| Ask The Style Chefs: What to Wear Archives

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Q. I just bought a Calvin Klein black pinstripe suit for a job interview, and I am trying to choose a white shell to wear under it. Since the suit is linen, I’m thinking a cotton/poly blend with a tiny bit of lace around the neckline or a viscose/nylon white shell knit. The knit looks good with the suit, but I’m wondering if a knit with linen “works”. I think it looks good, but I know mixing the right types of fabrics together can make a difference in the overall look. What do you suggest?

A. Basically, just avoid heavy fabrics, particularly wool or thicker fabrics. A thin knit or light blend will work with your suit, but be willing to consider a variety of tops to pair with your suit in the future once you nab the job, from patterned white on white to chic tops with collars in bold colors. Don’t just settle for the safety of black and white. Here are some white tops you might like:

brshawl.png alfani.png 915436_fpx.jpg 1. Shawl-collar textured blouse, $64 at

2. Alfani Short-Sleeve Polka-Dot Mesh Top, $59 at

3. Nanette Lepore Women’s Jamming Eyelet Top, $215 at
Q. I have a work event that has me totally stumped for an appropriate outfit! We will be at a theme park all day, immediately followed by dinner at a restaurant where the dress code is evening casual. Do you have any ideas?

A. For the day at the park, pair a patterned top with shorts so it’s easy to beat the heat and enjoy a day of being a kid. Avoid white tops that may get wet at the park and become see-through, make sure your tops don’t bare your midriff at all and that your shorts are long enough to cover a portion of your thighs while you scream with delight on the roller coaster. A patterned shirt will help hide any stains like a little mustard from a hotdog, dirt or camouflage you if you get wet.

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1. Tommy Hilfiger Paisley Puff-Sleeve Tunic, $44.50 at

2. Lucky Brand Jeans Printed Cap-Sleeve Linen Top, $68.00 at

For the casual evening attire, pack some of the following simple, stylish suggestions into a tote and change in the restaurant, at a stop along the way or at the park before you leave for the restaurant. You’ll look instantly refreshed and chic without overdoing it for the crowd. And remember, the park is for fun and the restaurant is to finish off the day with a good impression.

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1. City Style Printed Halter Top, $32.95 at

2. City Style Caftan - Diamond Maze, $36.95 at

3. Paisley kimono-sleeve dress, $110 at
Q. I’m going for a weekend in July to New York City to meet up with my girlfriends from college for a mini-reunion (6 years out). We will go out for drinks, dine at some hot spots, and lounge at the rooftop pool of a very “Sex And the City” hotel. PLEASE help me with my packing list!

A. Ooh, sounds fun! Since your activity list seems mostly social, I’ll skip recommendations for daytime touring and shopping and stick with some suggestions for your evenings out and time lounging at the pool. I’m not sure if you’re a Carrie, Samantha or Charlotte, but the following should keep you looking “Sex And The City” chic all weekend long.

For the rooftop pool, go for glam, rather than practical. Start with a flattering swimsuit and add a chic tunic or caftan cover up. Add metallic flat sandals, oversized sunglasses and a sophisticated tote. Finish up the look with a gold cuff and hoop earrings - just remember to take them off if you go swimming! (Bonus: wear the tunic with white jeans when not at the pool)

Kenneth Jay Lane at ShopStyle

For your evenings out, your best bet is to pack a few dresses - they take up little room in your suitcase, and will make getting dressed for the night a no-brainer. Just add some great shoes, a clutch, a wrap and some jewelry and you’re all set. (Bonus: dress them down for daytime with your flat metallic sandals from the poolside look)

Kooba at ShopStyle

Q. I have my 10-year reunion coming up and purchased a fabulous Milly zebra printed dress (I have attached a picture). I am only 5’3” so the dress isn’t quite so short on me, but with the sleeveless shape, I am concerned about shoes. I do not want to look too tart-y!
- Reunion Blues


A. We all obsess over making a grand impression at our reunions. We want to look cool and hip, young and stylish. We want to make ex-boyfriends think of us fondly and the snotty girls jealous, and mostly catch up with the old crowd we haven’t seen in years while still looking good. I found several options that range from very hip to straight forward classy.


Dress: Zebra-Print Shift Dress, $126 (sale) at

1. Very Hip: Vince Camuto Alfie, $132 at
2. Still Hip: Lauren Ralph Lauren Women’s Aaralyn, $100 at
3. L’Autre Chose Shoes Open Toe T Strap Pump, $310 at

4. GUESS by Marciano “Hutton” Strappy Sandal, $95 at
5. Chinese Laundry Women’s Colette, $69.99 at
6. Franco Sarto Women’s Utopia, $74.99 at

Q. I’ve attached a photo of my wedding dress by Maggie Sottero (color shown in Pearl Rose) and unsure of what color veil I should wear. In fact, I’m even questioning if a veil would be appropriate for this dress, as I’d be afraid it’s too overpowering. I have received so many opinions and I am completely lost! I’d appreciate your input.
- Overwhelm or Appeal


A. My input is this: skip the veil. I agree with those friends who said it could be overpowering. I like the look of a flower, real or faux, or a jeweled or decorative hair comb. I had a milliner make a large, off-white fake flower with beautiful beading and attach it to a comb that could be hidden within my hair. I received many compliments and I was glad to have chosen something original.

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