Posts filed under 'Women's'

Q&A: Weekend Wear for Women Over 40

Q: Could you suggest some summer casual weekend options for [women over 40]? Things that could be worn as part of a graduation weekend–out to a casual dinner, to a barbecue, out and about.

A: It’s possible to embody an air of sophistication, even in casual clothing.  You can do weekend wear in style with bright colors, tailored silhouettes, and bold prints.  How do you put them together?  Try these three classic weekend wear outfit combinations:

Chambray Button Down Shirt + White Boot Cut Jeans
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Selvedge Chambray Shirt | $88 at J Crew
New Low-Rise Boot Cut White Jeans | $59.50 at Gap

Try a twist on the classic button-down and jeans combo.  Look for a shirt in a tailored cut and textured fabric.  As for the jeans, instead of a traditional blue, try them in white.  Or if you’re prone to stains, a nice light grey.

Silk Blouse + Printed Skirt
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Silk Georgette Pleated Top | $88 at J Crew
Pleated Floral Skirt | $68 at Banana Republic

For a slightly dressier option, try a sleeveless blouse in a luxurious fabric and pair it with a skirt in a sophisticated pattern.

Brightly Colored Blouse + Wide Leg Trouser Pants
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Piped Blouse | $48 at Gap
Navy Wide Leg Jeans | $59.50 at Gap

Balance out a pair of wide leg pants with a short sleeved blouse.  You can keep the pairing visually interesting with bright colors and a small-over-big silhouette.  If the weather is very warm, feel free to switch out the pants with a pair of knee-length shorts or cropped pants.

Have a great tip about weekend wear for those over 40? Share it with us in the comments!

7 comments May 14th, 2009

Q&A: Graduation Dresses for Women Over 40

Q: Do you have [graduation] dress suggestions for women 45+ who are in decent shape? I’ve looked in vain for attractive and vibrant floral pattern dresses that cover a bit more. Plenty of sheaths in black and natural linen, but these seem rather plain for the occasion.

A: Last week, we put together a graduation outfit suitable for a woman in her 20s or 30s.  Today, we rounded up a series of dresses that can work for women in their 40s and beyond.  We have vibrant patterns, bright colors, and cuts that cover a bit more than the strapless sheath that we featured last week.  Here’s our seven favorite picks for graduation dresses:

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Ali Ro Print Silk Dress | $62.90 (sale) at Nordstrom

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Silk Cotton Floral Dress | $98 at Banana Republic

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Cotton Slub Silk Lattice Dress | $99.99 (sale) at J Crew

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Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Print Sateen Sheath Dress | $118 at Nordstrom

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Floral Maxi Dress | $130 at Martin + Osa

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Patra Tiered Chiffon Dress | $178 at Nordstrom

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Trina Turk Tortoise Dress | $288 at Nordstrom

What would you wear to graduation? Share your style with us in the comments!

12 comments May 12th, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear to Nice, France

Q:  I’m going on holiday to Nice in June and wanted some advice on what to wear.

How to Mix and Match Patterns
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A:
June is a wonderful time to visit Nice.  In June, the weather is mild (think temperatures in the 60s and 70s), and while the tourist season is definitely underway, it’s not yet at its peak.  You’ll be able to enjoy everything from museums to gourmet restaurants - and catch some time in the sun at the beach.  Here’s what to pack for a trip to Nice, France:

Outerwear: A single light jacket for cool evenings will be enough.  Try a lightweight trench for versatility and style.

Tops: Pack a layering sweater, a few comfy tees, and a variety of tops with sophisticated cuts and patterns.

Bottoms: Bring a couple of pairs of long pants to pair with your tops.  A skirt or a pair of shorts is optional but welcomed.

Dresses: A nice sundress for daytime and a cocktail dress for evening will suffice.

Shoes: A good pair of comfortable walking shoes, a pair of sandals, and flip flops for the beach will do the trick.

Last thoughts?  You may also want to pack a scarf or two to give your outfits a bit of an extra visual punch. And don’t forget your bathing suit and sunscreen!

Have a great tip about what to wear to Nice, France? Share your style with us in the comments!

5 comments May 8th, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear in Germany

Q: I am going to Germany at the end of May and would like to know what I should wear. I’m sure I’ll do a lot of walking. I want to keep my personal style, but want to be comfortable without looking like a tourist.

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Pictured: Berlin Street Fashion, courtesy of Still in Berlin.

by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: The weather may still be cool (and perhaps rainy) in Germany at the end of May, so be prepared for daytime temperatures from the 50s up into the 70s.  Layering will be your friend; you’ll be able to take off layers as each day warms up to regulate your temperature throughout the day.

Outerwear: Bring a tailored trench and a nice lightweight jacket to keep you warm (and dry).

Tops: An assortment of long and short sleeve knit tops will travel well.  Choose styles that have a "twist" to them - German style appreciates the small details that make an outfit special.  Also pack a couple of layering sweaters in different styles and weights.

Bottoms: Pack trouser pants, jeans and walking shorts that are at least knee-length.  Note that jeans in Germany can be very expensive - I’ve seen Levi’s priced at over $100.  To be safe, bring your own from home.  You may also want to bring a skirt to round out your bottoms wardrobe.

Dresses:  Pack a dress or two; you’ll need to dress up for any evenings of fine dining. 

Accessories: Since it may rain, don’t forget an umbrella or rain slicker - and bring extra pairs of comfy walking shoes (preferably rainproof ones).  A pair of sunglasses and a chic scarf will round out your accessories wardrobe.

Last thoughts? So as to fit in, you may want to pack more neutrals.  In my experience, German style features more earth tones and black than does American style.  But then again, you do see bright colors as well - so it’s not a hard and fast rule.

Have a great tip about what to wear in Germany? Share it with us in the comments!

25 comments April 21st, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear for Springtime in New York

Q: I’m going to New York in April.  Could you tell me what I can wear if I’m going to go on a tour in the city?  I’d like something comfortable but, at the same time, fashionable!

What to Wear in New York
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by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: New York in April is breezy and rainy - so make sure to pack accordingly.  Think temperatures ranging from lows in the 40s to highs in the 60s.  Here’s what you need to bring for your tour of New York city:

Outerwear: Pack a waterproof trenchcoat with character to add a dash of style–and protect you from the rain.  Bonus style points for a brightly colored trench.  Also bring a good basic medium weight jacket for the days that the weather is clear.

Tops: A few layerable tops and a couple of lightweight sweaters will form the core of your sightseeing wardrobe.  Also pack a few brightly colored tees for your base layer.

Bottoms:
A couple of pairs of long pants and a pair of well-fitted jeans should do the trick.

Dresses: 
Bring a classic dress for fancy lunches or dinners, or for when you catch a play or Broadway show (or head out to a nice club).

Shoes: Closed toe flat shoes that are suitable for walking are going to be key.  Styles like comfy ballet flats, sport sneakers, or flat boots will be your friend.  You may also want to bring a pair of heels for any dressy occasions.

Accessories:
A roomy handbag to hold extra layers of clothes (and any small purchases you make), a beautiful layering scarf, and an umbrella are going to be your three key accessories.

Last words?  New York is a heaven for foodies - if you’re looking for some great eats, try: the hot chocolate (and mac and cheese) at City Bakery, the smoked salmon pressed rice sandwiches at Takashimaya, the bar steak at Pastis, the gelato at Grom, the chocolate at Maison du Chocolat and Kee’s, and a beautiful three course lunch at Jean Georges.

Have a great tip about what to wear in New York? Share it with us in the comments!

8 comments April 14th, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear on a Theme Park Vacation

Q:  I will be going to Orlando, FL for a week off with my family in April and need some ideas for theme park chic - comfortable, casual, but NOT sloppy.  Any ideas?

Theme Park Fashion
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A:
Orlando in April is pretty warm - think temperatures that range from the 60s at night to the low 80s during the day.  Light clothing is essential, and as you said, you’ll want pieces that are comfortable and casual to wear to the theme park.  Still, you’ll want to look put together, so mix things up with sophisticated patterns (such as the flowers on the sweater and the stripes on the tank) and coordinated colors (notice how the blue and white base makes the yellow in the sweater visually pop).  Here’s what you need to pack for your trip to Orlando:

Tops: Think sleeveless and short sleeved tops in breathable fabrics. 

Sweaters: Pack one or two layering sweaters that you can put on in any air conditioned areas.

Bottoms: Shorts are going to be your best bet, but you can also try cropped pants or long, lightweight pants in cotton or linen.

Shoes: You’ll be walking a lot, so flat shoes are going to be your friend.  Sneakers will get you through the day, but you may want a pair of casual flats for evenings.

Accessories: Bring a zippered bag to carry your essentials and a good hat to shield yourself from the sun.

Last words?  As the days are typically sunny, you’ll want to remember to pack sunscreen.

Have a great tip about what to wear to a theme park? Share your style with us in the comments!

7 comments April 10th, 2009

Q&A: How to Build a Plus Size Professional Wardrobe on a Budget

Q: I’m trying to start dressing more fashionably and put together, but I am still a poor, broke, college student. I’m finishing my teaching degree and I would like to look professional all of the time. In addition to being broke, I am also plus sized.

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Pictured (clockwise from left): Black Tie-Front Short Sleeved Jacket | $54 at Torrid, Stretch Poplin Button Down Blouse | $68 at Kiyonna, Classic Rise Wide Leg Trousers | $29.50 at Old Navy.

A: In order to build a professional wardrobe on a budget, we recommend investing in versatile, structured pieces that can seamlessly mix and match.  Structured pieces will help you look professional, while also flattering your figure.  Plus, your existing college-appropriate wardrobe will be instantly elevated when paired with these professional pieces.

Because fit is so key with these pieces - your tailored pants, blazers, and button-down shirts - it’s okay to stretch your budget in order to get the Right pieces.  After all, you’ll get so much wear out of them that the cost per wear will be manageable.  With a tight budget, take your time to find and purchase the right pieces.  You don’t need to buy all of them at once, and being picky will help you understand what brands and styles fit and flatter you best.  Plus, waiting to buy also helps you take advantage of sales and coupons that will reduce the price further.  Here’s three specific pieces to look for:

The Perfect Button Down Shirt in a stretch cotton poplin style.  A straight, body skimming cut with vertical seams will flatter your figure best.  You’ll be able to wear this shirt by itself - or unbutton it to midchest and layer a camisole or tank underneath.

The Classic with a Twist Blazer, which will pair with tailored pants, jeans, and skirts.  Pick a youthful take on this classic - try details like half sleeves,

Flat Front Pants
with a medium to medium-high waistline.  The higher the waistline, the longer your legs will look (and the taller you will appear). Pants with a slight flare at the leg will help visually balance your figure.

Have a great tip about how to build a professional plus-size wardrobe on a budget? Share it with us in the comments!

6 comments April 9th, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear in San Francisco

Q:  I am from Toronto, Canada, and I’ll be heading down to San Francisco for a week at the end of April. Any tips for what I should pack?

What to Wear in San Francisco
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A:
Springtime in San Francisco is beautiful - it’s generally mild weather-wise, but be prepared for unexpected wind, rain, and a layer of fog to roll over the city.  The key to San Francisco style is layering, as the weather can change pretty rapidly from one moment to the next.  Happily, the city’s fashion scene tends to be somewhat eclectic, so you’ll be able to pull off unusual layering combinations if you need to.

While in San Francisco, you’ll want to be ready for daytime temperatures anywhere from the 50s to the 80s. Here’s what you need to bring:

Tops: Pack long sleeved tees and blouses, but you can bring a short sleeved tee just in case.

Sweaters: Bring a couple of sweaters for layering to adjust to temperatures inside and outside.

Outerwear: Pack a light to medium weight jacket, one that will protect you from wind.

Bottoms: Long pants and jeans are going to be your best bets.  No shorts, but you may be able to get away with a pair of cropped pants.

Dresses: One sleeved dress should be enough for your short trip.

Shoes: Bring shoes that are comfortable for walking–especially on hills.  Flats are a great idea; heels are not.

Accessories: A layering scarf is a good idea to help you adjust to whatever weather patterns come up.

If you’re going to be visiting areas outside of San Francisco (e.g. going up to Napa or down to Silicon Valley), be aware that temperatures tend to be warmer outside the city - and that the weather patterns are generally more stable.  Dressing in layers is still advisable, especially if you’re spending part of your day in the city.

Have a great tip about what to wear in San Francisco? Share your style with us in the comments!

13 comments April 2nd, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear to Work in London

Q: I’m going to London this summer for an internship. I’m aware that London street style is super funky, but I also want to be taken seriously. How do I show my youth and creativity while looking professional and dealing with the weather?

by Traci Tsai

A: Dressing appropriately for work depends a good deal on where you are working.  If your internship is at a more serious, buttoned-up large company, I would advise letting your accessories express your youth and creativity. But if you’re working at an agency or a company with a more youthful, casual culture, you can take some more liberties – you’d be surprised at how some people will dress themselves for work!

London style is very bold, so the key is lots of color and prints, and not worrying too much if you match perfectly. Once you have your work basics (e.g. trouser pants, blazer, buttondown shirts), here’s six funky, London-appropriate pieces to build your work wardrobe around:

The Long Tunic/Dress
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Silence and Noise Boatneck Tunic | $42 at Urban Outfitters

You can get more mileage out of this piece if you wear it both as a tunic (to work) and as a dress (on weekends).  Don’t be afraid of bold colors here.

The Vest
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Pinstripe Pocket Vest | $12.50 at Forever 21

A tailored vest is the perfect item to take a more playful look into work-appropriate formal territory.  Wear it either open or buttoned-up.

The Cropped Leggings
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Cotton Spandex Jersey Placket Legging | $28 at American Apparel

Perfect for layering, cropped leggings can be used to make a too-short skirt appropriate for work.  Think of them as the summer equivalent of matte black tights. 

The Long Necklace

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Mixed Metal Multi Strand Necklace | $16.10 at ASOS

London women own a lot of great accessories, and we’re fans of the colorful wispy neck scarves they wear during the winter.  But for summer, long stranded necklaces are a good way to add personality (and a touch of sophistication) to your outfit.

The Flat Shoes
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Frye Cameron Skimmer | $115 (sale) at Zappos

Flats are key – we cannot tell you how many friends have moved to London and learned this lesson the hard way on day one. London is a walking town. A comfortable pair of flats is essential.  Bonus?  Flats are a great way to add extra color to any work outfit.

The Large Handbag
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Monserat de Lucca Artacho Satchel | $255 at Bluefly

Carry a large bag for all the possible things you might need in a day.  Londoners tend to carry fairly large bags, which are both functional and stylish.   A couple of things to keep in your bag:
(1) A Thin Neck Scarf, a great way to add some personal style to a standard work outfit.
(2) An Umbrella is a must.  You will be shocked how quickly a beautiful sunny day in London can turn into a stormy, wet mess
.

What would you wear to work in London? Share your style with us in the comments!

13 comments March 31st, 2009

Q&A: How to Dress with Youthful Sophistication

Q: I am currently in school. Whenever I try a new style, I get strange looks. My friends tell me I look too dressy.  How do I look sophisticated and casual while still looking young and fresh?

A: Happy to hear that you’re experimenting with new styles.  Trying out new styles, cuts, silhouettes, and colors is the best way to discovering your own personal style–whatever your age.  I encourage you to continue your explorations into fashion to continue evolving your look.

Style is less about dressing a particular way, or in a particular type of clothing.  The key is to dress to fit your personality - and the situation you’re in.  If you’re in school, running from class to class in a cocktail dress or a suit (no matter how sharp you look) probably isn’t appropriate.  The trick to dressing sophisticated while keeping the look young is to either (1) Mix sophisticated details and pieces into a casual look, or (2) Create sophisticated combinations with casual pieces.

Tip 1: Mix Sophisticated Details into a Casual Look

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A sweatervest, a buttondown shirt, and jeans are standard fare, but the oversized buttons on the vest and the delicate tuxedo pleating on the buttondown shirt turn it into something special.  Notice the sophisticated woven bag–not your average book bag.

Tip 2: Create Sophisticated Combinations with Casual Pieces

Untitled

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The striped boatneck shirt, the bomber jacket, and jeans are all casual items.  But put them together, and you have an outfit that’s at once Euro chic sophisticated and completely youthful.

Have a great tip about how to achieve youthful sophistication? Share it with us in the comments!

8 comments March 27th, 2009

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