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Closet Clean Up

Q. I need your advice. I’m in the middle of purging my closet of outdated fashion styles I’ve had since 2005. I am a 29-year old female. I would like to know if peasant skirts are items to be kept or thrown out. I currently own a white-tiered peasant skirt among several others. Also, I’m wondering if I need to add my denim and black tailored gauchos to the "junk" pile.
-Clear Out

A. Fashion is cyclical. Eventually, everything makes a comeback. Just cut down on how many items from several years ago you intend to save and of course they need to be in good condition. I suggest you keep only one item of those trends since it’s not like a Diane Von Furstenberg patterned wrap dress that was big in the ’70s and still strong for the last eight or more years.

The white-tiered peasant skirt will work with tanks tops, flip flops and a swimsuit at the beach next summer or while on vacation somewhere hot and sunny. Less scrutiny at the beach than on a city street. Toss the other skirts, when the trend comes back in full swing you’ll surely find new versions you prefer. As for the guachos, I’m skeptical on a reason to keep them. True gauchos are wide leg and almost resemble the flow of a skirt, they are not slim like cropped pants. I have owned gauchos, first as a kid, then once again a denim pair about four or five years ago. I no longer have them. Gauchos require solid style attitude. So if they look good on you and you can’t bear to donate them, then fold them, store them and wait for the fashion resurrection a few years from now.

Q. I need more formal business suits – think Washington politico or federal agent.  I’ve been down the J.Crew and Banana Republic roads (I own a basic black Banana suit that I love), but where else should I look/try?
-Suit Search

A. Your suit may have to be conservative, but it doesn’t have to be boring.  Look for well-tailored, well fitting suits that step beyond dull box cuts.

Tahari by ASL Solid Skirt SuitTahari by Arthur S. Levine Plaid Skirt Suit & CamisoleGARFIELDMARKS Pinstripe JacketTheory "Andy Albers" Suit Jacket, Blouse, and Pants

1. Tahari by ASL Solid Skirt Suit, $140 (sale) at
2. Tahari by Arthur S. Levine Plaid Skirt Suit & Camisole, $320 at
3. GARFIELDMARKS Pinstripe Jacket, $394 and ‘Lori’ Pants, $194 at
4. Theory "Andy Albers" Suit Jacket, Blouse, and Pants at

Cardigan Options

Q. I’m a 29-year-old attorney who loves cardigans!  I just went on a cardigan buying spree at J. Crew and now I own three more cardigans but they all have a three-quarter length sleeve.  Since it’s winter and I live in New York, I don’t want to wear a cami or a short sleeve blouse with them…  Can I wear a long sleeve button down shirt instead or are long sleeves a no-no?
-Long or Short

A. Long Sleeves are definitely a yes with a 3/4 sleeve cardigan. It can be especially chic with a pop of color like a shiny silk blouse or a patterned top. Generally, you should opt for a thin fabric so you don’t add unnecessary bulk underneath the cardigan.  Some suggestions:

Aqua Ruffle Front Bow BlouseCarte Blanche by Anja Flynt Long Sleeve Button Front Tunic in IvoryRag & Bone Wrap Neck BlouseMunthe Plus Simonsen Rosalina Tunic

1. Aqua Ruffle Front Bow Blouse, $31.20 (sale) at
2. Carte Blanche by Anja Flynt Long Sleeve Button Front Tunic in Ivory, $235 at
3. Rag & Bone Wrap Neck Blouse, $168 (sale) at
4. Munthe Plus Simonsen Rosalina Tunic, $175 (sale) at

Q. Since LA isn’t very cold, I like to wear a sweater dress so I don’t have to take a jacket with me.   I had a question about how to dress up a gray scoop neck sweater dress or a dark navy blue cowl neck sweater dress.  Can I wear these with boots and tights?  If so, which color scheme would go best with this outfit.
-Cover Cozy

A. For gray, I like the idea of adding color or texture. Try opaque plum, olive green or a cable knit black or navy pattern and add knee high or ankle boots for complete coverage when heading out at night. For navy, go either with a navy hue for a sleek head to toe look and add patent leather heels in a color for a bit of attitude like burgundy or steel grey, or go for the chic contrast of black and navy by wearing opaque tights and adding a wide black belt at the waist.

Q. I’m trying to figure out what to pack for my three week honeymoon in Thailand. We will be on the beach most of the time, but spending a few days in Bangkok & Chiang Mai. We are going mid-February so temp will be in the 80s.
-Bliss Bound

A.  I am hooked on water bound vacations and have learned the ins and outs of packing, whether it’s low key surfing in Costa Rica or a relaxing boat trip in the Caribbean. The great part of a warm weather locale is that you can pack more since the pieces are thinner and take up less room in your bag. One big bag is enough, don’t pack more than 5 pairs of shoes (sandals, flip flops, etc.) and pack more sunscreen than you think you’ll need, or be willing to buy a few items when you travel. And consider using shampoo to wash intimates along the way to cut down on the amount of underwear and bras that you pack.

It gets quite humid during the middle of the day in Thailand so you may have to deal with the sweat factor. Don’t pack anything you may worry about perspiration stains setting in before you can get home to do a wash.

Packing List:

  • Lightweight dresses - I like thin silk blend dresses that can be rolled up and crinkled so no wrinkle worries.
  • Cotton tunics that double as both beach cover up and a chic look with short shorts or long pants.
  • A few solid tanks in white, navy and black.
  • Short sleeve polos - they look nicer than a basic t-shirt.
  • Shorts in varying lengths from Bermuda for shopping and exploring to shorter version for water bound days.
  • Four swimsuits - hey, it’s your honeymoon and you need to rotate the styles and your look. Choose a bandeau for optimum tan line avoidance, a halter style for good cleavage, a one piece for any water activities and one patterned swimsuit for sass.
  • Two pairs of sunglasses - it took me two vacations to learn this lesson when I was stuck buying an expensive replacement pair that I didn’t even like because the cheap ones didn’t give me enough shade or UV protection.
  • Flip-flops for daily beach wear - buy an inexpensive pair from Old Navy or Havianas and if they get dirty, just toss at the end of your honeymoon.
  • Sandals - high heel and flats.
  • Cute sneakers.

Some fun, flirty dress choices for your honeymoon:

Danci DressDsc 0740 Detail-1BB Dakota La Danse Empire DressButter by Nadia Jersey Wrap Dress

1. Danci Dress, $350 at
2. Velvet Heather Dress, $185 at
3. BB Dakota La Danse Empire Dress, $45 at
4. Butter by Nadia Jersey Wrap Dress, $250 at

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