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Q. I have several “big” events this year. The first is a late-July family wedding in the Midwest that won’t be terribly formal. The second is my (gulp) 20-year high school reunion on September 1 in Phoenix, which also won’t be terribly formal, and the last is the wedding of my closest friend in Santa Fe on September 8, also not formal, but probably dressier than the other events. I would like to have one dress to wear to each since there will be entirely different people at each event. The problem is that the first event is smack in the middle of summer, and the last event is just in the very beginning of fall. I was leaning towards a halter-style neckline dress with an empire waist (I am short and curvy and find this style highlights the shoulders and bust while hiding my non-flat tummy) and have fallen in love with a chiffon one that is black with white polka dots. Will this be too summery to wear to the September 8 wedding? If so, do you have any other suggestions of dresses in the style described that would be in a color and fabric that is more seasonless?
-Multi-Function

A. Your black and white polka dot choice will certainly work for all three events. I like that you thought beyond a simple black dress and chose a pattern. With none of the same people at any of the events, you have multiple options. A little black dress can be switched in a myriad of ways with different accessories and heels while a patterned or colored dress makes a fresh and more stylish impression. I found several flattering options for a petite, curvy figure:

Sexy Red Dresses
from edressme new yorkAdrianna Papell Floral Silk Halter DressAdrianna Papell Floral Silk Halter DressMaggy London Print Charmeuse Halter DressMaggy London Silk Chiffon Halter Dress

left to right: Sexy Red Dresses from edressme new york, $42 at edressme.com; Adrianna Papell Floral Silk Halter Dress, $178 at nordstrom.com; Adrianna Papell Floral Silk Halter Dress, $179 at nordstrom.com; Maggy London Print Charmeuse Halter Dress, $178 at nordstrom.com; Maggy London Silk Chiffon Halter Dress, $148 at nordstrom.com

Q. I love all of your helpful advice! I am writing because lately I have been longing for a sweater dress, in a slightly shorter length (above the knee, but not obscenely so). The problem is most that I find are too thin/sheer, or simply cost an arm and a leg. I love the ones from Vince with the pockets, but they are too pricey. I don’t mind paying more for a wardrobe staple but not for something as trendy as this. I am looking for something in the $50-150 range, any ideas?
-Bare Knit

A. We’re past the season for all the sweater dress best picks. I found very few at this time of year that fell within your price range since this time of year is really about sundresses. Go with the warm weather looks instead and come Fall you’ll have multiple knobby knit picks.

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left to right: Kersh Kimono Sleeve Tunic, $78 at nordstrom.com; James Perse Long Short Sleeve Cardigan, $188 at shopbop.com; Ya-Ya Swahili Beach Marine Dress, $184.80 at shopbop.com

Q. I am a nurse in Minnesota, wearing scrubs nearly every day. What would be the best coat for me that would look ok with my super casual attire?
- Casual Coat   

A. A casual coat - that’s easy.  You live in Minnesota, so what you should be asking for is a casual coat that will keep you WARM.  We StyleBakery girls are big fans of lightweight, warm and comfortable puffy coats for causal attire and shearling for stylish attire when you need shelter from the cold.  Most coats are on sale this time of year, so now is a great time to buy.

Here are some suggestions for puffy, quilted coats that offer a body conscious fit (also check out our recent Coat Check style recipe) :

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left to right:
Down Parka With Faux Fur, $125.99 at
eddiebauer.com

Via Spiga Sunburst Three Quarter Length Down Coat, $148 at nordstrom.com
Quilted Down Coat, $89.50 at
landsend.com

Q. I am in search of the perfect cocktail dress. I adore antiquing and vintage finds so I’d love to find a unique, one-of-a kind piece for a cooler than cool invite in November.  I’ve checked out the overpriced consignment shops in LA with snooty service and the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, but where else can I shop?
-Want One of a Kind 

A. Perfect timing!  I just returned from the ultimate vintage shopping experience - a vintage clothing and accessory shop where the owner is top notch informed. She’s a curator of clothes and the salesgirls are equally as helpful.  Check out, The Way We Wore in Los Angeles (323- 937-0878).  I recently spent three hours scouring the racks with my shopping compandre, Jordan, and played “dress up” while he sought out shoes to try with each outfit.  They even offered us muffins and drinks - who does that anymore?  I handed over my credit card for several purchases including a 1930’s gown and two 1950’s dresses that are truly unique. Check it out and tell her I sent you.

Q. Looking for a red and white fairly wide stripe top…who has such a thing?
-Striped Searcher

A. Easy Peasy-there are plenty of places and options for red and white striped tops. Some suggestions:

P249587B

Lux Striped V Neck Tunic
$58 at
urbanoutfitters.com

P225093B-1


Lux Sheer Stripe Henley
$24 at
urbanoutfitters.com

 5222071

Free People Rugby Stripe Hoody
$78 at
nordstrom.com

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