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Q. I just returned from a wonderful (but all too brief) getaway to Montreal, and it seemed like every woman there was carrying a small, chic leather backpack instead of a purse or handbag. What a great alternative for a long day of travel or shopping! Most looked like they measured about 7.5” by 9.5” … and none of them would be mistaken for a kid’s or student’s backpack. Where can I find something similar?Is this trend just a Canadian thing, or can something similar be found in the States?

A. Backpacks may not exactly be a “trend” in the States right now, but that’s no reason for you not to wear one if it is convenient for you. A small chic leather backpack like the ones you saw in Canada is a far better choice than a bulky student’s backpack. We found a few cute options for you:


Q. I am in love with capes and oversized coats, but everything I find online (especially in the way of capes) costs $400 + . Have any tips on where to find affordable versions of this trend?

A. You came to the right place! We found some gorgeous and chic capes for far less than $400 (and some even under $50!). Check ‘em out:
vanessa8.jpgQ. I read your site everyday and I love it! I have a shopping question, I know if there is anyone who knows the answer it’s you, so… I absolutely love the hat Vanessa Minnillo is wearing here. It’s a knit fedora and I like because it’s a little different. I have been searching online and can’t seem to find it or anything like it anywhere. Do you know where I can find this knit fedora or any other cool hats or sites that sell hats that aren’t too expensive to wear casually like she is?

A. What a great look! We found a very similar knit fedora from urbanoutfitters.com as well as a few other options you might like:

image from tressedoutcelebs.com
100087-stainedglass-chic.jpgQ. Do you have any ideas for a stylish way to wear an ID badge at work?

A. Check out boojeebeads.com, it’s full of fashionable ID necklaces, lanyards and more.
Q. Thanks for your site, I find it really helpful! I’d like to invest in a good pair of boots for fall and winter. Unfortunately I have really skinny calves so that most boots that are supposed to fit snugly end up looking like galoshes. Other than wearing two pairs of socks to bulk up my legs, do you recommend any boot styles for girls with skinny legs?

A. First, measure your calf at its widest part and take note of its circumference - this will help narrow down your search to boots that are likely to fit your slim calves. Search sites like zappos.com, shoes.com and piperlime.com which handily list the circumference of the boots and often let you search for narrow calves. Generally, stretch styles seem to fit slim calves best. Alternatively, look for details like buckles and ties which allow you to adjust the width of the boot for a customized fit.

Other than wearing two pairs of socks, try textured tights and tucked in jeans to help fill up the gaps in your boots.

Here are some chic slim options to try:

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1. Vaneli Lindly, $146 at zappos.com
2. Sudini Posta, $229 at zappos.com
3. Type Z Shelle, $243 at zappos.com
4. Naturalizer Women’s Scurry, $119 at shoes.com

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