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Q. I’m a recent grad, about to start a job at a company with an “office casual” dress code. I have spent the past two years interning at companies with a strict business attire dress policy, so I am having trouble figuring out what to wear on my first day. I know that the office I’ll be working at is casual enough for jeans, but I’d love to look as professional as possible without going overboard. Any tips for a first-day outfit? I’d love your help!

A.Congratulations on your new job! And lucky you for landing one with an office casual dress code. The important thing to note when dressing casually at the office is that you still want to look neat and professional. If jeans are allowed, don’t wear them with a t-shirt and flip flops! Instead, opt for “nice” jeans with a ballet flat or chic shoe and a feminine top or even a little jacket or cardigan. Even if some of your colleagues are dressed a little sloppy, you will be taken more seriously if you project a neat, stylish, professional appearance.

For the first day, it is best to dress a little nicer, perhaps a shirtdress or wrap dress and heels. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to see how the rest of the office dresses and you can adjust your look from there. Here are two looks for inspiration to wear on your first day. Good luck!


Q. I recently purchased a couple pairs of summer wide legs pants from Anthropologie (Worker Bee Trousers and Chambray Carpenter Pants) both in an ivory or beige. I’m having trouble finding the right tops that will complement them. So many of the tops have a lot of volume and length and I feel I need something a little more fitted on top for my 5’2 inch frame and wider leg pants. I am hoping to pair something with more visual interest than just a plain t-shirt. Can you give me some ideas? I love your site!


A. You’re instincts are spot on, you want to look for a fitted top to offset the volume of your pants. Try tucking in a pretty blouse or opting for one of this season’s new crop tops. A pair of wedge or chunky sandals will also help to flatter your petite frame. Here are a some ideas for inspiration:

Q. Last week you gave some packing suggestions for a weekend in the city, but I have a few beach weekends planned for the summer. Can you give me some ideas on what to pack for a weekend at the shore?

A. Of course! There’s nothing I love more than spending a long relaxing weekend at the beach. My packing tips are pretty simple: I pack a few day-to-night dresses and tunics that go straight from beach to town to a sunset clambake. Add a couple of swimsuits, beach-to-street sandals, a hat, sunglasses, tote bag, sunscreen, and a lightweight scarf or jacket in case the nights are cool, and you’re ready to go! Here’s what’s typically in my weekend bag (click on each item for purchasing info):

Q. I am visiting friends for Memorial Day weekend in New York City and haven’t a clue what to pack! We’ll be shopping and going to a museum or two during the day and going out to fun dinners at night. What should I bring?


A. I love New York on holiday weekends when most of us head out to the Hamptons or Jersey Shore and restaurants seem a bit easier to get into and the streets are a touch less crowded. Some of my favorite places to spend time outdoors are on the lower West Side’s Esplanade by the water near Battery Park City and dining al fresco in the meatpacking district (great for people watching!) Be sure to hit the High Line and Chelsea Market while you’re down there for a truly NY experience.

Packing for a shopping/eating/touring weekend in the city is a lot easier than you think. Pack a few of your favorite day-to-night dresses, some well chosen accessories, and your most comfortable pair of chic summer sandals. The idea is to dress like a local (read: stylish), so leave your gym sneakers and faded t-shirts at home! Here are a few essential items to add to your weekend bag:

Q. Last week you mentioned your daily summer uniform of a simple cotton or linen dress for daytime. Can you give me some examples?

A. With pleasure! On any given day in the summer, you will likely find me wearing a lightweight dress and a pair of sandals or wedges. There’s literally nothing easier or more comfortable to wear. My closet is full of these daytime dresses, making getting dressed in the morning a breeze. Packing for summer vacations and weekends away is also relatively easy, since many of these dresses can be dressed up for an evening out or even worn over a swimsuit to the beach.

I generally look for styles that resist wrinkles and don’t need to be dry cleaned, so my day dresses can be laundered at home. Avoid fabrics like polyester or silk that don’t breathe and opt for cotton or cotton/linen blends instead. I also stick to styles that are under $100 (under $50 is even better!), saving my more expensive purchases for nicer dresses to wear to work meetings or events. Another important requirement is that I don’t need any special underpinnings, meaning, the dresses can be worn with a basic bra or racerback bra, or even a tank top underneath for fuss-free dressing.


Here are some perfect budget-friendly day dresses to wear all summer long:

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