Closet Questions, Part Four

in case you miss them: part one, part two, and part three.

Q: What are the easiest accessories to add oomph? - Allyson
A: a statement necklace, fancy earrings, crystal bracelet, bright clutch or bag, or patterned shoes are the things that come to mind! if it's fall or winter, you can easily add a bright or patterned scarf to your look to jazz it up a little bit.
shoes / necklace / scarf / bracelet (similar) / clutch / earrings
Q: What are your 10 closet staples - timeless pieces that you don't mind spending a little extra money on? How could you style these pieces to keep in line with current trends without spending too much money? - Kayla
A: a great pair of jeans, black or leather/faux leather pants, pencil skirt, blazer, chambray shirt, LBD, lace top, a colored dress that you could wear to a wedding or event, a pair of colored/printed pants, and a great collection of solid v-necks or tees. These pieces are all really versatile and a lot of them can be styled together. They're the classics that you'll find on Pinterest or in magazines, so I'd look there for some inspiration!

Q: I'm a petite 5'2" and never feel comfortable wearing those flawy tops that are so popular at stores like Francesca's (or even the bohemian look at J Crew). Any suggestions for us wee gals who want to pull off something other than a t-shirt? I always feel like my shape gets lost in something that isn't form-fitting. - Natalie
A: You can try belting those tops with a skinny belt, which will give you a shape without cutting your body in half (like a wide belt can do). Otherwise, go for more form-fitting blouses or those flowy tops that nip in at the waist. It seems like you know to stay away from the ones that have no shape at all, so anything that's not a total square could work for you. Also, if you're wearing something that isn't form-fitting on top, be sure to pair it with a pencil skirt or skinny pants on bottom to show off your shape. I try to balance my outfits that way. If I'm wearing a loose or shapeless top, I'll wear it with shorts or skinny jeans to show my legs. If I'm wearing a loose-fitting bottom, like a maxi skirt, I wear it with a more-fitted top to balance out the looseness.

Q: What are good pieces to carry a gal into fall? - Allyson
A: A couple great pairs of jeans and colored/printed pants, open-front sweaters that you can easily layer, striped or printed long sleeve tops to wear under a sweater or jacket, and scarves! I love scarves and wear one pretty much as soon as it's remotely "cold enough" to pull them off. My favorite go-to fall outfit probably consists of a great pair of skinny pants, a comfy graphic tee, open-front loose sweater and a chunky knit scarf to keep my neck warm. You can carry some of your summer dresses into fall by pairing them with tights and boots or booties. That's another thing I love to do in the fall before it's too cold.

Q: How would you style this jacket? I love this look but never know what to wear it with! What can I put it with to help it really make a statement whether that be patterned things, jewelry, etc. you know best! - Lindsey
A: I came up with four different ways to style this jacket that I think could work. With the feminine, you could wear a pair of skinny colored pants or a summer dress. For the glam, I'm thinking black or dark wash jeans with a sassy top. For casual, you can wear that with jeans and a plain or graphic tee. And for the edgy, you could go all black or wear skinny dark wash jeans.
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Old Navy patch jacket / Lauren Ralph Lauren platform wedge shoes / Accessorize bow flat / Head Over Heels by Dune brogue shoes, $54 / Jeffrey Campbell black ankle booties, $265 / Charlotte Russe flap handbag / Hive & Honey / SHOUROUK clear crystal earrings, $550 / Mint green jewelry / Black jewelry / Gold chain link bracelet / Bezel set ring / Metal jewelry / DesignSix stackable ring / Circle scarve
Q: How can I use a belt to camouflage my stomach when putting on a few pounds? - Jenn
A: I don't necessarily know that a belt is the best way to camouflage a stomach, however it can work for you. My first piece of advice is stay away from wide belts! I actually can't think of any situation where a wide belt should be used over a skinny belt, so stay away from them! They can add width and chop you in half, which is the exact opposite of what you're looking for. Skinny belts are great for a couple reasons: they draw the eye to the smallest part of you (your waist/lower ribs area), they don't add any extra bulk, and they're small enough that they can enhance the other pieces in your look instead of taking attention away. So, get some skinny belts! In terms of camouflaging your stomach, my best advice is to wear tops that are fitted on top and in the arms, but aren't tight across your stomach. However, you want to make sure that you're not wearing a baggy shirt to cover up your extra pounds, because then it can look like you put a lot of extra pounds on instead of just a few. You can easily belt those tops right at your natural waist line to show off the smallest part of you and take the attention away from the stomach area. Stick with structured pieces, like blazers, which can give you a great shape and can be buttoned to cover over that "problem" area. As much as you can, try not to "hide" your body with baggy/loose-fitting clothes just because you maybe aren't thrilled with how you look or if you've gained a little weight. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable and stylish in, but also clothes that will still show off your shape and the parts that you do like, such as your legs, arms, waist, or neckline.

Q: What is a summer-y, warm weather appropriate way to not melt to death? Or what is a good short length/cut/style to not feel like I'm wearing booty shorts? I know I'm not leaving many options. Is there such a thing as a cute midi skirt?  - Allyson
A: My best advice for shorts is to shop somewhere that provides options for inseam length. J Crew Factory has a great selection of Chinos with varying inseam lengths. I bought these this summer that I absolutely love. Target has some great shorts, just not in the juniors section. Those thangs are shoooort. I believe their Mossimo brand shorts are what I own and they're a comfortable length. Other than shorts, I recommend summer dresses, maxi skirts (if it's not too toasty outside) or cute skirts. I'm not a huge skirt wearer, but I'm sure all the usual stores carry them, so it sounds like you need to do a little shopping!

Have a question you want answered in a later post? Email me at!

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