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Q. I am an outdoorsy girl with a sometimes non-existing sense of style.  I have booked a flight to join some fashionable friends in South Beach, Miami this August for a long weekend of martinis, dining out and hitting the clubs.  I am very excited about the trip but already anxious about what to wear.   I don’t have much of a budget, and would love to know what kinds of pieces to keep my eye out for.  Can you help?
-Sporty Vs. Spice   

A. Miami, particularly South Beach, is a town filled with body conscious people. And while LA and NYC may seem similar with people in fashionable clothes and heading off to the gym, yoga or Pilates, South Beach is a town filled with people showing off their bodies.  And in August it will be hot, hot, hot. So to keep cool and look cool, you’ll need to be a bit daring by showing off a little skin and while still showing off a stylish look.

Silk Printed Halter DressOff Shoulder Trapeze Top Skinny Crop Zipper Jeans

Scarf Print Beaded CamiRubbish Linen Blend ShortsCalvin Klein 'Kimora' Sandal

left to right: try a sultry summer dress like this Silk Printed Halter Dress ($99) from ardenb.com; or pair a sexy top like this Off Shoulder Trapeze Top ($58) with Skinny Crop Zipper Jeans ($118), both from ardenb.com; or try this Scarf Print Beaded Cami ($78) from ardenb.com paired with Rubbish Linen Blend Shorts ($28) from nordstrom.com.  Pair all with sexy espadrilles like these Calvin Klein ‘Kimora’ Sandal ($94.95) from nordstrom.com or cork wedges and you’re set!

Q. I am getting married in June of this year and I have no idea  what color dress to wear to the rehearsal dinner.  Should I wear white since I’m the bride or should I match my dress to the colors of the wedding and bridesmaid dresses?  Is there any color you are not supposed to wear?? 
-Bride to be Best Dressed 

A. Don’t fret over matching your dress colors to the colors chosen for the tablecloths and flowers. And skip the idea that you need to wear white two days in a row, unless you find a darling white eyelet dress that you will adore wearing throughout the summer, since I would expect you to wear the rehearsal dress many times in the future. Shop for a spring dress that you adore, fits your body well and don’t worry if it’s a bit dressy, since you are the bride.  Here are a few suggestions, that I would wear myself:

Catherine Malandrino
Square Neck Dress with Tulip SkirtBeth Bowley Eyelet DressDallin Chase
Silk Lurex Joe DressCoral Eyelet Strapless Dresses from Tibi

Donna Morgan Empire Waist SundressEliza J Dot Jersey Dressj crew Solid Felice garden dressCalvin Klein Cowl Neck Knit Dress

left to right: Catherine Malandrino Square Neck Dress with Tulip Skirt, $425 at shopbop.com; Beth Bowley Eyelet Dress, $220 at nordstrom.com; Dallin Chase Silk Lurex Joe Dress, $320 at  shopbop.com; Coral Eyelet Strapless Dresses from Tibi, $378 at edressme.com; Donna Morgan Empire Waist Sundress, $98 at nordstrom.com; Eliza J Dot Jersey Dress, $98 at nordstrom.com; Solid Felice garden dress, $125 at jcrew.com; Calvin Klein Cowl Neck Knit Dress, $138 at nordstrom.com

Q. I will be traveling in Paris the month of April.  Is it appropriate to wear a black velvet jacket dressed down with jeans in April?  Also, is it too early to wear linen or white jeans?
-Packing Panic 

A. Skip the black velvet in April, it’s past the cold weather time frame for for this plush fabric.  White jeans work all year long, pair them with a black sweater for a crisp look or a bright colored lightweight cashmere sweater or even a striped long sleeve top.  And it’s too early for linen, wait for 80 degree days instead.


Q. I’m going on a camping trip this summer for 5 days. It won’t be too intense- just some light hiking that could be done in tennis shoes. How I can I look cute and chic, but manage to stay cool in the heat?
-Hot & Sticky

A. When it comes to camping you want to be cool and comfortable. Dresses and skirts won’t do, you’ll worry about getting them dirty, especially when you’re active.  You need cute shorts and tops, 1-2 pairs of cotton pants to cover your legs at night when the bugs come out and a hoodie for the same reason, socks that cover your ankles when hiking, tees and tanks you can change quickly if you get sweaty and a swimsuit if you’ll be near a body of water.

Belted Sateen Shorts Ben Sherman 'Mimi' Polo ShirtWaffle-Knit Hoodies

rench Connection 'Madame Butterfly' Sleeveless Top 5366337Roll-Up Cargo Capris

left to right: Belted Sateen Shorts , $26.50 at oldnavy.com; Ben Sherman ‘Mimi’ Polo Shirt, $54 at nordstrom.com; Waffle-Knit Hoodies, oldnavy.com; French Connection ‘Madame Butterfly’ Sleeveless Top, $88 at nordstrom.com; Free People ‘Benjis’ Big Pocket Shorts, $68 at nordstrom.com; Roll-Up Cargo Capri oldnavy.com

Q. What do I wear for an evening wedding in Battery Park in March?
-NYC by Water 

A. I assume the wedding will be indoors, so the invite—black tie or not — will determine your clothing.  I always wear a dress to a wedding.  I’m a fan of dressy cocktail length dresses, they work for all occasions. And please choose a color.  I am just as much a victim of owning multiple little black dresses, but I know that when I wear color to events, I always snag more compliments and suddenly walk a little taller. I know the Battery Park area in NYC quite well- it will likely be a bit windy and chilly by the water so bring a wrap and spritz on hairspray to avoid the windblown effect.

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