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Q. I’m on the hunt for a stylish wool coat that is actually warm. Wool blends aren’t warm enough for Midwestern winters. I’d love to see some suggestions for 100% wool coats and if you know of any with Thinsulate or similar layer for extra warmth, that’s even better.

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A. There are a few brands that offer wool coats lined with Thinsulate (or a similar insulation) which provide an added layer of warmth without the bulk or puffiness of down or quilted linings: jcrew.com, delias.com, alloy.com and landsend.com. Lands’ End even goes the extra mile with temperature ratings for all of their coats. The insulated wool styles tend to be pretty basic and classic, in general, so if you’re looking for one of this season’s hottest coat trends, you might have to layer up for warmth.

Here are a few insulated styles we’re liking, most are available in several colors:


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top, left to right: Insulated Wool Pea Coat, $149.50 at landsend.com; Logan Solid Peacoat w/Thinsulate, $87.50 (sale) at delias.com; Wool-cashmere plaza coat, $345 at jcrew.com

bottom, left to right: plaid short hooded coat with thinsulate, $95.92 (sale) at alloy.com; Leighton Skirted Coat w/Thinsulate, $95.50 (sale) at delias.com

Q. Do you have any suggestions for boots that be worn in the rain that aren’t rain boots? I want boots that aren’t Uggs for fall/winter but I don’t want to ruin leather ones by wearing them when it’s wet and gross outside.

A. There are many chic rain boot options that aren’t Uggs and aren’t made of rubber. Aquatalia and La Canadienne are famous for their waterproof/weatherproof leather and suede boots that come in a variety of styles and heel heights. Stuart Weitzman also offers a few rain proof styles. And for lightly rainy days when you’re not stepping in deep puddles, a rugged boot like the ones from Frye should hold up well.

We found a ton of great options for you, check them out:

Q. What type of shirt would you suggest I wear with a rattlesnake skin pencil skirt? Also what type of shoes should I wear? Please give me several options.

A. A snakeskin skirt can be a really chic fashion forward look - or it can look really cheap and tacky. It’s all in how you wear your skirt that keeps you looking classy. Refrain from showing a lot of skin, plunging necklines or from wearing a really tight top. Try pairing your skirt with simple, classic and ladylike pieces like a tailored white button down, a fitted (but not tight) simple top or sweater, or a classic cardigan or blazer. On your feet, stick with classic pumps or heels. Here are a few ladylike looks incorporating a python skirt:


Q. I recently had knee surgery and am relegated to flats and lower wedges. Any good options for fall/winter? What about formal evenings?

A. Speaking strictly from a style perspective (and not a medical one), you have many chic flat shoe options this fall. Ballet flats continue their reign as the go-to flat shoe. Look for jeweled embellishments, studs and animal prints this season. Tall flat boots are also incredibly hot this season. Here are a few options for you:

Flat shoes for evening can be tricky. Look for rich fabrics like velvets and metallics as well as pretty embellishments like jewels, flowers and ruffles. Here are some options for you.

For more fall shoes, check out our fall shoe guide

Q. I want to wear this black sequin skirt during the December holidays, but I’m not necessarily going to be going out to formal occasions. I love this skirt, but I’d like it to be more versatile. Are there any tops and/or accessories you could recommend that are more casual but still go well with the it?

A. There’s nothing we love more than pairing traditionally fancy clothing like a sequin skirt with more casual pieces to wear day or night. Here are a few ideas followed by some inspiration pictures for dressing down your skirt:

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clockwise from top: Sequin Pencil Skirt $58, freepeople.com; Cascading Sequin Mini Skirt, $98 at freepeople.com; 3.1 Phillip Lim Cashmere Pullover & Sequined Skirt, $495 at nordstrom.com; Alice + Olivia Sequined Mini Skirt, $396 at bergdorfgoodman.com

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