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Brand DressQ. I have the dress that I want to wear to a special awards dinner, but I don’t know what color shoes to get?  Can you give me some guidance on what style/color to look for?
-Color Query   

A.  My immediate reaction is “gold.”  Look for gold strappy heels to pair with your dress.  Black would be too safe and not lift the color of the dress, and trying to find a matching shoe would be impossible.

S07 8355.Psd-1Q. My bridesmaids will be wearing this dress to my wedding, any suggestions for shoes?

-Shoe Help 

A. Choose silver strappy or peep toe shoes for your bridesmaids (they’ll be happy that they can wear the shoes again!)  Another suggestion—let your bridesmaids choose their own silver heels so they can be happy with the fit, heel height and not be complete clones of each other.

Here are a few pairs they may like:

Calvin Klein EmmalineHouse of Dereon 'Hot Rocks' SandalKenneth Cole Reaction 'Rags to Riches' PumpTyler by Richard Tyler 'Witness' Pump


left to right: Calvin Klein Emmaline, $130 at zappos.com; House of Dereon ‘Hot Rocks’ Sandal, $159.95 at nordstrom.com; Kenneth Cole Reaction ‘Rags to Riches’ Pump, $78.95 at nordstrom.com; Tyler by Richard Tyler ‘Witness’ Pump, $98.95 at nordstrom.com

Untitled1Q. I bought this dress and, besides the sandals shown on the model, I would like to get two more looks out of it. Something to dress it up with heels for evening and something to dress it down with a flat for day. Can you show me some options so I can get three looks out of one dress?
-Shoe Wonder

A. Smart girl to think about how to wear your dress in a variety of ways to multiple functions. Here are some options for work, day, evening and weekends. Now you just have to think about accessories!

Corsica stacked sandalsEnzo Angiolini ChicaraMichael Kors Seaport FlatNora strappy heels'Nautical' cork platform wedge

left to right: Corsica stacked sandals, $148 at jcrew.com; Enzo Angiolini Chicara, $99.95 at zappos.com;  Michael Kors Seaport Flat, $112.95 at zappos.com; Nora strappy heels, $168 at jcrew.com; ‘Nautical’ cork platform wedge, $88 at bananarepublic.com

Q. First of all, you are absolutely my style lifesaver! I check this website constantly, always hoping to find that you’ve updated your column. It’s wonderful and really useful!

I am going to New York in February, and need advice on what to pack. I know it will be cold and that I will be doing a lot of walking, so I specifically need a few suggestions for footwear (I was thinking maybe a tall black leather boot that could be dressed up or down?) and also just general style advice for a Southern girl who prefers not to stand out like a sore thumb when visiting the big city. My hostess in Manhattan is extremely stylish (works in fashion) and I know we’ll be going out quite a bit, so I need some suggestions for outfits and especially shoes that will be warm, comfortable enough to sight-see and shop all day in, and still look great.
-NYC Style 

A. First off, you need a coat that will transition from day to evening, whether you wear jeans or a dress.  A shearling or wool blend coat that hits around the knees and is tailored to your shape should work for the whole trip.  Dark jeans, a fitted jacket in velvet or wool with a belted waist will work with a t-shirt or sweater by day and a jewel toned top at night.  Pack a knit or jersey dress — by day, layer tights and knubby knee highs with knee high boots, and at night pair it with lace tights and patent leather peep toes.

Include a black or brown pencil or a-line skirt and an animal print top that you pair with the skirt and a belt.  Pack a long sweater that you can layer with a thinner knit or long sleeve top and wear with skinny jeans tucked into knee high boots.  Bring along a pair of stylish “sneakers” or as I call them “kicks” that are meant to be worn with pants or jeans, not to the gym. 

Accessories can help any outfit, from a chunky necklace to a thin long chain that can be doubled or tripled around the neck.  Pack an Hermes or “Hermes-like” scarf to wear around your neck with a white button down shirt, dark jeans and great earrings. Don’t forget a wide belt that can be worn high to make an empire waist look, and if you have patent leather you’d be right on trend. As for boots, you may want to pack two pairs: one with a high heel for night and one with a low heel or nearly flat for day.  And consider two colors to also stretch your wardrobe—like a black high heel and a brown low heel. Here are some suggestions for day and night boots that can be worn with multiple outfits:

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left to right: Nine West Elwell, $161.10 (sale) at zappos.com; Aerosoles Rodeo, $89.99 (sale) at aerosoles.com; Aerosoles Minnesota, $89.99 (sale) at aerosoles.com; Nine West Blum, $107.10 (sale) at zappos.com

Q. For years I have been wearing athletic sneakers with jeans whenever I have on a t-shirt.  My husband recently told me that he thinks this looks terrible!  He considers these shirts as ‘nice’ shirts because t-shirts have logos.  I am at a loss as to what type of shoes to wear with jeans and ‘nice’ t-shirts.  I am not a cutesy type girl, so the little ballet shoes, while adorable, are not me.  I also wonder what color to buy.  Is there a color that “goes with everything”?
-Tee Wonder 

A. Trade in your true athletic sneakers and opt for what I call “kicks” or “trainers.”  They’re the kinds of sneakers that you wouldn’t work out in since they don’t have full support, but they’re cool to walk around in and come in a range of stylish colors.  When it comes to kicks, avoid a pair that is white since they’ll resemble the athletic sneaker too closely.  Black also has a hard time being stylish.  Choosing a main color like brown, blue or green paired with another brighter color as trim will go far in your wardrobe. Also, flats can be stylish without being cutesy and are one of our favorite options to wear with nice t-shirts. 

Since you enjoy wearing t-shirts, why not kick it up a notch to polo shirts or tops with any kind of extra detail like ruching, scoop neck, or puffed sleeves in varied colors.  A colorful pique collared shirt will look far more interesting and can go from activities to a casual dinner while a t-shirt alone is limiting.  Here are a few suggestions of shoes and shirts to expand your wardrobe within a comfortable range:

 

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left to right from zappos.com:  Converse Jack Purcell Dance Slip, $45; PUMA Future Cat Low, $100; Converse All Star Slip, $47; dollhouse Praise, $55.95

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left to right from nordstrom.com: Halogen Long Sleeve Pinch Front Tee, $28; Michael Stars Johnny Collar Top, $51; Hard Tail Cap Sleeve Bubble Tee, $60; Juicy Couture Bubble Sleeve Tee, $62

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