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Q. I just bought a pair of brown topsiders, and I have no idea what to wear them with. I’m not actually particularly preppy, and I feel like a poser in a polo and khaki shorts… any outfit ideas I can incorporate these shoes into?

A. Boat shoes (or topsiders) are making a comeback this season, along with the ladylike loafer. Of course they look great with nautical-inspired clothing (see Blake Lively below), but the trick to wearing your new topsiders in a non-preppy way is to wear them with anything you might wear with a ballet flat: skinny or cropped pants, short skirts, and even summery dresses like the Karen Walker runway look below.


In addition to the traditional brown topsiders you bought, there are plenty of fun colors and even wedge styles available this season. Here are some of our favorite boat shoes worth trying:

Q. I keep seeing colorful jeans everywhere, but I’m not sure if I can pull the look off. Can you give me some ideas for wearing the trend?


A. Colored denim is a fun trend for spring. I think a slim ankle length jean in a bright hue can be pretty easy for most women to wear. Try pairing it with a contrasting solid colored top for this season’s color blocking trend, or pair with a printed top that picks up the color of the jeans. If you’re still a little uneasy with all that color, a white top is the perfect contrast for a bright hue. Add a flat sandal or wedge heel and you’ve got a breezy, bright, summery look. Here are a few ideas for inspiration:

Q. I’ve been seeing a lot of super bright bags for spring, but I’m not sure what to wear them with. Before I spend money on one, can you give me some ideas on how to wear it?

A. Absolutely! Bright bags are a big trend for spring, adding an instant pick-me-up to any look. There are several ways to incorporate a colorful accessory into your look:

Perhaps the easiest way to wear a bright bag is to pair it with neutrals like white, black or tan, letting the colorful accessory pop.


A trickier trend that was huge on the runways is to pair a bright bag with other brights, creating a color blocked contrast.


Finally, you can go matchy-matchy with your bright bag, pairing it with similarly hued clothing.


Now that we’ve covered how to wear bright bags, in our next column, we’ll help you find the perfect bright bag, so stay tuned!

Q. I want to wear this super cute dress to two different holiday parties. One is for hubby’s work/client party (read: conservative, stuffy lawyers) and the other is a more casual gathering with friends. I live in Florida so I don’t need to be in heavy layers, but tights and a little something to cover my shoulders would be perfect. Can’t wait to see what you come up with, because this one has me stumped!!

A. You picked a great dress with many possibilities. For your husband’s work party, I suggest slipping a blazer or tuxedo jacket over the dress, adding a pair of black tights and heels. A great necklace and clutch will finish the look. For a gathering with friends, I recommend adding a lightweight leather jacket or a sequin trimmed cardigan, each paired with a chic pair of booties, no tights. Or, you could always wear the dress alone paired with booties and an edgy necklace for your casual get-together.


Q. I’m not sure how to wear my sleeveless sweater dresses. I want to wear them in the wintertime. Do I wear something over them? Under them?

A. Sleeveless sweaters and dresses are great layering pieces for the winter. It’s always best to wear your chunkiest layers on top, so if your sweater dress is somewhat thick, then wear it over a thin jersey turtleneck or long sleeve top and pair it with tights and boots or leggings and booties. If your sweater dress is thin, you might be able to layer a jacket or even a knit cardigan on top.

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