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Q. I am an 18-year-old heading off to college in a month. I will be going to a school where the dress code is jeans, flip-flops or tennis shoes, and a shirt with the university name or logo on it. I would like to look a little more classy than that. What should I wear to look casual, fashionable, and comfortable in the dorms, going out, and to class?
-Casual with Class

A. Does the college actually have that “dress code” written in school literature? I assume that you are going to a college in a warm weather state, perhaps Florida or California? Think of college as your first steps towards defining your own style. You may go through multiple looks from freshman year to graduation, just like some students change majors. But this is the best time to experiment: be girly with sundresses while the weather is still warm and add gold or silver flip flops; be bohemian with a tiered skirt in ombre, a bold color or a fun print and add a tank and long strands of beads; embrace denim with dark jeans or a mini or wear colorful cords and add cowboy boots and a fitted blazer. College was the time when I also had fun discovering vintage clothing on my limited budget. Enjoy!

Q. I have a high profile military funeral in August in DC to attend and I (thankfully) haven’t been to a funeral in many years. I want to be comfortable in the heat, but dressed appropriately and look sophisticated and fashionable all at the same time. All I can find these days are party/sun dresses. What is appropriate as far as color and length/style and where would I find such an outfit?
-At a loss…

A. It’s still always best to wear black to a funeral, and it doesn’t have to be a dress. If you wear a black dress, be sure your shoulders/arms aren’t exposed (out of respect you should be covered in any house of religion). Be sure the dress doesn’t look like it fits in better at a cocktail party. If not a stylish, slightly conservative dress, then opt for a simple skirt and top or even a neutral or dark suit. Just stick to colors that are neutral like black, brown, cream, or navy. You can add accessories, a colorful top and heels to complete the look.

162960Q. Love your site! I’m looking for a fun dress for my upcoming birthday party. I love the look of the new little lace dresses coming out, specifically the J.Crew French lace number and the longer one from BCBG Max Azria. But I’m looking for something closer to a quarter of their price…Any suggestions?
-Lace Luck

A. Stylish minds think alike! I just bought this dress for myself—it’s super cute, stretchy and comfortable for a lace dress. And even better it’s inexpensive.

Necessary Objects Lace Baby Doll Dress, $78 at nordstrom.com

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