The Stylist Corner
Over the years, customers have reached out to our stylist asking about fashion do's and don'ts and other style tips. We thought we'd share the growing collection of questions and answers. Happy reading! We hope you take away some helpful tips!

What are the new fall trends this year and how can I incorporate them into my day-to-day?

Melissa from MD

Labor Day has come and gone, and we’re now focusing on fall! Despite the pandemic leaving us with limited places to travel and people to visit, there are still ways to incorporate these trends into your wardrobe. Check out the list of trends below!

Chocolate Brown: This color has shown up on all of the runways throughout the fall season. Pair it with any color; it will automatically elevate your look with its rich tones. Try this trend in the form of a trouser and pair it with a colorful knit sweater!

Leather: This was the biggest trend during the last fall season and, based on the runways, it's clearly not going anywhere! Gravitate toward versatile pieces such as a wide leg pant or button-down; not only can these pieces be paired together or separately, but they also feel like a fresh and modern take on a classic trend.

Fringe: This trend has been seen in the form of embellished dresses, coats and separates, and it's becoming one of the most popular for fall. To wear it, keep the rest of your look simple and pair back to the fringe. It should take center stage in the total outfit!

1970’s: This decade has inspired many silhouettes that have been showcased this season. The good news is that you don’t need to go shopping to try the trend; you most likely already have the key components hanging in your closet! Just stick to a muted color palette - brown, navy and gray are essential tones - and you can do no wrong.

Statement Sleeves: A modern take on a classic trend. There have been a lot of designers producing silhouettes with exaggerated sleeves with details. These effortless, yet impactful, pieces will transition seamlessly with your wardrobe while also elevating everything they’re paired with.

I’m so excited for the cooler weather because I love cozy sweaters! But, I hate pilling. Are there ways to avoid pilling?

Denise from IL

Yes! Pilling, which are technically small balls of fiber that form on fabric, can happen to any type of material. The main cause of this is rubbing on any surface or fabric. One suggestion is to rest garments between wears and to not wear them excessively. Give your clothes 24 hours to rest before wearing again. Also, make sure to turn your clothes inside out before washing to prevent other fabrics from rubbing up against the material. Despite all this, if you end up with pilling on your clothes, do not worry! One of the most effective ways to eliminate pilling is to use a fabric comb or a battery-operated pill and fuzz remover that shaves the pills from the surface of the garment. These will pull the knotted fibers away from the surface of the fabric.

I love the look of plaid for fall, but I worry I won’t be able to pull it off at my age. Any suggestions on how I can try out this trend without looking like I’m wearing a kilt or school uniform?

Ellen from CT

Plaid, in my opinion, is a timeless trend for the fall season. It works at any age! The key to keeping the look fresh is to avoid any “holiday” colors in the print - colors such as reds and greens. Try gravitating towards neutral colors such as beige, gray or navy. In addition, choose modern silhouettes such as culotte pants or a midi length dress to freshen up your look.

I’ve had to readjust how I dress for work these days. My company is casual, but lately, I have been wearing sweatpants, which is probably a step too far! Do you have any advice on how to dress comfortably while still looking professional?

Wendy from CO

Absolutely! It has been a challenging time for all of us, and I know you’re not alone in choosing sweatpants! My key advice in dressing right now, especially in these colder months, is to gravitate towards the knitwear in your wardrobe. Try sweaters, turtlenecks and cardigans. These are all silhouettes that are easy to pair with, yet also polished and comfortable enough to spend the day in. The best part about knitwear is that it can be dressed up or down, no matter the occasion. Have a formal Zoom meeting? Pair a statement necklace with your sweater or throw on a blazer over your turtleneck.

What are some different stylish ways to wear a scarf? I actually own quite a lot of them, but don’t wear them as much as I’d like!

Allison from OH

There are many different approaches to tying a scarf! The trick is to be aware of the proportions of your outfit while tying the scarf. Here are some different ways you can try:

The Simple Loop Tie: Fold the scarf in half so you have a loop at one end. Place the scarf around your neck and pull the loose ends through the loop.

The Pretzel Tie: Fold the scarf in half and place it around your neck, with the loop to one side. Pull one end through the loop. Take the other end and place it on top of the loop. Then pull it through the opposite way.

The Cowl Neck Tie: Drape the scarf around your neck. Then loop one end around again. Even out the ends and tie them into a half knot, so you end up with two loops around your neck. Adjust the loops until you have the volume you like.

Different approaches to tying a scarf

I love the look of linen for the summer, but I've always shied away from it because it wrinkles so easily! Do you have any advice on how to wear linen without looking like a wrinkled mess a few hours in?

Charlotte from AL

Linen is definitely one of the best fabrics to wear during the summer, but unfortunately, there’s no proven way to keep linen from wrinkling while wearing it. However, the heat and humidity can sometimes act as a natural steamer that smoothes out the fibers to maintain their original shape. My advice is to iron it before wearing and embrace the inevitable textures as your day goes on. It’s what makes the charm of wearing linen clothing!

I've been seeing a lot of peplum lately, especially on tops and jackets. Which body type do you think is best suited for peplum? And what do you suggest pairing with a peplum top?

Gwen from NJ

Peplum is a timeless trend and is generally most flattering on women with an hourglass figure. The peplum silhouette accentuates the waist and adds dimension to the ensemble. I suggest pairing a peplum top with either a pencil skirt or narrow tailored pants.

Are there any designers you carry that you think cater better to petite women?

Pamela from IN

Absolutely! We have exclusive designers like Paule Ka, Jude Connally, Gretchen Scott and Bella Tu, which tend to feature shorter hemlines and smaller silhouettes. You may also want to consider Piazza Sempione, which offers pants with a shorter inseam and a higher cut at the leg to flatter a smaller shape. Smythe is another great option for blazers and jackets because they are designed for a very tailored fit.

What is the best way to wear a belt with a dress? Every time I try this look, I end up with fabric pulled or bunched up along my waistline. Also, do you have any tips on picking the right belt for a certain kind of dress - wide, thin, leather, fabric, etc etc?

Karen from KY

To flatter any outfit, belts are a go-to accessory! There are a few things to note when styling belts on dresses. If a dress doesn’t have belt loops at the waist, the belt may need to be adjusted. When choosing the size of the belt, pay attention to your proportions. If you’re short-waisted, petite or curvy, a wide belt will take up the entirety of your torso. If you're long-waisted, skinny belts may look a bit too skinny, but wider styles will create great proportions. To be safe, I recommend choosing a 1½-inch-wide belt. This size works on most figures! As for the fabric choice of the belt, it all depends on the fabric of the dress you’re wearing. In most cases, a leather or suede belt will be the best option as they go with any fabric. If you’re looking to make a stylish statement, choose a metal belt and drape it at or just below your waistline. This goes best with knit dresses.

I love your Gretchen Scott ruffle neck tops and dresses! What is the best jewelry to wear with them so as not to compete with the beautiful neckline?

Carol from FL

The Gretchen Scott ruffle neck dress is a statement piece to have in your closet! So how to dress it up with jewelry? Try pairing the dress with a simple necklace, cuff or earring, so the attention doesn’t take away from the dress. I recommend looking to Dean Davidson, our newest jewelry designer who features delicate and elegant designs!

What do you think about mixing gold and silver-toned jewelry? Is it a do or a don't?

Kathryn from CA

The common fashion myth is “don’t mix your metals” but, personally, I believe mixing gold and silver toned jewelry is a modern take on elevating your style. Mixing the gold and silver tones helps spice up your look by adding an extra splash of color to any outfit.

Jumpsuits look so chic in magazines, but it seems like you need to be very tall and thin to pull off the look. Is it possible for regular women (like me) to look good in a jumpsuit? What should we look for to make sure the fit is right?

Anne from NY

Jumpsuits are one of the most popular trends for spring and summer, but understandably, they can be the one trend people are nervous to try. With all the different styles out there, it’s hard to know which ones will look best on your body type. Here are a few suggestions. For petites, try more fitted styles with a higher waist; this will look better on you, so you don’t appear to get lost in fabric. For an hourglass shape, try styles that accentuate your smaller waist and are fitted throughout the torso. For an apple shape, look for a jumpsuit that has a belt or ties at an empire waist (right below the bust line) to create the illusion of a smaller waist. Bottom line, keep your proportions and body type in mind and don’t be afraid to try it out!

I love your Connie Roberson tops but I’m unsure how I’m meant to style them. Please help!

Jane from TN

The Connie Roberson tops are perfect for dressing up for formal events while still staying comfortable! If you choose to wear your top closed, I recommend wearing a simple tank underneath. Pair yours with any of our dress pants and you can do no wrong! If you choose to wear your top open, try styling it with an underpinning that shares a color with the print of the top. Add a necklace or earrings to accessorize and complete the look!

I would love a fun necklace or earring/bracelet recommendation — it's a summer cocktail party so not too formal. I love your color combos and am having a hard time!

Mary from IL

One of my favorite new designers we’ve added this year is Sylvia Toledano. She has a penchant for mixing and matching colors to create eclectic and interesting designs. She plays with peaches, teals and golds. Her pieces are perfect for any occasion!

I’m looking to update my wardrobe this season. Could you please tell me what in your opinion are the “must haves” for summer?

Deborah from NC

Summer is the perfect time to upgrade your wardrobe! My recommended pieces to elevate your style this season are floral dresses, printed jeans, embroidered tops, pastel blazers and white denim. Choosing lighter fabrics and softer colors gives you an opportunity to freshen up your look!

I have a very busy work schedule and always have issues with dressing from day to night. Any suggestions on how to do this while still looking put together?

Rebecca from FL

For day to night dressing, I advise clients to focus on key pieces that can be worn as the base of an outfit and can elevate your look. These pieces include: a tailored blazer, a wrap dress, a pencil skirt and a clutch. Styling your outfit with any of these items gives you an extra dose of sophistication that translates from day to night. Really in doubt? Try accessorizing. An extra sparkle can glam up any look!

Any suggestions on how to accessorize for a wedding? I always seem to overthink it!

Gillian from TX

I consider accessories to be the cherry on top of any outfit! When dressing for a wedding, I recommend taking a good look at your outfit and keeping the silhouette in mind while gradually adding pieces that accent your best features. For example, if you’re wearing a dress that shows off your neckline, try accessorizing with a necklace to draw attention to that area. Feeling like you want to focus on your waist? Add a belt to your dress! Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to accessorize, as long as you feel your most confident.

What are your thoughts on wearing white? I grew up being told that white could only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But I think the rules have changed?

Patricia from TN

One of fashion’s age-old myths is that you can’t wear white after Labor Day. Have the rules changed? The short answer is — yes! With white boots becoming a wardrobe staple and plenty of white winter coat options to choose from, this fashion myth has been debunked. The trick is to pay attention to fabrics. As long as your fabrics are appropriate for the season, wearing the color white is something that can be played with all year round!

Are there certain colors that just shouldn’t be paired together, like black and navy?

Linda from Washington D.C.

Believe it or not, black and navy have actually become a trendy pairing in recent years! There is no simple answer here because color combinations can vary based on shades, tones, fabric, etc. Having said this, though, there are some color combinations that tend to be unflattering more often than not. Here are a few to steer clear of:

  1. Gray and Brown
  2. Red and Green
  3. Green and Pink
  4. Green and Orange
  5. Purple and Yellow
  6. Red and Orange

What are the spring trends this year that you think are easy to wear and will not go out of style anytime soon?

Jackie from OH

Spring has arrived, and the trends this year are instant classics! You may already have many of these in your closet. If you do decide to invest in something new this season, there are plenty of styles you could wear year after year. See the full list below!

Polka Dots: This timeless print has been seen all over the catwalks and in fashion editorials this season. Wear as a spring dress or a top to pair with jeans for a classic look!

Scarf Prints & Ties: There’s no need to only wear your scarf styled as a scarf! Try adding to a handbag or as a headband around your hair.

Bold Black & White: This spring, the trend is for a very bold, monochromatic look. You can always add a little color with your accessories if you don’t want to stick entirely to neutrals.

Sometimes I’m tempted to try wearing leather but since I’m not in my 20’s anymore and am not as slim as I used to be, I worry that it wouldn’t look appropriate. What do you think? Is there a way to incorporate leather in my closet in a tasteful way?

Jennifer from CA

Leather is more timeless (and ageless!) than many tend to think. Luckily, there are ways to introduce this into your wardrobe without worrying about overdoing it. If you’re unsure how to start, try incorporating leather in your accessories, such as choosing a leather belt or a handbag. Playing with different textures can also make your outfit more interesting while easing into the leather trend, such as wearing a leather skirt with cotton or a knit top. There are many ways to play around with leather, but as long as you feel your best, there’s no right or wrong answer!

Which fabrics are best for travel?

Stacy from MI

Packing for a trip can be challenging at times, especially when you want your clothes to stay in good condition while traveling! Keep these wrinkle-free fabrics in mind the next time you are shopping or packing for a trip:

  1. Wool
  2. Lyocell
  3. Polyester
  4. Cashmere
  5. Spandex

Animal prints seem to be a trend season after season. I'm in my 40s now and would love to give this trend a try. What is the best way to incorporate an animal print into my outfit without making it too "loud"?

Ruth from CT

A great way to introduce animal print to your wardrobe is by starting small, maintaining smaller proportions of the print and using it as an accent to your outfit. Think accessories or shoes! A pair of animal print flats can go a long way by adding texture and depth to any look. Or try a leopard print belt, such as our B-Low the Belt Milla belt, as another chic piece to incorporate in your wardrobe and to elevate any outfit.

Is there an art to layering? I see beautiful, polished outfits in magazines (like a button-down plus a sweater plus a jacket or a dress plus a cardigan plus a scarf), and they always seem so effortless. How can I do this on my own without looking bulky or frumpy?

Diane from VA

When it comes to layering, it is most important to stick to the right proportions. Try to keep most of the layers on the lighter side and mix in one big piece. For example, a bulky coat can be layered over a slim vest and a fitted button-down top. Or, you can wear a chunky sweater layered over a fitted turtleneck or dress. As long as you limit your ensemble to only one large piece, layering is always a flattering and stylish way to dress for all seasons!

I love handbags! Every so often, I like to invest in a nice leather bag that I know I'll be able to use all year round. Besides black, which other colors work across all the seasons, as well for spring as they do for fall?

Sarah from SC

Black has been and always will be a fashion statement, but there are other colors that are equally versatile. When investing in a handbag that works for all seasons, I recommend gravitating towards shades of red, green or tan. These colors ultimately can be worn with both lighter and darker tones across all seasons. Plus, a fresh pop of color always contributes to the overall outfit, leaving you looking current and stylish!

I have wide shoulders, a large bust and full hips. Which dress silhouettes do you think would be most flattering on me?

Maureen from PA

Finding the perfect dress is all about looking for silhouettes that highlight your figure in the best way. For your body type, I recommend dresses with elongated necklines such as scoop, square or v-necklines. Moreover, focusing on the waistline will give you the most flattering result! Try gravitating towards wrap dresses or any dresses that are narrow and nipped in at the waistline; they tend to give the illusion of an hourglass figure.

What is the secret to getting the perfectly cuffed sleeve? I can never seem to get it right!

Terri from NJ

A cuffed sleeve can instantly give your outfit that cool factor in just a few simple steps. The trick is to unbutton your cuff first, then fold your sleeve halfway up your forearm. Then fold it in half again, leaving the cuff peeking out. This will give you a stylish, yet put together, look!

What is the one most important styling tip that you give to women?

Susan from MA

Pay attention to how you feel in clothes by understanding your body type. Focus on your favorite feature and what kind of fit or silhouette makes you feel your best. Fashion is more emotional than people think! Building a closet with clothes that inspire you to be your best self is most important, no matter the occasion.

Which items do you think are worth splurging on?

Amy from TX

Items that are worth splurging on are always going to be items you can make the most use out of. Consider investing in pieces that can be worn through various seasons and that will last over time. Coats, blazers, trousers and shoes are great examples.

I love prints! But, I'm never sure how to mix and match them as I'm afraid to clash or overdo it. What is your approach to pairing different prints together?

Dorothy from FL

Mixing prints is a trend that never goes out of style and pulling off the look is totally doable. For starters, I recommend keeping the prints in the same color family for a polished tonal look. Another tip is to treat stripes as a neutral and pair with a floral or graphic print.

I retired recently and am in the process of rebuilding my wardrobe. What are the 5 or 7 pieces that you think should form the foundation for my new wardrobe?

Heather from CA

Every woman needs wardrobe staples, and I recommend choosing essential pieces that can be dressed up or down and are versatile enough to be worn together:

  1. Classic white tee
  2. Little black dress
  3. Dark wash jeans
  4. Neutral knit sweater
  5. Black pants
  6. Tailored blazer
  7. Striped shirt
  8. Festive dress

There are so many different pant styles these days - skinny, ankle, bootleg, wide leg, etc. What are the "rules" I should keep in mind when figuring out what to pair with each style?

Rebecca from IL

There are many different styles of pants out there, so it's easy to feel overwhelmed! My biggest advice is to keep proportions in mind when planning outfits around these styles. For example, if you’re planning on wearing a pair of wide leg pants, try to avoid tops that have a billowy silhouette. Instead, I suggest pairing wide leg pants with a slim cut blouse to avoid making your frame appear disproportionate. Also, pay attention to which proportions flatter your features. For example, skinny jeans tend to be more versatile than bootleg jeans for different body types because they accent the most slimming parts of the frame.

Midi dresses are everywhere this season. I love the look, but I'm only 5' 3", so I worry the length won’t work for me. What is your advice to petite women like me who are interested in trying out a midi dress?

Betty from NC

Midi dresses are a great transition into spring. For a petite woman, I suggest aiming for a hemline that falls above or below mid-calf where the leg is a little slimmer. Another suggestion is to draw attention to your waistline; choose silhouettes with a tie or a sash to highlight the most flattering part of the frame. Lastly, wear styles that have a slit that shows off some leg to draw the eye up, making your silhouette seem longer and your frame taller. And, don’t forget a good pair of heels always helps elongate your figure.

I’ve always heard that certain colors are better for some and not for others. Can you provide some guidelines on colors that work well with fair complexions vs medium vs dark?

Grace from MD

Understanding which colors complement your complexion is essential in building your wardrobe. First, I suggest looking in the mirror and asking yourself “am I warm or am I cool”. If you have cool undertones, you likely have light eyes, hair and skin. Choose colors that reflect those hues such as light greens, blues, purples and anything pastel. Try to steer clear of palettes that are too orange or bright yellow; they’re too strong for your complexion. If you have warm toned skin, you likely have darker hair, eyes and skin. Look for colors that take inspiration from the warmer end of the spectrum such as bright reds, oranges, creams, camel and all things earth tones.

I have so many neutral pieces in my closet - black, navy, beige, white. I'd love to incorporate more color into my wardrobe this spring. What are some "safe" colors that I can start with?

Laurel from NY

In order to add more color into your wardrobe, it's important to understand your complexion and which tones flatter you most. Determine whether you have a cool complexion or a warm complexion in order to identify the safest colors for you to gravitate towards. Cool complexions pair well with light greens, blues, purples and anything pastel. Warm complexions work well with bright reds, oranges, creams, camel and other earth tones. Still not sure where you stand? Colors that flatter all skin types include teal, eggplant, blush and red!

The one area I always struggle with is accessorizing. I'm naturally more conservative, but there are times I would love to be bolder. How can I accessorize to stand out more without looking like I’m trying too hard and feeling silly?

Cynthia from GA

Accessories have the ability to jazz up any outfit! So, where do you start? Focus on the outfit itself; I like to think of it as the foundation. Is it neutral? Colorful? Does it feature textural details or an intricate print? The complexity of your outfit informs the complexity of the layer you'll add to your foundation. If you feel that your outfit is on the complex side, I recommend keeping the accessorizing simple by adding a necklace or an earring to accent the look. If you think your outfit is more simplistic, add more layers to your foundation. Try pairing a scarf with a belt or a bracelet for a little something extra.

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