STYLIST ALISON LEE DISHES ON FASHION
Spring is a tricky time in the world of fashion. So when our Members wrote in with their most vexing fashion questions, we went to a stylish source for answers. Stylist Alison Lee offered up her insider insights. (And if your question isn’t answered here stay tuned – there’s more to come!)
Q: This spring the gladiator sandals are embellished and longer than ever! What do you think about knee-high gladiator sandals? Better in glossy patent or matte leather?
A: Gladiator sandals are better kept at an ankle cut for the upcoming season, but I have a pair of knee-high gladiators that will definitely be worn with some cutoffs and a white tee. If you’re looking for the perfect sandals to invest in for this spring, opt for espadrilles, cuff sandals (flat sandals with a huge cuff that wraps around your ankles), or peep-toes with sky-high heels with a fun, flirty floral print.
Q: I live in NYC and need a new pair of everyday jeans. My had-them-forever button fly halogens have finally died. Do you know of any easy wear, straight-ish leg, med or dark blue jean that comes in a long length so I can wear with flats or low heels, and are not too expensive!???
A: The perfect pair of jeans makes your behind look fantastic, elongates your legs, and prevents muffin top. If you’re looking for a snug fit, go for skinny jeans or jeggings (jean leggings). If you’re looking for casual, try a boyfriend fit. Remember – the fit is key! Some guidelines: If you’re conscious about the width of your legs, select a wash that has a slight fade in the front to slenderize the legs. Jeans are an investment. They can last a very, very long time, so splurging on the perfect pair shouldn’t make you feel guilty.
Q: It has been suggested to me (by my wife) that my wardrobe full of pleated pants are out-dated. Is that true? I have always thought they look more interesting than flat fronted pants.
A. Pleated pants for men are out, but pleated pants for women are in. Just hang in there – fashion always recycles itself, so store your favorites – the ones you’ll be calling “vintage” when they come in style again. As for now, invest in some new suiting or pants – just the basics to start: black, navy and gray.
Q: Spring may be coming, but I’m not ready to put away my boots. Can you wear boots in the spring? For how long, and what kinds?
A: I know you’re married to your boots. What woman isn’t? However, it’s inevitable that our thigh-highs need to go back in its appropriate shoebox for the warm months. The good news? Spring boots do exist! You’ll be seeing prairie boots everywhere in fashion spreads and on every trendy celeb on the streets. They look adorable paired with a distressed denim skirt, a flouncy sundress, or a pair of shorts.
Q: What are some of the options for business-casual wear? Something that is appropriate for a non-fashionable office, but is not dreadfully boring.
A: There are so many options out there to spruce up your work wardrobe. Just find yourself the perfect high-waisted pencil skirt, a nice pair of black slacks, flattering knits, button-downs and you’re ready to go. Add into your work wardrobe some colors and subtle prints to wear under a blazer for a little extra pop.
Q: Can you give tips on accessories? I am terrified of wearing them. I’m not sure how to pair necklaces, rings etc and what necklines are good for what lengths of chain etc…
A: I absolutely love this question. It wasn’t until I started experimenting with different types of necklaces, bangles, rings and bracelets that I found accessories are vital to completing a look. I opt for my lucite bubble necklace when my mood calls for something fun to balance out my “ready-for-business” blazer, silk tank, and slacks. When I want to add detail to a casual look – perhaps a fitted tank and a pair of skinnies, I’ll wear my wrap-around leather bracelet. A good investment piece is a bangle, which can be worn alone or stacked up to five or six pieces on the wrist. Collect them one by one.
Q: How do I wear headbands without looking like a 12 yr old?
A: I love headbands. The days I sport one with a big bow, I make sure my outfit that day is more business than casual. The days I wear my diamond-studded headband, you can spot me wearing a trendy little black dress or even a baby doll. Just make sure that you avoid mixing the bow headband with a baby doll – it’s all about balance.
Q: I’d like advice on investment pieces you can wear for years to come, ranging from accessories to clothing.
A: I would invest in the following: blazer, high-waisted skirt, a chic winter coat, knee-high boots, cashmere cardigan, the perfect jeans, bangles, and a pearl necklace.
Q: Is it tacky to have shoes and bags match these days?
A: Honestly, I was never a matchy-matchy person. I love mixing pattern on pattern, black with navy, different shades of grays, and now, it’s a trend that is catching on. It’s personal preference. If you feel and look fabulous, that’s the ultimate reason you should wear your matching bag with shoes.