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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. 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:

Q. I’m looking for a casual, lightweight summer skirt to go with cute cotton summer tee shirts and tanks. I would like something that is a slight A-line, in a white or khaki color. I’m 5’1 and 40 years old, so I would like it to hit right above or at the knee. I can’t find a skirt like this anywhere! Please help.

A. I, too, love the summer uniform consisting of a tank or tee and a skirt with sandals. In fact, for years this was pretty much all I wore, amassing quite a collection of A-line skirts in a variety of colors and prints. I’ve since moved on to mostly dresses in the summer which, if you can believe it, is even easier than throwing on a skirt/t-shirt combination since it consists of just one piece. So now my varied collection of skirts has transitioned to a closet full of casual lightweight cotton and linen dresses.


Ah, but enough about me, right? Here are some white and tan colored skirts to get you through the summer:

Q. I keep seeing colorful jeans everywhere, but I’m not sure if I can pull the look off. Can you give me some ideas for wearing the trend?


A. Colored denim is a fun trend for spring. I think a slim ankle length jean in a bright hue can be pretty easy for most women to wear. Try pairing it with a contrasting solid colored top for this season’s color blocking trend, or pair with a printed top that picks up the color of the jeans. If you’re still a little uneasy with all that color, a white top is the perfect contrast for a bright hue. Add a flat sandal or wedge heel and you’ve got a breezy, bright, summery look. Here are a few ideas for inspiration:

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