| Ask The Style Chefs: What to Wear Archives

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Q. I recently bought a pair of Banana Republic Martin fit black pants. Love the style and fit. But, I am trying to update my closet with some fun, summery tops to wear with them. Something in the “going out” category. A little more dressy. Any ideas? Thanks.

A. Look no further than this season’s feminine blouse to add a dash of chic to your basic black pants. Add some gorgeous jewelry and sexy heels for a great evening-out look.

Q. I bought this little dress for an upcoming wedding that I will attend. How do I pull the look together with accessories without going over the top and looking too trendy? I was hoping to wear a pair of nude or beige shoes. What about a necklace or bracelet? Can the style chefs help me whip up a winning (and timeless) combo?

A. Colorful, printed and asymmetrical - a trio of trends in one chic little dress! Let the dress be the star of your look and choose neutral accessories in colors like nude, bone and gold. Skip the necklace (too fussy with the asymmetrical neckline) and opt for dramatic drop earrings and a chic gold cuff instead. Gold or nude shoes and a neutral evening clutch complete the look.

Q. Help! I graduate from College in May. I am not really sure what to wear, I do live in Texas so It will probably be quite warm. Is a floral skirt and colored top appropriate? Are Maxis okay, considering they will be seen under the gown? What is the usual college graduation attire?

A. Congratulations on your upcoming college graduation. True, the traditional graduation gown does make it hard to look good, but it can be done! 

Since you’ll likely be celebrating after the ceremony with friends or family, you should wear something appropriate. We recommend a knee length dress or skirt or long pants to wear under your gown. A maxi dress can get tricky, so it’s best to avoid this look. One thing to note, it can get hot under that gown, so your clothes should be cool and breathable. Also, you may be walking on grass, so stick with wedge shoes or chunky heels.

Here are a few suggestions to help inspire your look:

Q. I’m going to be attending a funeral soon, but I have no idea what to wear. I’ve never been to a funeral before, but I know that attire should be conservative. I don’t want to look like too mature, since I am young. Do you have any suggestions?

A. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Dressing for a funeral doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. The idea is to dress respectfully and somewhat conservatively - this obviously means no bright colors or sexy silhouettes. While you don’t need to wear black, it is safer to stick with dark colors like black, brown or navy. A dress, suit or skirt and top is the most appropriate. A dress is probably the most age appropriate choice for you, and you won’t have to worry about coordinating separate pieces, making it much easier to put together your outfit. We recommend a dress with a hemline that hits around your knee; sleeves are preferred, but if your dress is sleeveless, plan to wear a cardigan or wrap. It’s a good idea to have a simple conservative dress in your wardrobe anyway, not only for funerals, but for potential job interviews, etc.

As for shoes, a closed toe or peep toe pump is most appropriate. Avoid any sexy or really strappy sandals. You can most likely skip wearing hosiery, unless you feel more comfortable wearing tights or stockings.

Here are a few ideas for you that cost less than $150 and are age-appropriate:

Q. I bought this “Susanna” skirt pictured below from Delia’s for spring, and I’m not quite sure what to wear with it. It’s a bit high-waisted, which I’m not used to. I’m very petite (5’3, 100 lbs) so i was trying to find something that would add some curves. The website shows girls wearing it with hoodies but I think that looks a little ridiculous (plus I’m 28 - looking for more of a pulled together, fashiony look). Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

A. Great find! Short, full skirts are a big trend this season and there are many ways to wear them that don’t look too young. Here are 3 ideas for you:

  1. Wear a simple fitted shirt over the waist band and then add a belt at the waist if you want to dress it up further, skip the belt if you prefer a relaxed casual look.
  2. Tuck in a pretty blouse. You can also add a belt at the waistband here if you like.
  3. Pair a belted jacket (great for adding curves) or little cardigan over a tank top or tee shirt.

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