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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.

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Q. I just bought a long, single-breasted raincoat that didn’t come with a belt and wondered if I could add a belt to it? If so, what sort of belt should I look for? It’s stone colored with a yellow floral lining.

A. Whether your coat comes with a belt or not, adding your own belt is a great way to give your coat come personality. Wide belts tend to work the best with most coats, but you can also try experimenting with skinny belts or even scarf ties, depending on how lightweight your coat is. Here are some looks to consider for your stone colored coat with the yellow floral lining:

Q: I just bought a gorgeous, and very practical, red leather handbag (the Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Teri Tote). Its my first red purse and I’m just wondering if I have to match the red handbag with red shoes?

marcj2143512466_prod_zoom_back_v1_m56577569831480960.jpgA. Red handbags are one of our favorite ways to accessorize, since you can wear them with almost any color in your wardrobe. Forget about matching your red bag to red shoes and instead opt for brown, black, camel, tan, white, gold, silver, bronze, blue, green… In other words, wear your red bag with everything and don’t worry too much about matching the color to your clothes or shoes.

(The Teri tote is no longer available online in red, but we found a similar Marc bag at shopbop.com, shown here)

Q. Please help! I purchased a tie dyed scarf from Old Navy with combination of hot pink, coral, and light lavender. I don’t know what color shirt to wear with it. I am thinking of wearing a jean jacket with it. What color shirt should I wear with jean jacket? If I wear denim trousers, what color shirt would look best? I love this scarf, but I am afraid of wearing too much pink if I combine it with a hot pink shirt.

A. Great purchase! We are huge fans of colorful summer scarves. Your pink dip dye scarf will really “pop” when worn with denim, so go for it. In addition to denim and white, don’t be afraid to mix colors (another trend we are huge fans of!). Here are just a sample of colors to wear with your scarf. Don’t worry too much about looking “matchy”, just experiment and have fun!

  


For more on how to wear summer scarves:

Q. I’m attending an anniversary party and would love to wear this dress I found at Express. I’m not sure what accessories (shoes, bag, jewelry) I should wear though. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Great dress! Let the bold graphic design dictate your color palette: yellow, black, white, gold - any of these colors would look great with the dress. We opted for black strappy heels, a lemon yellow clutch, a chunky gold necklace and bangles.

A white or gold bag would also look great, as would gold shoes. You can also substitute great dangling gold earrings instead of the chunky gold necklace or add a skinny black patent belt to change the look.


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