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Q. While I know every trend I like is not for me, I am enamored with ankle boots paired with skirts (particularly pencil skirts) for work. I am 5 feet 3 inches tall and curvy, and my legs are of course short. Can I pull off this look? Also, should I look at boots that hit right at the ankle or those that come a bit higher?

A. The most flattering way for a petite curvy woman to wear ankle boots with a pencil skirt is to look for ankle boots (or booties) that dip down in the front, showing off more of your leg. Avoid any booties that come above the ankle bone. Look for slim heels, rather than chunky heels, to offer a more flattering look for your legs. Also, it’s best to pair them with skirts that hit above your knees, or right at the top of your knees, to help elongate (and visually slim) your legs. Here are some booties worth trying:

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Q. I loved your spring list of hot colors, can you tell me what colors are big for fall?

A. Though I’m a firm believer in wearing whatever colors you prefer and any that look good on you regardless of trends, there’s no denying that there are several standout colors and color combination this season. Typically for fall, rich autumnal and jewel tones are hot, and this season is no exception. Two of the standouts are oxblood (a deep burgundy) and hunter green, but jade and sapphire blue are also trending.

A surprising color for fall is white (or winter white, if you prefer to call it that), a “color” that will continue to be big for spring 2013. Black combinations are also big: black & blue, black & gold, and black & white.


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Oxblood at DKNY, Hunter Green at Zac Posen, Winter White at Reed Krakoff, Black & White at Alexander Wang, Black & Gold at Dolce & Gabbana, Black & Blue at Milly. Images: style.com

Q. I bought the Steven by Steve Madden Pembroke bootie in leopard. Is this something I can wear into Fall 2012? Or is this a trend that peaked in 2011? I often think of leopard as ‘timeless’ but I wasn’t sure when it comes to specific items, like booties!

A. Leopard print is indeed timeless, and one of my all-time favorite prints - especially on accessories like shoes and bags. You can indeed wear your leopard booties through the rest of 2012 and beyond. To prove just how deep my love for leopard goes, here are 9 pairs of shoes I’d wear now and forever.

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Q. I know shorts are a big trend this season, and I really love the look of shorts and a blazer. Can I wear it to my corporate casual office?

A. Shorts used to be a big no-no in the office, but relaxed rules of corporate dressing combined with increasingly chic ways to wear shorts have made it a feasible option for some. Here are some tips for determining whether you can wear shorts to work or not:

1. Check the office dress code - If you work in a corporate casual or creative work environment, shorts are more likely to be allowed. Forget about it for a conservative office.

2. Choose the right shorts - Look for shorts that have a more tailored appearance with a dressier fabric. No denim, cut-offs, or anything that looks too casual. If you’d wear them to the beach, forget it.

3. Choose the right length - The same way you wouldn’t wear a super short mini skirt to work (we hope), your shorts shouldn’t be too short or too tight.

4. Pair with dressier items - A blouse, crisp button down, or blazer will elevate the look of your shorts to make them more work-appropriate. No tank tops or strapless tops.

5. Choose the right shoes - A wedge, heel or flat is perfect. Avoid something too bare or beachy, and no flip-flops - ever.

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