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Q. I LOVE your column and read it all the time.  I am 26 years old and finishing my Master’s in Iowa City, IA.  I am going on an internship to Mesa, AZ from January until May. I am extremely excited but I have no idea what to wear once I get there!  I am working in a counseling setting so I want to be professional but I am thinking that my favorite chunky sweaters won’t do anymore.  Suggestions?
-Temperature Rising

A. Your favorite chunky sweaters will come in handy in the winter months during the early morning hours as the desert does get cold. But for daytime, you’ll want to look to your Fall wardrobe as your dressing guide. Lighter jackets, dark denim, light sweaters, button down shirts, long sleeve t-shirts and cute tops that can be worn under a thin cardigan. You’ll be enjoying sun and temperatures in the 60’s and low 70’s. Skip your summery spaghetti strapped dresses and definitely no linen this time of year, keep those for May in Mesa when the temperatures reach above 80 degrees. Good luck!

Q. My husband and I were invited to a work-related "Christmas and New Year’s Celebration" in mid-December at a nice restaurant.  The hosts are the worldwide presidents and only senior employees will be there.  Cocktails at 7:00 PM and dinner at 8:00 PM.  Jackets are required for men.  What do you suggest that we wear?  We are in our mid 30’s.
-Dinner at 8

A. You’re eating with the bigwigs so you want to look stylish, appropriate for a big holiday party and still fit your age. Whether you go with a safe choice like the little black dress or something bold in color, just be sure you don’t expose too much cleavage and bring along a little jacket or wrap if it’s chilly indoors. While most readers know by now that I always turn to a dress for instant glamour, I have fallen for many of the taffeta skirts that designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, Nanette Lepore and J.Crew are showing this Holiday season so I may plunk down my credit card for one of those this month.

Sophia short silk dressKay Unger Cap Sleeve Stretch Satin DressSilk taffeta Amelia short dressSteve Madden Silk Pleated Dress With TieEliza J Sleeveless Ruffle Wrap Dress with BowNanette Lepore Festive Silk Paillette DressL.A.M.B. Tiered Ruffle Top and Bubble Plaid Taffeta SkirtNanette Lepore Coweled Sweater & Radiant Satin Skirt

1. Sophia short silk dress, $139.99 at
2. Kay Unger Cap Sleeve Stretch Satin Dress, $330 at
3. Silk taffeta Amelia short dress, $195 at
4. Steve Madden Silk Pleated Dress With Tie, $190 at
5. Eliza J Sleeveless Ruffle Wrap Dress with Bow, $134.25 at
6. Nanette Lepore Festive Silk Paillette Dress, $295 at
7. L.A.M.B. Tiered Ruffle Top and Bubble Plaid Taffeta Skirt, $165 each at
8. Nanette Lepore Coweled Sweater & Radiant Satin Skirt, $305 and $135 at

Q. I have a pair of vintage Evan Picone trousers (mid-1980’s), which are navy blue with a very light grayish-white pinstripe and I am wondering what to wear with them. I also have just purchased a pair of black jodphurs and wondering what to wear with them as well?
-80’s Revamp

A. There are many options for both bottoms.  For both, don’t hesitate to add punches of color. They are both neutral colors that can be worn sleek and chic by wearing similar shades like a black cashmere turtleneck sweater with your jodhpurs and knee high boots or classic with a white button down that fits your shape well and add a patterned sweater.

For pants or jodhpurs:

Robinson coat Façonnable Draped Turtleneck SweaterCashmere cable turtleneck sweaterSlim stretch shirt

1. Robinson coat, $298 at - mix stronger stripes with the subtle ones on your pants or wear with a t-shirt and knee high boots with your jodhpurs
2. Façonnable Draped Turtleneck Sweater, $175 at
3. Cashmere cable turtleneck sweater, $175 at
4. Slim stretch shirt, $59.50 at - always a classic pairing with just about anything

Q. I’m having a dilemma with my mother. I want to know if wearing a gold dress with black leggings would look nice for a beach wedding in Mexico.
-Shine On

A. NO black leggings at a beach wedding in Mexico. And what kind of gold dress?  What kind of material?  Go for a fun, flowy colorful dress. It’s going to be hot and you’ll want to wear something light and adorable.

Q. I love your column and thought you might have some ideas for me.  I recently moved to Brooklyn and we are pretty much here to stay. We love the city and my husband and I are both in creative fields that have a lot of opportunities here.  Problem is, I am in the process of changing careers into a creative field from a business one. Also, very soon I will be in school so funds will be limited.  I am stunned by the kinds of clothes women wear in the city and how they can afford to have these amazing budgets, look totally unique and put together. I am almost reluctant to leave my house sometimes I feel so dingy. Any pointers on how to get out of this? A bit about myself - I am a confirmed minimalist, I have a lot of black and white in my closet, I have recently purchased some yellow and green tops but I am also trying to lose some weight so I can’t really go out and buy a huge wardrobe, maybe a few pieces that will last me through my last 10 lbs.
-Fitting In

A. Stop being a scaredy cat and get out and join the locals. Embrace your minimalist style and beef it up with accessories. Wear your black and white plus those new yellow and green pieces and pair them with a new pair of boots, colorful enamel bracelets, a printed scarf and a belt that has a cool buckle. You needn’t pay big bucks for all your new wardrobe pieces.  True New York chic gals mix up a wardrobe with good quality classics, a vintage piece or two and certainly super trendy, cheap tops from H&M and Forever 21.  Plus, make a few trips a year to Century 21, Loehmanns and TJ Maxx.  We’re willing to take chances!

Take your black turtleneck sweater (which I’m sure you own) and pair it with wide leg denim trousers, a fitted jacket and high heeled boots. Pair your white button down with the same denim trousers and add a menswear vest and pumps. Take your turtleneck and wear with a black pencil skirt or A-line skirt and add a wide belt cinched at the waist. And when you’re ready to discover some new designers, stop by Bird in Brooklyn for cool labels like Lover and Karen Walker. The key is to stay comfortable and not overdone while trekking between school and your new creative infused job.

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