StyleBakery.com | Ask The Style Chefs

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Q. I’m interviewing at a fashionable PR firm and am having trouble choosing the perfect interview outfit. Can you help?

A. The great thing about interviewing for a fashionable workplace is that you have some flexibility about your wardrobe choices. Feel free to express your personal style and add fashion-forward touches like a hint of animal print or a statement necklace. The goal is to look professional yet creative, stylish but not too trendy. Be sure to stick with the usual rules applying to interview clothing which includes the always-important: don’t show too much skin, cleavage or leg.

For your interview, I would suggest starting with a classic sheath dress that has interesting details like colorblocking or prints. Add a sleek leather jacket or blazer, black tights, chic pumps and one piece of statement jewelry for an impressive outfit that will give you the confidence you need to help land the job you want.

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Q. Last year I bought a faux fur vest - are they still in style?

A. Yes! The faux fur vest made popular by Rachel Zoe a few seasons ago is very much still in style, as evidenced by the many versions available in stores and online in almost every price point. I would even venture to say that the faux fur vest has moved beyond being trendy and into wardrobe staple territory. Here are some of the best faux fur vests available now:

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Q. I would like to build a collection of handbags that are classic (so that they can be used for a few years) but are still fashionable and that can fit every occasion (everyday, date, special occasion, etc.). What is the range of bags you think every woman should own and can you please suggest a new handbag that I should buy for 2013? Thanks!

A. Absolutely! Below are five different bags that every woman should own, along with suggestions for a range of budgets that can be worn for years to come.

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1. All-purpose tote

Every woman needs a workhorse bag; one that is functional and large enough to hold important papers, some magazines, books, iPad, etc., and chic enough to wear to work. Look for one in a neutral monochromatic color that works with almost everything in your wardrobe.

2. Satchel

A satchel has a bit more structure than a tote and easily goes from desk to dinner to Sunday brunch. Look for one in a rich neutral color like red or oxblood, or with interesting accents like animal prints, hardware or colorblocking.

3. Casual cross-body

Cross-body bags are perfect for shopping, site-seeing or any time you need the convenience of a hands-free bag. Look for a mid-size style that holds all your essentials.

4. Clutch

A chic clutch is perfect for date night or dinner with girlfriends.

5. Special occasion bag

A dressy party clutch in black or a wear-with-everything metallic is ideal to have on hand for special occasions.

Q. How old is too old to rock the wedge sneaker trend? I love the look and practicality and I love to dress sporty/funky but I am a 41-year-old mother of three. Too old?

A. I don’t think you’re ever too old to have fun with fashion — especially at 41 years old. Wedge sneakers are a big trend this season (note I said “trend” — meaning, there’s a good chance they will be out of style by next year) and come in a range of styles. Some look a bit younger than others, particularly those with bright colors. Provided the rest of your look is age appropriate, I don’t see why you couldn’t wear wedge sneakers if you love them. Perhaps opt for a more monochromatic option if you’re worried about dressing too young. Here are some options that won’t make you look like you raided your teenager’s closet:

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Q. I was lucky enough to get a new iPad for Christmas. Now I need a fancy new case. Can you recommend some?

A. Lucky you! I, for one, cannot live without my iPad — and dressing it up in fancy new clothes somehow makes me love it even more. There are a variety of options ranging from handbags and clutches to cases and sleeves, depending on your needs. I prefer a case that keeps my iPad protected at all times, but I lust after less practical styles like the Z Spoke and Marc Jacobs crossbody bags and the Rachel Roy clutch below. Since you didn’t tell me your budget, I’ve recommended a few in every price range. Enjoy!

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