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Q. My office wardrobe feels so stale and uninspired lately. Now that summer is here, I feel like I should be wearing something more exciting - but I can’t really break dress code either. Are there any styles or pieces you can suggest that will shake things up without going overboard?

A. Corporate attire doesn’t always inspire a great deal of excitement, but with a few small tweaks here and there you can really change things up just enough to make your summer 9-to-5 more stylish. The key is to achieve a balance that addresses the sweltering temps outside and your no doubt brisk, air-conditioned office. Don’t shy away from bright colors that add a little pop to your practical neutrals, and embrace the simplicity of lightweight fabrics that keep you comfy all day long. Here are a few pieces that will seamlessly integrate into your work wardrobe.

summer-office-1.jpgBoss Black Ipepla Blouse, $185
DKNY Jacket - $109.50
Vince Camuto Floral Blouse, $99

summer-office-2.jpgWhite House Black Market Perfect Pencil Skirt, $78
Eliza J Colorblock Shift Dress, $70.80
Ann Taylor Carnegie Cropped Pants
, $68

Q. I’ve recently lost a lot of weight and don’t feel like I know appropriate dress lengths anymore. What is acceptable to wear to work? Is a couple of inches above the knee ok? Could you show me where a skirt/dress should hit with a picture?


A. Congrats on your weight loss and your newfound confidence! The basic rule for dress and skirt length for the office is to keep your hem at or just above the knee — about 2 inches above the knee at the shortest length. Of course, all office dress codes are different; a conservative office might require skirts to be knee length or longer, while a casual or creative office might permit skirts that are shorter than a couple inches above the knee. If you’re unsure of what is permitted at work, take a look at some of your superiors to see what skirt lengths they tend to wear.

Below are 5 skirts of different lengths, starting on the left from below the knee and gradually moving upward to several inches above the knee (mid-thigh) at the right. Consider this a sliding scale from conservative to casual/creative offices. If your office falls somewhere in the middle (as most do), then your safest skirt length is 2 inches above the knee or longer.

If your office does allow shorter skirts, you should still always strive to look professional. Be sure to do a test before leaving your house where you sit and bend over to ensure that your skirt doesn’t ride up too high. Also, you should balance a shorter length skirt with conservative shoes and top at the office. A tank top, miniskirt and strappy heels is never ok, even in the most casual office.

Q. I love that shorts are longer this season, but I always feel so frumpy in Bermuda shorts. Can you help me find a flattering pair?


A. Bermuda shorts were a hit on the Spring runways and a nice alternative to the short shorts we’ve been seeing for many seasons now. Depending on the style of shorts you choose as well as what you pair with them, they can be dressed up for work and evening, or dressed down for weekends. Here are a few tips for finding your most flattering pair (and avoiding the frump):

  • Choose a slim-cut pair for the most flattering silhouette.
  • Petite women want to look for a pair that hits a couple of inches above the knee, while women with longer legs can wear shorts that hit at or over the knee. (Tip: You can cuff your shorts to get them to your ideal length — or bring them to a tailor for a more finished look.)
  • Wear shorts with heels or wedges to lengthen and visually slim your legs. Flats work too, but tend to make legs look shorter

Here are some looks for inspiration:.

Q. How did you get started as a fashion and beauty blogger?

A. It’s always interesting to talk to someone about how they ended up on their career path, you’ll often find that it was not a straight line from A to B. This was very much the case for Beth Herbst and myself, and our path to creating was an interesting one.


Shortly after graduating from Syracuse University (I majored in Advertising, Beth majored in Speech Communications), we both found ourselves working at a small media marketing and television production company in NYC. We interviewed for the company after hearing from some friends that they were hiring. I had always envisioned myself as a copywriter at a cool NY ad agency, but the job offer seemed so intriguing, I couldn’t resist.

The company produced fashion and lifestyle segments for television shows such as NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s The View, created syndicated video packages, and wardrobed celebrities. Since neither of us had any fashion or TV experience, our boss and mentor, Pier Piccoli, taught us everything. Working at such a small company was an incredible learning experience; it meant that we weren’t limited to one position or job responsibility. We did everything right from the start, including shooting and editing video, hiring and styling models, media training on-air talent, writing copy, pulling clothes to wardrobe celebrities, and more. Of course, it also meant that we did a lot of unglamorous jobs like schlepping, answering phones, packing and unpacking boxes, waking up at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. for a television call time… But we learned and did so much more than we would have at a large cubicle-laden corporation.

After several years of learning the business inside and out, we decided it was time to venture out on our own. We started a small production company called Reach Marketing, Inc. and were lucky enough to work with the Today Show, Vogue magazine and the NBA almost right from the start. Our company was small — just the two of us — and we worked out of our apartments, still doing all the glamorous and unglamorous aspects of the job but with the added pressure of running and owning our own business. It was an amazing, yet somewhat scary feeling to be on our own and masters of our fate at such a young age.

In early 2003, I taught myself HTML and the mechanics of building a basic website, so we decided to launch At the time, there were very few sites about fashion, style or beauty — and certainly nothing like the fashion and beauty bloggers that are so commonplace today —so we had to forge our own path and learn everything as we went along. What started as an online magazine that published every two weeks as a supplement for our TV fashion segments, eventually turned into a self-sufficient and thriving website that updated every day with fresh content. We soon added specialized sites for teens (, moms ( and budget shoppers ( and to become the wide-reaching women’s style network that we are today.

Having gone to college in the very early days of the Internet, we certainly never could have imagined our eventual career: that we would be writing and producing content for the Web. Our advice to anyone starting out in their career, or one looking to make a change, is to consider every opportunity that comes your way. It may not be what you studied in school, or what you envision your path to be, but you never know where each new opportunity might lead you.

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Q. I keep hearing about metallic skirts lately, but I have no idea how to pull them off! Any tips on how to make it work?

A. Surprising, but true: you pretty much can’t go wrong with a metallic skirt. It’s sassy, adventurous and a little bit daring, but it’s not so OTT that it’s impossible to pull off. The great thing about this piece is that it’s so versatile, and because of that it’s a great alternative to the basics you might otherwise opt to wear. For example, recently Hilary Duff was spotted wearing a gold maxi skirt with a black tank. It sounds impossibly bizarre for a day out and about, but guess what? It works. The key here is to strike a pronounced balance. Steer clear of tops so overwhelmingly busy that they compete with the skirt’s glazed finish. Try your metallic skirt with one or more of these suggestions:

Topshop Flower Ceramic Print Crop Cami, $45
Amy Gee Short Sleeve Sweater, $78
MICHAEL Michael Kors Sleeveless Silk Blouse, $271.51
Topshop Daisy Bead Tee, $72

BR Metallic Mini, $59.99
Duro Olowu for jcp Metallic Pencil Skirt, $40
BCBGeneration Metallic Circle Skirt, $26.99

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