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Q. I purchased this dress to wear to a holiday party, birthday party and a wedding this December. For the birthday party, I was thinking of wearing it with black leggings and black ankle boots and a black cardigan, to dress it down a bit. What do you think of that idea? For the holiday party and the wedding, what shoes? Maybe a black chunky pump or gray suede ankle boots? I’m having a hard time deciding!

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A. Great dress! And I love that you’ll get at least 3 wearings from it. Your birthday party pairings sound perfect, alternatively you can try a black blazer or motorcycle jacket. The holiday party and wedding call for glam accessories that are a bit more special than a black pump or gray suede ankle boot (though these would be fine too). We suggest swapping the black belt that comes with the dress for something dressier, like a metallic or sequin belt. Add metallic shoes and festive accessories and you’ve got a look that will turn heads.

Here, we show three ways to style the dress (click on the accessories for buying info):



Q. Is it still ok to wear bell bottom jeans? I have some from the Gap that I got in the spring that are the dark wash and like new.

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A. True, all we seem to see are skinny jeans these days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear other jean styles. Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe is a huge fan of ultra flared jeans, proving that it’s always chic to march to your own beat. Since flared jeans have a ’70s vibe, we’re loving them with faux fur vests, belted shirts and leather jackets. Whatever you wear on top, make sure it has a slim silhouette to offset the wide hem of your jeans. Here are a few looks for inspiration:



Q. I will be spending the holidays with my boyfriend’s family this year. It’s a casual get-together at home and he says everyone usually wears jeans. It is the first time I’m meeting many of them, so I want to look good, but I also don’t want to overdress. What should I wear?

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A. For a family celebration at home, you want to be comfortable but also a bit festive. We suggest a chic sweater dress with tights or a cozy sweater with leggings. Add some sparkly jewelry or a jeweled flat and you have the perfect casual chic look for the holidays. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

Q. Next semester for school I will be required to do my student teaching. This is set for 10 weeks in a row. I will start in about February and end in May. I am a college student and am on a budget, but still want to buy pieces I can wear into my first few years of teaching. I also want to be able to wear some of these pieces when I go out to meet up with friends. I want to fit into the professional environment with my clothing, but at the same time still look young and fresh. My question is what stores should I look into? And what pieces do you suggest I buy considering I’ll be teaching through almost 3 seasons (winter, spring, and possibly summer weather)?

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A. You can’t go wrong by collecting a wardrobe of cute dresses. This is by far the most versatile piece you can own, and can easily move from work to play depending on what you pair with it. You can also wear the same dress for several seasons by adding tights or layering pieces.

Below are four 3-season dresses paired with several mix and match accessories including a thin turtleneck to layer under a sleeveless dress or short sleeve sweater dress and a blazer and cardigan to layer over the dresses. Add or remove these layers, depending on the weather. Comfortable knee high boots, ballet flats and pumps round out your shoe wardrobe. Add a chic tote, trendy belt and layered necklace and you’ve got the beginnings of a well-rounded wardrobe. All of the pieces are under $100 and perfect for a young professional. Good luck!

Q. Would patterned tights be too much with a dress like this? The one I have has a studded belt too.

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A. We are huge fans of patterned tights this season, especially when stylishly paired with contrasting prints. You can absolutely wear patterned tights with your chic dress (a great purchase, by the way!). Here’s how we’d style it:

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