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Q. I am going on a date and bought this great dress from Kenneth Cole (but in a black color). What should I accessorize with (shoes, bag, earrings) to avoid looking too trendy, clubby, etc and just look great for the evening out? Any advice? I am a huge fan of bold earings and bracelets…should I avoid this since the dress has an interesting pattern?

A. Great dress! To tone down the dress and keep it classic, not trendy, let the pattern on the dress do the talking. Go for chic yet subtle accessories like the selections shown below.


Q. I have fallen in love with the Tayla shoe by Steve Madden. I am, however, unsure about what kind of outfit they would look good with. Any advice?

A. When it comes to shoes with thick ankle straps, it’s always best to show as much leg as possible. The sexy Tayla shoe looks great with short dresses and skirts, like those shown below:

Q. I am 54 and going on a job interview. I have a black silk dress with matching blazer. How can I soften this look?

A. You have several options for softening up or adding style to a black work suit while still looking professional. A sophisticated, yet chic, necklace is a great option since it will bring focus to your face while you’re talking. Look for something strong, yet feminine, like a chunky beaded necklace or twisted strands of pearls. An alternative would be an artfully tied scarf, just make sure it looks stylish and not matronly. Keep your earrings small and subtle.

Depending on the cut of your dress and jacket, you can add a pop of color in the form of a belt. Wear the jacket closed with the belt around the outside of the jacket, or wear the jacket open and wear the belt around the waist of your dress.

You can also convey style with your shoes, there’s no rule saying you have to wear a basic black pump. Look for something professional, yet stylish and appropriate for an interview.


Q. I am going to a party and bought a sequin blazer, but I dont really want to wear it with jeans. Are there any other options that would look glam?

A. Jeans are a great way to dress down a sequin jacket, but they are certainly not your only option. This season, a blazer worn with a flirty dress, like the chiffon frock shown below, is a modern and chic way to dress. Skinny pants paired with a pretty top and heels is another option, or you can go for a rocker look and opt for a tank or t-shirt paired with skinny black pants. Here are some looks for inspiration:


Q. I’m hoping you can help me! In 2 weeks, I am taking a trip to a nearby amusement park with my husband and family. We are staying overnight and spending the entire day at the park, and i want to look cute but I must be casual and practical. In the past couple of months, I have gained about 10 lbs and I am no longer comfortable in tight fitting tops - an adjustment I am still getting used to. Short shorts are also a no-no! I appreciate any help in helping me to feel stylish and comfortable, since I am at a loss as to what to wear! Thank you so much!!


A. I’m glad to hear you want to look stylish for a day at the amusement park with the family. Anything besides the oversized t-shirts, baggy shorts and athletic shoes Americans tend to wear is a refreshing change in my book! That being said, it’s also essential that you are dressed comfortably in clothing that allows you to have fun. Unfortunately, that means that a cute dress or skirt is off the table, since you don’t want to risk flashing people while enjoying the free fall roller coasters and aerial swings!

Since you’re also looking to conceal a little extra weight, my suggestion is to choose a pair of lean (not baggy) flat front Bermuda shorts that hit right above your knee, or a pair of cropped cargo pants. Pair these with a comfortable, cute and loose fitting t-shirt like the ones shown below. Add a pair of sandals you can walk for hours in and you’ve got an easy, cute and functional look for a day at the park. Have fun!

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