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Q. I’m about to graduate from college, and have been doing a lot of interviewing at New York City PR firms. I know you’re supposed to dress pretty conservatively for interviews, but wearing a suit to an office where most people are dressed fashion/casual seems a little silly to me. What can I wear that is both fashionable and appropriate for my interviews?
-Currently Unemployed

A. Before you head to the interview, do some research on each PR firm regarding their client list. If their clients are fashion, beauty, media, internet or alcohol related then you can skip the suit. If the firms cover medical, financial arenas or products that you don’t necessarily know much about, then go slightly conservative. I haven’t worn a full suit in years, I don’t even think I own a suit anymore. For most PR firm interviews, I would suggest wearing separates like a stylish top, jacket and flat front pants with heels or wedge. You can also consider a skirt and top and, if not revealing, a dress (meaning: it has sleeves and doesn’t show cleavage). If you choose a suit, then be sure it fits your body well, isn’t boxy, and wear a colorful top or shirt underneath the jacket.

Here are some suggested looks:

French-stripe peacoat sweaterSemantiks 'City' Denim Pantsgyptian-cotton printed Katie cardiganNanushka Pleated Skirt

Try a pretty cropped jacket or cardigan with a skirt or slim trousers.

French-stripe peacoat sweater, $180 at jcrew.com; Semantiks ‘City’ Denim Pants, $68 at nordstrom.com; gyptian-cotton printed Katie cardigan, $95 at jcrew.com; Nanushka Pleated Skirt, $198 at nordstrom.com

 5371330Necessary Objects™ Full SkirtRetro dot cashmere shellMichael Kors Crop Pants

This white cropped jacket can be paired with a full polka dot skirt or cropped pants and patterned underpinning for chic alternatives to a suit.

Semantiks Sateen Pintuck Jacket, $138 at
nordstrom.com; Necessary Objects Full Skirt, $44 at nordstrom.com; Retro dot cashmere shell, $89.99 at jcrew.com; Michael Kors Crop Pants, $69.50 at nordstrom.com

To The Max! Notch Collar JacketTo The Max! Pencil SkirtSilk/cotton pintuck blouseSilk dot-print blouse

If you do opt for a suit, be sure to wear a colorful feminine top underneath to keep the look young and fresh.

To The Max! Notch Collar Jacket, $138 at
nordstrom.com; To The Max! Pencil Skirt, $88 at nordstrom.com; Silk/cotton pintuck blouse, $64 at bananarepublic.com; Silk dot-print blouse, $68 at bananarepublic.com

Q. I am 21 years old and have been often told that I look like I’m 15! I want to look my age and dress up a bit with heels but I always end up wearing t-shirts, jeans and sneakers because I can never put together a girly, comfortable outfit. How can I achieve a look to show off the older girly side of me while being comfortable at the same time?
-21 going on 15

A. When you get to be in your thirties, you’ll be thankful that you look younger, so take care of your skin to prolong the 6-years-younger look.  I can’t make this suggestion stronger: make sure there is sunscreen in your daily moisturizer.

On to clothes…you seem to know what is appropriate for your age, but you keep grabbing what feels safe. Dark jeans are stylish for every age, but add a strappy heel or patent wedge with a cute top for a Saturday night out. For day, make gradual changes by wearing a skirt and a dress at least once a week.  They can be casual, flirty pieces, but guaranteed you’ll feel more like a girl then a young tomboy.  As for sneakers, each time you go to tie them on, make a switch and slip on a cute flat instead.  And be sure you sport colorful or stylish “trainers” with your jeans rather than your sneakers meant for running or to the gym. Stylish New Yorkers would be lost without two pairs of run-around fun sneakers in our closet that are just meant for pairing with weekend wear.

Start with causal dresses or skirts that you can wear with sandals or espadrilles and you’ll be well on your way to dressing your age:

Lacoste Colortip Crossback DressFree People Diagonal Floral Print DressRuby Rox Ruched Poplin Tube Dress

Necessary Objects™ Seersucker SkirtKira Skirt  $34.50 Lux Knit Deep V Tie Back Dress


dresses and skirts, left to right: Lacoste Colortip Crossback Dress, $145 at urbanoutfitters.com; Free People Diagonal Floral Print Dress, $128 at urbanoutfitters.com; Ruby Rox Ruched Poplin Tube Dress, $48 at nordstrom.com; Necessary Objects Seersucker Skirt, $48 at nordstrom.com; Kira Skirt,  $34.50 at delias.com; Lux Knit Deep V Tie Back Dress, $29.99 at at urbanoutfitters.com

Candy Sandal  $36 Miss Sixty Strappy Ankle Wrap SandalBP. 'Congo' SandalLibby Flat  $36


shoes, left to right: Candy Sandal, $36 at delias.com;  Miss Sixty Strappy Ankle Wrap Sandal, $85 at  at urbanoutfitters.com; BP. ‘Congo’ Sandal, $59.95 at nordstrom.com;  Libby Flat, $36 at delias.com

Q. My girlfriend and I are having a debate about these Spring work horses. I maintain that they have been in the forefront of style for so long, they are going out, out, out, with the Bermuda or walking short replacing them.  She debates with the truth that stores are still selling them.  I am also very tired of them and I think they are not attractive on all of us.
-Looking for an Out

A. I am not a big fan of the Capris either, but alas stores are still selling loads of them.  I find it a personal preference for most people.  It should come down to fit and length depending on your shape and height.  If one wishes for something lighter to wear then go for the walking short or Bermuda short.

Q. Can you wear a sheer hose with cropped pants or capris?
-Capri Cover

A. The point of capris or cropped pants is to wear a “lighter” pant when the weather gets warmer. So, unless you’re wearing hose with a skirt or hose underneath pants to keep you warmer during the cold months, then skip the hose with leg baring pants.

Q. My senior prom is coming up in the first week of June and I cannot find anything to wear! The theme is a night in Paris, and every girl is shopping at BCBG, so that is out of the question. I live in Canada and we have most of the same stores as America. I want the dress to be short and maybe dark blue, red, or black. Do you have any suggestions as to where to shop and some of the dresses that would fit this occasion?
-French fashion wannabe

A.  I skipped BCBG and sought out dresses that were classy, chic, young and sophisticated to help give off a French flair:

Polka Dot Cocktail Dresses by KittyEliza J Strapless Satin Party DressBetsy & Adam Lace-Up Back Dress

Red Silk Taffeta Cocktail Dress
by eDressMe new yorkLaundry by Shelli Segal Strapless Taffeta DressKay Unger Stretch Satin Sheath with Bow


left to right: Polka Dot Cocktail Dresses by Kitty, $119 at
edressme.com; Eliza J Strapless Satin Party Dress, $138 at nordstrom.com;  Betsy & Adam Lace-Up Back Dress, $128 at nordstrom.com; Red Silk Taffeta Cocktail Dress by eDressMe new york, $275 at edressme.com; Laundry by Shelli Segal Strapless Taffeta Dress, $420 at nordstrom.com; Kay Unger Stretch Satin Sheath with Bow, $348 at nordstrom.com

(PS get 15% off at edressme.com with code STYLEBAKERY through 6/1/07)

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