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Q. I am the mother of the groom at an August wedding. I am wearing a light pink dress with 1 or 2 strands of pearls, pearl earrings, pearl bracelet. My question is, can I wear shiny silver strappy sandals that have a rhinestone on top? If not, what color shoe would be best? I was thinking bone but aren’t shoes supposed to be the same color or darker than the dress?
-Accessory Uncertain

A. That’s a lot of pearls to be sporting. Shoes no longer have to be the same color or darker than the dress. There are many variables these days to mix up and add sass to an outfit. Wearing silver sandals with rhinestones will help give your outfit a dressier appeal. Cream can also be worn and many times can give a sophisticated look, but the silver will be more youthful.

Q. I am performing a civil ceremony for my friends and their 50 guests on the beach in North Seattle. The ceremony will be outside and the reception inside. I have many dresses but none of them seem appropriate. I own a strapless embossed J.Crew beach dress in sundried tomato, a pink 3-ply J.Crew silk empire waist dress (very classy) and a brown embossed J.Crew beach halter dress that may be too revealing in the cleavage.

I feel like one of my dresses should work but I seem to find reasons why none of them will. I worry about looking too fancy for a beach wedding. I like the idea of wearing either the strapless or the pink J.Crew dress, but I don’t know what shoes to wear. One idea I have is to find some dressy flip-flops to wear for the ceremony and then change into heels for the reception.
-Closet Confusion

A. There is no reason to buy a new dress when you clearly have several good options. Instead, buy new sandals and pull together great accessories to give a dress you’ve worn already a boost. For an outdoor ceremony with sand, grass and water involved, wear pretty flat sandals and switch to heels when you head to the party inside. Skip the word “flip-flop” whenever mentioning “wedding” in them same sentence, instead think thong sandal.

Nine West
ZapitDolce Vita
Aegean-17Stuart Weitzman Chaingang
Matisse 'Escape' O-Ring SandalMatisse 'Naive' Thong

left to right:
1. Nine West Zapit, $82.95 at
2. Dolce Vita Aegean-17, $87.95 at
3. Stuart Weitzman Chaingang, $174 at
4. Matisse ‘Escape’ O-Ring Sandal, $74.95 at
5. Matisse ‘Naive’ Thong, $99.95 at

Q. My daughter is the maid of honor in a wedding in January. The bride has picked out a beautiful apple red formal dress with a diamond-like broach and has chosen to accessorize with ivory shoes. My daughter and I think that the ivory would stand out too much against the red dress. What color shoe would you suggest?
-Ivory & Faux Ice

A. I would have suggested a pale or muted gold heel for sass or a neutral hue of deep cream or light tan for a sophisticated look. If you intend to approach the bride with a new color suggestion, do it delicately.

Q. What color shoes should I wear with a gold dress? It is a halter top, tea-length, kind of ruched in the middle and I really liked it and figured I would just find some shoes for it later, now I need help! I have had friends tell me animal print or red, but I’m just not sure! Also, what color jewelry would you suggest, I was thinking something to match the shoes after I found them.
-Going for the Gold

A. Choose either a muted pale gold heel or go for a natural (cream, light tan) to add a sophisticated touch. Animal print or red may create a fashion faux pas if it appears over the top.  And choose simple gold jewelry since you’ll be shining in the dress already.

Q. I just bought a pair of gorgeous red ballet flats… but I really don’t know what to wear them with. I don’t know if I should just add them in my wardrobe as a bright accessory or should a wear them with a red shirt and jeans?
-Red Right

A. Consider them a bright new addition to your wardrobe that doesn’t require a matching red shirt. Pair them with navy and white stripes, black and white polka dots, or any pattern skirt, dress or top that has a bit of red in it. And they look fabulous with jeans.

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