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Q. I’m so bored with my plain black wallet. For something that I use literally every day, I want to invest in something more stylish that will make me smile every time I take it out of my handbag. Can you recommend some stylish wallets?

A. So true! For something that we use every day, surprisingly little thought goes into choosing a wallet. Of course, it must be functional and have all the right slots inside to hold all of our cards, but it should be stylish, too! We hunted down some of the best wallets around, and since it’s Cheap Chic Week at StyleBakery, many are under $100 — but I couldn’t resist sneaking in some splurges, too.


Q. Last week you mentioned your daily summer uniform of a simple cotton or linen dress for daytime. Can you give me some examples?

A. With pleasure! On any given day in the summer, you will likely find me wearing a lightweight dress and a pair of sandals or wedges. There’s literally nothing easier or more comfortable to wear. My closet is full of these daytime dresses, making getting dressed in the morning a breeze. Packing for summer vacations and weekends away is also relatively easy, since many of these dresses can be dressed up for an evening out or even worn over a swimsuit to the beach.

I generally look for styles that resist wrinkles and don’t need to be dry cleaned, so my day dresses can be laundered at home. Avoid fabrics like polyester or silk that don’t breathe and opt for cotton or cotton/linen blends instead. I also stick to styles that are under $100 (under $50 is even better!), saving my more expensive purchases for nicer dresses to wear to work meetings or events. Another important requirement is that I don’t need any special underpinnings, meaning, the dresses can be worn with a basic bra or racerback bra, or even a tank top underneath for fuss-free dressing.


Here are some perfect budget-friendly day dresses to wear all summer long:

Q. I’m looking for a casual, lightweight summer skirt to go with cute cotton summer tee shirts and tanks. I would like something that is a slight A-line, in a white or khaki color. I’m 5’1 and 40 years old, so I would like it to hit right above or at the knee. I can’t find a skirt like this anywhere! Please help.

A. I, too, love the summer uniform consisting of a tank or tee and a skirt with sandals. In fact, for years this was pretty much all I wore, amassing quite a collection of A-line skirts in a variety of colors and prints. I’ve since moved on to mostly dresses in the summer which, if you can believe it, is even easier than throwing on a skirt/t-shirt combination since it consists of just one piece. So now my varied collection of skirts has transitioned to a closet full of casual lightweight cotton and linen dresses.


Ah, but enough about me, right? Here are some white and tan colored skirts to get you through the summer:

Q. My fiancé and I are eloping and then celebrating with a big party a few weeks later with all of our friends and family. I would like to look “bridal” without wearing a traditional wedding gown. Can you help me find a fun, cocktail-style white dress to wear to my wedding party?

A. Congratulations! I think wearing a white cocktail dress is the perfect solution for looking like a bride at your party, while still wearing something a little less formal and traditional than a bridal gown. Below are some options for you. [Note: these dresses would also be perfect for an engagement party, elopement, or any less formal wedding occasion]


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