Here are some chic and slimming swimsuits worth trying.
  3. Try self tanner. A little color is a great way to help camouflage cellulite, spider veins or anything else that might add to your insecurities. Here are the best self-tanners to try this summer.
  4. Wear a wedge. Heels are not a great look at the beach or the pool, but a summery wedge espadrille is the perfect way to lengthen and visually slim your legs.
  5. Wear a gorgeous cover-up. Who says you have to wear a swimsuit the whole day? Save the suit for the water and wear a chic cover-up when you’re on dry land. Skip the t-shirt and shorts and opt for a glamourous caftan, dress or tunic instead.
  6. Stand up straight. Just like your mother told you, it helps to have good posture. You’ll look taller and more slim in seconds!

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