| Ask The Style Chefs: Style Rules Archives

Recently in Style Rules Category

Q. I love layering my clothing, but sometimes it makes me look FAT. Any suggestions on light layering and layering for the fall?
-Desperately seeking slim 

A. This Fall is all about layering. To pull it off without adding thickness, stay away from bulky knits and multi textured fabrics. Be aware of your proportions and be sure to strike a balance. If you wear a shirt, vest and fitted jacket on top, then keep it slim on your bottom half by wearing a pencil skirt and platform pumps or slim pants and knee high boots.  Consider wearing waist cinching belts over your cozy cardigan and tank combo or keeping the layers minimal like a thin turtleneck under a dress with leggings.  If you believe you look bulky or big once you create your layered look, then you’ll certainly feel self-conscious all day.  Don’t sacrifice self-esteem just to layer your look.  And don’t forget, you may still have to fit a jacket or coat over your layers.

Below left, an example of layering without the bulk from the Max Azria fall runway
Below right, some unrealistic layering from the Marc Jacobs runway

(Photos: Marcio Madeira via

089M  183M

Hello Alison! I was just wondering when it is officially ok to wear velvet. It is now after Labor Day, but it is also about 78 degrees. Would it be ok to wear velvet now? Or would I just look silly if I did? 
-Confused in Indy

A. It’s a bit too early to slide on that soft, slightly shiny, luxe fabric.  Hold off until the temperatures drop in October, then wear it through February with abandon.

Q. I’m looking to add a splash of animal print to my winter wardrobe with calf-hair Steve Madden flats (Bunni). Can you wear open-toe wedge flats during the winter? Should you wear hose with them? I fell in love with the flats, but I don’t know how long I can wear them.
-Open-toe or no go

827-325340-DA. The best way to wear open toe shoes in the colder months is to wear them with hosiery - opaque hose or ribbed and textured tights. This look usually works best with peep toe styles like your Steve Maddens.  Try for a great variety of tights.

Steve Madden Bunni flats, $82.95 at 

Joe-49Cc5136-BckQ. Last year I bought a ton of skinny jeans to wear either tucked in or cuffed big to show off my boot collection … I see that the tucked in look is still around, but is the big cuff?  I love that look but don’t want to do it if it is over…

-Skinny and Cuffed 

A. Go for it! The cuffed look is still in—most of us style gals agree the cuff should be about 5-7 inches thick. (P.S. try your cuffed skinny jeans with a pump too)

Q. I was just watching you on THE VIEW. My mom taught me “no white shoes, hats, etc.” before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.   Does this rule also apply to straw hats?  I live in NY and wear hats to church, temple, daytime weddings, etc.  Is straw ‘out’ in the fall?
-Labor day wonder   

0458757078412 Astl 300X400A. It’s time to put away the straw hats and straw bags.  Straw is definitely a “wear in warm weather material.” If you lived in a year round warm city, you could extend the wear and carry of straw items, but since the temps in NY will be changing, it is time to pack away your straw items. 

As for white, while most items like white sandals, white linen clothing and some white dresses should be stored for next season, feel free to wear your white jeans, white shirts and more all year long.  Designer Michael Kors has repeatedly remarked that wearing white jeans in winter with a black or camel cashmere turtleneck sweater is sleek and chic. And I agree.

shown here, White Saks Fifth Avenue Signature Lace-Trim Merino Cardigan, $298 at

get the scoop

subscribe to our free weekly email! rss feed follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Pinterest!

like us on facebook!

subscribe + win


Around the Web: