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Q. I am 46 years old. Can I wear a long sleeve black blouse made of rayon/spandex to a birthday party when the weather turns warm? What would be a good color for pants and shoes?
- Black in Spring

A. Black is never out of fashion or stuck in one season, however many of us just excited to embrace color once the weather gets warmer. So if it is a tres chic top then wear it to the party. And pair it with a black pants and a colorful beaded necklace, or a white and black print skirt for a bold expression. Add metallic heels to complete the party look.

Q. I recently bought some black high-waist (skinny) pants that I really love, but every time I think about wearing them I change my mind because I can’t find the right top. I want to tuck the shirt in to accentuate the high waist (naval level). I like the way the proportions look when I wear them with my J.Crew v-neck t-shirts, but it’s just too boring to wear a solid color on top and on bottom! Can you recommend some short-sleeve shirts that will liven up the look?
- Liven my Look

A. While it’s simple to tuck in a t-shirt or slim fitting tank, here are a few other options that will tuck into or still show off the high rise of your skinny pants. Don’t hesitate to wear a top that skims over your hips and add a wide or skinny belt at your waist, or tuck in a top and wear a belt over the waistband of the pants.

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Q. I have a Saturday night, black-tie wedding coming up and I have no idea what to wear. I know people traditionally wear long, black dresses, but since I’m kind of small (5’2”, size 0), I’m afraid I would get lost in a dress like that. Also, since I’m 24 and it’s summer, I wouldn’t mind straying from black and wearing something fun. Keeping this in mind, what would be appropriate? Would a cocktail dress be ok? Or are there any particular styles of long dresses that flatter shorter people? Do you have any suggestions?
- Distressed Over Dress

A. A long gown on a petite woman can look like an overwhelming amount of fabric or look like you’re playing dress up in your mom’s closet. Black tie affairs no longer require a long gown - just an appropriate dress that is fiercely festive, sophisticated and elegant. I shopped for several options and it’s purely coincidental that they all are strapless.

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1. Strapless Florence dress, $250 at jcrew.com
2. Jillian strapless dress, $295 at jcrew.com
3. Kay Unger Strapless Bubble Dress, $330 at saks.com
4. BCBGMAXAZRIA Silk Strapless Dress, $360 at saks.com
5. BCBGMAXAZRIA Silk Empire Dress, $156 (sale) at saks.com
6. BCBGMAXAZRIA Satin Cocktail Dress, $288 at saks.com

Q. I love your site and have been checking out your great advice for a while now. I have a dilemma: I am going to several weddings this summer and purchased a lovely black cocktail dress from Banana Republic (very Audrey). However, I tend to be cold and it is a bit on the skimpy side. I have been trying to find a jacket or sweater to wear over it that won’t dress it down too much, and I am having very little luck. Do you have any advice?
- Chic Coverage

A. When looking for a little coverage, a Pashmina wrap is not always the best answer. To complete your Audrey Hepburn look add a jacket or cardigan, but rather than keeping it black as well, choose a color or shine to stand out and embrace Spring.

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1. Solid cashmere rosette cardigan, $188 at jcrew.com
2. Cotton-cashmere primrose cardigan, $98 at jcrew.com
3. Stardust sequin cardigan, $450 at jcrew.com
4. Metallic mosaic jacket, $300 at jcrew.com

Q. Our good friends are getting married in Malibu in a beachside ceremony with an indoor reception, late afternoon to early evening. I just bought a sweet cotton Antonio Melani dress that’s A-line and pale yellow, which I love, but I’m not sure where to go from here! I would love to incorporate another color (maybe turquoise?) or a print in the accessories. Help!
- Beach Bound

A. Yeah! A girl who wants to add more color and not just match it head to toe. I found several items from accessories to sandals that should add some sass and sophistication.

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1. Tasha Butterfly Bangle, $48 at nordstrom.com
2. Juicy Couture ‘Garden Party’ Bracelet, $98 at nordstrom.com
3. Seychelles necklace, $150 at jcrew.com
4. double-strand jeweled-flower pearl necklace, $250 at jcrew.com

5. Nine West Argent, $83 at zappos.com
6. Betsey Johnson ‘Fanny’ Sandal, $165 at nordstrom.com
7. Linea Paolo ‘Adella’ Sandal, $99.95 at nordstrom.com
8. BCBGirls ‘Saraff’ Slingback Sandal, $109.95 at nordstrom.com

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