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Q. I have been searching for a similar handbag to the Kooba Avery Tote that I saw Vanessa Minnillo carrying in 2008. Before I totally give up, can you recommend something similar or one in a reasonable price range? I love the style of this bag, and although this is so last year’s bag, it would be great to find something similar.

A. I love this bag too and it’s very hard to find now. We found some great alternatives that have the same sort of lived-in luxe look of the original Kooba Avery - and all under $200.

Q. What is your take on Ugg boots? I have been anti Ugg boots for years, but suddenly I am having a change of heart. I see them everywhere now, and they are growing on me, especially the cute sweater styles. And a few weeks ago, I had a miserable experience involving frozen toes and uncomfortably stiff flat leather boots that has pretty much convinced me that I need a pair of Uggs. But please tell me, honestly, is there any way to wear them without looking completely tragic? That’s a lot of money to spend to look really stupid, even if your toes are warm and happy!

ugg31229.jpgA. This is a question I can really relate to. For years, I was a die hard Ugg hater - I hated that they were so trendy, I hated that people wore them in the summer with shorts, and I hated the way they looked. Over the years, though, Ugg Australia has introduced a variety of styles to add to their classic line, which have a lot more style than traditional Uggs (in my opinion).

Coincidentally, I was given my first pair of Ugg boots just last month - this year’s hot Bailey Button boot. I’m not sure if it’s the arctic temperatures we’re having this winter or the updated look, but I am officially a convert and proudly wear my super warm, supremely comfortable and somewhat cute Uggs everywhere. A little late to the game, perhaps, but like you, they are growing on me. And considering that you can buy them everywhere from Bergdorf Goodman to ShopBop.com, they are most definitely not disappearing from fashion’s radar anytime soon.

Our advice? Choose a pair that has interesting details, like buttons, buckles or laces, and wear them with skinny jeans or leggings and a cozy sweater. Skip the knit styles which tend to look dirty after a few wearings. And please, do not wear them with shorts!

Q. I am going to a wedding in a few weeks and I bought the cutest dress. I have great shoes to go with it, but cannot figure out what accessories to wear. I normally do not wear earrings, as my hair covers them, but would like ideas on a necklace or pin or something. HELP!

A. Cute dress! Simple, chic and timeless. The black and white palette is the perfect blank canvas for some gorgeous statement jewelry. We would opt for a short but dramatic necklace paired with a sparkly cuff bracelet or cocktail ring. Below are some chic choices under $100 - we chose a neutral color scheme, but you can also incorporate colorful baubles and gems if you like.

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Q. I want to get a military jacket but are they still going to be in fashion the next season?

A. Military is a huge trend for Spring 2010, as designers like Marc Jacobs, Rag & Bone, Balmain and Celine (below) found inspiration from the Army Navy store in everything from jackets to pants to footwear.

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So, there’s never been a better time to splurge on a military jacket that you’ll wear now and all the way through spring. Here are a few options worthy of taking a place in your wardrobe - and many of them are super affordable.

images via style.com and coutorture.com

Q. I bought a black, shrunken menswear vest last year from the Gap. I was wondering if they are still in style because I don’t see them in stores anymore. I was just wondering how I can wear it besides the basic very dressy outfit over a button up shirt.

A. Not only are they still in style, but menswear-inspired vests were all over the Spring 2010 runways. Here are some looks from the Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and L’Wren Scott shows.

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Menswear vests are also a favorite of such celebs as Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Cameron Diaz, Becki Newton and Jennifer Lopez. Here they show some stylish ways to wear your vest: over a feminine blouse or tank top paired with skinny pants and trousers, or worn bare with a skirt or paired with a pencil skirt. The great thing about the vest is you can add your own personal flair to the look.


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Get the look with these options in every price range:


images via instyle.com

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