Separates are my go-to items, but I can’t find enough pieces that make the transition from day to evening. I don’t do sequins and glitter, although I do like color and interesting details. Any ideas to freshen up my separates wardrobe?
—Jenna B., Estero
Silken squares of colorful prints. That’s (almost) all you need, because this season it’s all about the scarf print. Banish any lingering doubts about such prints being staid and boring—these panels of beauty are anything but. There are shouty colors, paisleys, bandana prints and, redolent of the ’90s, chains and Baroque art patterns on blouses, shirts, dresses, pants, skirts, bags—and so the list goes on. Try a drapey silk chain-print blouse with jeans for daytime and then switch to a sleek pair of pants and strappy heels for evening. If you’re feeling boldly bohemian, go for a head-to-toe look and mix your scarf prints. All too busy for your taste? Pick a scarf print in an earthy color palette for a tastefully toned-down look. And here’s a thought: You could always wear a scarf print square as a scarf. Groundbreaking, I know.
Shoe Styles to Lengthen Your Legs
After years of wearing pants in the Midwest, I love wearing skirts and dresses now that I’ve moved to Florida, but most of the shoes I wore with pants don’t work with my dresses. What am I doing wrong?
—Valerie D., Naples
Pants create a long, unbroken line down the leg, whereas dress hemlines act as horizontal lines across the leg, visually shortening that unbroken line. Ankle booties, shoes with wide ankle straps and gladiator sandals will optically shorten the leg still further. Good shoe styles to help visually lengthen your legs in dresses and skirts are those with a low-cut vamp; pointy-toe shoes (flat, mid-heeled or high-heeled versions); and kitten heels (which generally have a chic, elegant shape). For sandals, choose versions with low ankle straps, or lace-up versions in a color as near to your skin tone as possible.
Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month. Have a question for Cheryl? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.