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Q. Ugh, I am so bored with my winter wardrobe already. Do you have any ideas for adding excitement to my daily look?

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A. I hear you. Every year, right about this time, I tend to get bored with winter clothes too. Perhaps it’s the dreary winter weather or possibly all of the bright spring clothing starting to trickle into stores, but our daily sweater and skinnies uniform is starting to feel a little drab. The best way to perk up your look is to look forward - try adding a fresh new spring piece to your look. Not only will it help makeover your look, but it will also give you a few months of added wearings to your purchase. Who says you have to wait for warm weather to start wearing spring trends now?

One of our favorite trends for Spring 2011 is the color orange. In various hues, orange appeared on many designer runways, including Proenza Schouler, Tory Burch and Vena Cava. Try adding one orange piece to your winter blues, browns and grays to give them an instant wakeup. Below are some orange pieces worth the investment.



Another trend to try is spring’s bright lip. Celebs have been spotted everywhere sporting bright pink, orange and coral lips. It’s a bit daring, but also a guaranteed mood-lifter. Here are some tips on how to brighten up with a colorful lip.

Q. I’m attending my first-ever writers conference at the end of January, and am feeling a little lost about what to wear. From what I’ve heard, most of the people do business casual or dressier casual attire, and a suit would be a definite no-no. I usually feel more comfortable in a dress, but since the conference happens to be during winter in NYC, that might not be the best of ideas. There will be a lot of standing/walking around, so heels won’t really be practical either. I’ll be pitching my new book idea to some literary agents and I want to look professional, yet creative. There will be a lot of potential authors there, so I’d like to stand out (in a good way). I’m also very petite so I don’t want to look like I’m playing dress up in my Mom’s business clothes!

A. I love when you can infuse a bit of creativity into a work look. Since you feel most comfortable in a dress, wear one! We New Yorkers wear them all winter long - just add some opaque tights and a pair of boots and you’ll be fine. To add a creative touch to your dress, try pairing it with a sleek leather jacket. Another option is to pair skinny black pants with a belted jacket and booties. Add a stylish accessory like some great jewelry or an animal print belt or scarf, and a chic tote.

Though I understand the need to wear comfortable (and perhaps flat) shoes if you’ll be on your feet for hours, your best bet is to look for a stylish pump or shoe with a mid-size heel - this will help you to stand out a bit more since you’re so petite (sometimes we have to suffer a bit for fashion!) Find a shoe that you’ll be comfortable enough in that still offers a little bit of height and will add style to your look.

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Below are some looks for inspiration:

Q. I just had a baby six months ago and am still trying to return to my pre-pregnancy body or close to it. I am 5’2” so I am already short and now I have a pooch around my mid-section. I also have no hips and very a little tush so I do not have curves. I am having trouble finding flattering clothes to camouflage my mid-section without turning to empire, maternity styles. I feel like a few years ago the baby doll/empire waistline was really in, but now everything is slim and tight. I have tried a belt around my mid-section but I still feel like that doesn’t help and almost emphasizes it. Also, I live in a warm climate so throwing a jacket or blazer over everything isn’t always practical. Is it possible for me to find fashionable, yet flattering outfits?

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A. The key to dressing for your post-pregnancy body is to emphasize the positive while camouflaging your mid-section. In your case, slim legs and hips are your best feature- which makes wearing this season’s skinny pants and leggings (or even shorts if it’s really warm) ideal. Pair your slim pants with a blousey tunic top and an optional lightweight cardigan or vest for a flattering look. If you’re dressing for a party or a night out, opt for a short shift dress to help conceal your tummy and show off your legs. Avoid belts and slim jersey tops which will only accentuate your tummy.

Here are some silhouettes for inspiration:

Q. I’m trying to score a trench coat on sale during the holidays. I’m looking for a single breasted trench coat in petite with a removable lining and removable hood. The hood is not a must-have, but the removable lining is. I have searched and searched for years and I have yet to find one. Any help would be appreciated!

A. You’re right, that is a tall (or petite!) order. We found the perfect coat for you that meets all of your requirements and is available in brown or black. The Gallery ‘Nepage’ Three Quarter Length Trench, on sale for $129.90 at nordstrom.com. It’s a classic single breasted style with a removable lining and detachable hood which will give you 3-season wear. Below are a few more options as well.

Q. I want to wear this super cute dress to two different holiday parties. One is for hubby’s work/client party (read: conservative, stuffy lawyers) and the other is a more casual gathering with friends. I live in Florida so I don’t need to be in heavy layers, but tights and a little something to cover my shoulders would be perfect. Can’t wait to see what you come up with, because this one has me stumped!!

A. You picked a great dress with many possibilities. For your husband’s work party, I suggest slipping a blazer or tuxedo jacket over the dress, adding a pair of black tights and heels. A great necklace and clutch will finish the look. For a gathering with friends, I recommend adding a lightweight leather jacket or a sequin trimmed cardigan, each paired with a chic pair of booties, no tights. Or, you could always wear the dress alone paired with booties and an edgy necklace for your casual get-together.

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