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Q. I love your site! I saw that you are from NYC and was wondering if you could help me… I need some boutique suggestions. I am coming to NYC this weekend and only have really Sat to shop. I was hoping to go to Greenwich or SoHo or anywhere and hit 3 or 4 smaller stores. (Rather than get lost on all the floors of Barney’s or haul up and down 5th Avenue or Madison Avenue looking at $2000 dresses.) I’ve been looking around but can’t seem to find a good guide of cute/hip boutiques in neighborhoods. The brands I like are Nanette Lepore, Juicy Couture, Cynthia Rowley, Ella Moss, James Pearse. I am a 35 year old mom of two — generally a size 8, tall. I went to the Nanette Lepore store last time I was there but then was at a total loss for anywhere else to go after that and ended up getting lost.
-Lost in New York

A. Ooh, you’ll have a great visit. Stick to downtown. The three neighborhoods you want to visit are SoHo, NoLIta (which is just east of SoHo) and the Lower East Side which is farther east of NoLIta and all walkable. There are great shops in all of those areas including Cynthia Rowley, Alice + Olivia, Tory Burch, Tracy Feith, Mayle, Olive & Bette, Calypso, Nanette Lepore, Foley & Corinna and much more. The best way to see it all in one day—and it is completely possible to enjoy a day of shopping and walking—is to do a little mapping out ahead of time. Start in SoHo and break for lunch in NoLIta or the Lower East Side. Get more detailed info by going to and clicking on shopping and the neighborhoods you want and then you can map out your destinations.

Some good lunch or dinner spots:

NoLIta: Café Habana (small Cuban restaurant, always popular), Bar Marche (lovely little restaurant with great food-I love the fish tacos, good salads as well), Rice to Riches (mod designed place for rice pudding in every flavor imaginable—just go and sample a few flavors)

Lower East side: Clinton St. Bakery (on Clinton off of Houston), and a great fun dinner spot is Stanton Social on Stanton St. near Ludlow (yummy food served tapas style—a great chance to try lots of different foods and the drinks and dessert as delicious as well- it can be a little loud though)

Q. I will be going on my honeymoon from July 10-20 and I need some advice as to what to pack. We are going to Hawaii and we will be spending the first three nights in Honolulu, and then the rest of the trip on the island of Kauai (more remote and quiet). We are a young active couple in our mid twenties and our activities will be very active, but there will also be down time and nice romantic dinners, the beach, etc. I am petite (5’1, 120lbs) and not really into too-sporty styles. Any advice on stylish outfits and clothes for the most memorable trip of my life?

A. Obviously, you want to look good for all those photos you’ll be taking. For a honeymoon I change my usual packing advice about keeping to three neutral colors and simplicity. For evenings, wear lightweight sundresses and for days of activities, pack shorts, tanks and vintage style tees. Skip jeans and pack stylish khakis or white pants and skirts. Pack double the amount of tops to bottoms. You can wear pants and skirts twice with fresh colorful tops before tossing in the laundry bag. Pack three swimsuits so you can continually switch them. Pack a clutch for dinners, a tote for the beach or pool and use that same bag for shopping or day excursions. Pack strappy heels, sneakers, flip flops or thong sandals and a low or flat sandals or espadrille. And don’t forget some pretty lingerie. Extra tips —pack an extra pair of sunglasses in case you lose a pair and you can always wash intimates with a little shampoo and hang in the shower overnight to dry.

Striped Sylvan dressStrapless Smocked Jersey Dress from Nicole MillerGrace Eyelet Dress

Pack a few day to evening dresses that can be worn with flip flops or wedge sandals, left to right: Striped Sylvan dress, $148 at; Strapless Smocked Jersey Dress from Nicole Miller, $255 at; Grace Eyelet Dress, $44.50 at

Love Squared Drawstring Tube TopGingham ruffle halterStretch twill short

Pack a variety of tops that can be paired with shorts worn multiple times, left to right: Love Squared Drawstring Tube Top, $26 at; Gingham ruffle halter, $78 at; Stretch twill short, $60 at

 Three Tier Print CamiTory Burch Frederick Pants

left to right: Three Tier Print Cami, $78 at; Tory Burch Frederick Pants, $235 at

Susina® Pointelle CardiganZinc Patchwork SkirtRialto boatneck sweaterNick & Mo Tab Front Skirt

left to right: Susina Pointelle Cardigan, $36 at; Zinc Patchwork Skirt, $42 at; Rialto boatneck sweater, $68 at; Nick & Mo Tab Front Skirt, $42 at

Q. I am going to Paris in a week, and need to know what to pack. I need to be comfortable, but also want to look chic. Is this possible? What are your recommendations for clothes and especially shoes that can take me from the museums to the cafes to wandering the streets? I love StyleBakery, and know that you can help me.
-C’est Chic

A. Simply take an eagle’s eye view of the wardrobe you plan to pack and add some stylish accessories - and take out the athletic sneakers. Pack a low-heeled sandal that can take you walking through the Tuilleries or paired with a dress for dinner at a bistro. Add a stylish ballet flat or low wedge espadrille and a cute pair of kicks (my term for sneakers like Puma or Adidas that are meant for wearing with khakis or jeans and not for working out) to walk the streets and visit museums (may I suggest the Rodin, D’Orsay and Picasso museums?).

Pack a short sleeve fitted white button down shirt or a long sleeve that you can roll up your arms. They’ll look clean, fresh and simple. Pair them with a pretty necklace that has some color. Pack a few skirts, pencil or A-line, that aren’t too mini nor too long. Add a pretty cotton top that is simple in design with a little ruffle, a wrap style, nautical stripes or a scoop or v-neck. You can even pack a pair of nice shorts (not the ones meant for casual t-shirts on weekends) and wear with a button down shirt, belt and your sandals or espadrilles. Add in pants in white, khaki or navy.

Most Parisians are classic dressers. Somehow a shirt, solid sweater and dark jeans look better on them than the average American - it’s not fair! Just keep your clothes looking classic and add accessories like great belts, earrings, a beaded necklace, or cuff bracelet to give them oomph. It’s a scorcher over in Europe this summer and they don’t have powerful air conditioning like we do, so dress in clothes that are airy and light. Wear your skirts day and night. And add a silk jersey dress like one from Diane Von Furstenberg (there are plenty of less expensive styles) that you can toss in your bag, won’t require ironing and looks great on any body type. Bon voyage!


Cole Haan offers a great selection of stylish and comfortable shoes using Nike Air technology. The ‘Air Bronte Bit’ slide and ‘Air Beau’ flat shown here from are great travel choices.

Q. Do you have any suggestions as to where I might find colorful, cute luggage?  I am traveling to France in the spring, and I would really like to find something that is not black or dark brown.  It needs to be large, as I will need to stuff three weeks worth of clothing and souvenirs into it.  I had a fuchsia DVF suitcase however, it broke and I need to find a replacement.

A. I traveled on 20 flights from Thanksgiving to New Years and that meant learning to travel light and finding the right carry-on bag for my book, magazines and pocket video recorder and a suitcase that’s easy to find on the carousel.   Black is a big NO NO for suitcase colors - unless of course you want to waste time at the airport or worry that someone with the same style walks away with your precious cargo. I watched a guy chase after a woman who mistakenly had done just that in O’Hare airport!
I’m a big fan of finding the big names and a big range of luggage for less at stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  There’s a fabulous new line of printed luggage pieces from Also, check out styles from,, and

Here are a few suggestions:

Delsey Helium Lite
100 Luggage Collection
$30 to $130 at


Polo Ralph Lauren
2000 Rugged Collection
$151 to $459 at


Atlantic Altitude 24"
Expandable Upright
$64.99 at

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