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Q. HELP! I am supposed to go to my fiance’s 10 year high school reunion in early October. The catch - it’s a football game followed by all day hanging out/drinking. I obviously want to look cute (ie. - not sloppy) but also want to be appropriately dressed for a football game (ie. - not over dressed). The reunion is in early October, so flip-flops will be an option. Suggestions???

-Game Day

157844-2A. Unless you’ll be in a warm weather locale then I’d skip the flip flops, but if the thermometer outside is still hovering above 80 degrees then go ahead and wear stylish flip flops (not your favorite well-worn pair of Old Navy’s.) Fall football games always make me think of argyle, nubby fabrics and a scarf wrapped around my neck. For game camaraderie and comfort, go for dark jeans, cute slip-on flats, a chunky cardigan sweater with a button down shirt or tee underneath and a simple fitted jacket for when it turns cooler at night. If the jacket is too much for the temps outside, maybe a scarf and a cute tweed topper or driving hat is your stylish standout. Find out the team colors and find a scarf with those colors - guaranteed compliments. You may even find a “university” style sweater that fits into the theme of the day. I have a favorite from Tory Burch that always makes me feels nostalgic when I put it on. At left: Vince Cable-Knit Alpaca Wrap, $275 at saks.com; At right: 525 America Pocket Cardigan, $88 at nordstrom.com

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Q. Shrugs seem like a great idea for those of us with less than perfect arms. But, who should never wear them? Do they make your middle look thicker or your bust look huge?

-Arm Cover

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A. Shrugs are a great solution for a little extra coverage with tees, tanks and sleeveless dresses. To avoid looking bulky, adding extra broadness to shoulders or attention to a large chest, look for ones that are not made of thick knitted fabrics. Shrugs ultimately come in two versions - just over the shoulders with a bit of rounded ends that can either fit snugly or scoop over a bit of breast, or the other version is the tie front. To avoid adding attention to your chest, avoid the scoop side version and choose the tie front style in a material that isn’t thick. Or instead of the shrug, look for a little bolero style jacket or shrunken cardigan. At left: Laundry by Shelli Segal Cashmere Ruffle Shrug, $148 at nordstrom.com; At right: One Girl Who Shrug Bolero, $97 at nordstrom.com

Q. What’s the correct way to button a three buttoned jacket? My husband seems to button the middle only and I am constantly telling him it looks very old fashioned. However, I wondered if the same rule applies to women, as some of my colleagues fasten just the top, others all three and I fasten the top two!
-Buttoned Up

A. For both men and women, the best looking way and the most common way to wear a three-button suit is to button the top two buttons. Buttoning all three buttons is a formal way to wear the suit and is acceptable. By just buttoning the top button, I wonder what extra room a man needs in the suit for, perhaps, an expanding waistline.

Q. After recently investing in an almost totally new work wardrobe, I don’t know what to do now.  First question - how do I put together a cute outfit quickly in the morning from my good components, without just grabbing boring standards?  My office is business casual and I work with a group of very fashion-savvy co-workers that I try to semi-keep up with (I am not fashion-savvy by nature).  And second question - what’s the best way to organize my clothes in my SMALL closet in order to maximize my efficiency and wardrobe hip-ness?  Any suggestions? 
-Trying to finish what she started…

A. How can you have a new wardrobe and still not know what to put on in the morning?  Take an assessment of your new wardrobe: Does it have color? Do you have some great accessories? Do the clothes fit your body well? Do you have a well-balanced mix of classics and a few inexpensive trendy items?  You need to mix color with pattern.  You need to pair classic pants or a skirt with a casual fitted jacket. 

Without knowing what’s in your new wardrobe, I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to help you create outfits. Are you good friends with one of these fashion savvy ladies to ask some advice? My best advice is to be a little bolder in your choices and be willing to experiment - not by wearing linen with wool, but by layering on necklaces or putting your hair in a sleek ponytail and wearing a pair of dangly earrings or hoops.

As for your second question, it saves valuable time to organize your closet and keep it neat.  I own too much stuff, I admit it, so I keep two wardrobes: one Fall/Winter and one Spring/Summer.  I store whichever season is not in use and then go through it each season to separate what I want to keep, what goes to Good Will and what heads to consignment.  I keep cashmere sweaters stored in cloth bags and I keep almost all of my shoes, except ones in heavy rotation, in their original boxes clearly marked to remind me what’s in them.  I use under-bed storage in canvas storage bags to hold seldom-worn items like ski/snow stuff.   

As for the closet, I organize it by keeping like items together - shirts stay together and are organized by color (blues with blues, whites with whites, etc.), pants are together, skirts hang with each other and same goes for dresses. I use good wooden hangers to keep the closet looking nice and the clothes hang better, but you can also use plastic - just avoid wire. I never hang t-shirts, tanks or sweaters, they are always folded and stacked in drawers or on a shelf in the closet, usually above the rack.  Look for shoe racks that have 2-3 shelves to use on the floor of the closet or find one that can hang on the back of the door. There are also canvas and metal “closets” that you can find at stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond that can inexpensively give you another closet in about five minutes without any renovation or hammer involved.

Q. I have a Bat Mitzvah to go to on September 3rd. The services are in the morning with the party to follow. The party will be at the temple also. What do I wear to this? I never went to an afternoon affair. I don’t want to be underdressed but I don’t want to overdress either. I have a black skirt with sequins and was wondering if I could wear this with a tank or tee shirt and strappy sandals and a funky necklace or would a skirt with sequins be too much for a daytime affair?
-Afternoon Affair

A. A skirt with sequins is fine as long as the top is toned down. Since the entire affair takes place at the temple, be sure you are respectful and have some kind of wrap or a little jacket or cardigan to cover your shoulders during the religious services. If it is an orthodox affair, your skirt should be long and skip the tank. Sequins on your skirt are ok provided you don’t look like a Vegas showgirl! Otherwise, you have the right idea for afternoon affair, funky necklace and all.

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