It’s not surprising that my favorite piece of advice to give to my family, friends, followers (and yes—sometimes strangers) pertains to fashion. As a fashion editor, it’s my job to know about the prominent trends, the micro-trends, the established brands, and the up-and-coming designers as well as the newest, most desirable, bound-to-sell out items on the internet’s best fashion sites. And there’s nothing like the thrill of being able to share this sartorial knowledge with those who desire it—from helping my colleagues find the chicest summer outfits to wear to work to assisting my mommy friends in navigating maternity-wear and advising my sister on what to pack for a vacation in Marrakech.
There’s no doubt I get asked a lot of style questions from not only our Who What Wear readers but my nearest and dearest as well, so today I'm answering some of the burning fashion questions my four best friends recently approached me with. Scroll below as they may just solve a few of your fashion conundrums too.
Bestie: Shelly Bhalla Occupation: Actress
Q: I am in the process of planning my wedding and would love to wear something unexpected at my reception—maybe even in gold or an unconventional color! If you have any ideas for a showstopper gown (I am open to vintage too) Please help!
A: You already know I am beside myself with excitement for your upcoming wedding. And your vivacious personality deserves a head-turning dress! The fact that you're open to unconventional styles opens the doors to a lot more choices. A lot depends on your budget, but fortunately there are plenty of chic options on the market right now at all price points.
Brands such as Self-Portrait, Needle & Thread, Alexis, and Johanna Ortiz are some of my favorites for striking frocks that aren't "bridal" per se but work perfectly for weddings. Retailers such as Zara, ASOS, and Revolve also have some super-chic options that won't break the bank. Below I'm sharing a variety of styles that I think would be a great fit for you—from minis to maxis, shimmery sequins to romantic lace.
Alexis has some absolutely gorgeous white lace dresses that are perfect for wedding receptions. This halter silhouette is particularly striking—just add statement earrings and sleek sandals. (And if you're looking for sleeves, this Alexis maxi dress is divine.)
Q: My work requires business casual dress, butI also have to commute with my 3-year-old daughter to and from her daycare each day (by bus!). I have been having trouble finding work clothes that are professional and chic but also durable and comfortable enough to allow me to carry and hold my toddler… often while she is eating snacks. Any advice on work outfits I can wear that are both fashionable AND resilient would be so helpful!
A: As the newest member of the mom club, I know too well the perils of trying to look professional and polished with a (messy and constantly moving) child in your arms. Luckily there are plenty of chic and comfortable options out there that offer a good sartorial solution for on-the-move, working moms. Focusing on timeless business-casual staples such as a durable and comfortable blazer, non-sheer blouses, wrinkle-free pants, and comfortable stretch dresses are a great start to building your mom-friendly working wardrobe. Here are a couple of chic separates worth considering below.
This blazer looks chic and professional yet feels as comfortable as wearing a cozy cardigan. I'm a huge of fan of J.Crew's sweater-blazer hybrid that comes in a myriad of versatile colors (I own it in navy and heather gray). It's polished yet relaxed and feels really high-quality.
Think of this as your most comfortable dressed-up tee that fits the business-casual dress code perfectly. Everlane's Japanese GoWeave fabric is light, drapey, and—wait for it—wrinkle-resistant! Music to a mamas ears! Moreover, it comes in four versatile colors.
I know paying close to $300 on work pants can seem a little steep, but trust me when I say Theory's stretch cropped trousers are worth the investment. I've owned mine for over three years, and they still look and feel as crisp and polished as when I first bought them. You'll feel super comfortable commuting daily to work and daycare in them—and they're black, which of course means they're not only super versatile but they'll conceal any accidental toddler spills more discreetly.
If you're looking for a dress with utmost versatility, this beige midi is a great option. It's professional looking for business settings yet not overly "precious" so you can still wear it on the bus and to after school activities with ease. It has seamless pockets (always handy with a child) and a comfortable stretch waist. It looks chic with flats and heels alike.
For a no-think outfit in the morning, opt for a drapey one-and-done jumpsuit. This one exudes a relaxed yet polished feel in this season's trending pistachio hue.
Bestie: Jessica Gould Occupation: Physician
Q: I'm going on a month-long trip to Europe and have to cut back on how many shoes I'm packing. What do you recommend will allow me to be comfortable during the day but also have options for the beach and a night out?
A: Firstly, please pack me in your suitcase! Secondly, cutting down on shoes is one of the hardest aspects when it comes to packing. (I always want the right shoes for every outfit!) I've learned that investing in versatile shoes in classic colors is key to traveling light. I know a month is a long time, but I recommend packing three to four pairs of shoes max. For Europe, you'll want a mix of walkable heels and comfortable flats for those cobblestone streets. Here are some that I think will be great options.
You won't regret investing in a quality pair of leather ballet flats—preferably in black, beige, or this soft creamy hue. They look smart and chic with everything in your closet from linen shorts to midi skirts and jeans. They'll no doubt be your most comfortable walking shoes on vacation. Opt for stylish square toe styles for a classic-meets-trendy option (and the ultimate in comfort).
Espadrille wedges—that aren't crazy high—are a great option to wear with midi dresses, skirts, and jeans alike for both day and night. Opt for a neutral tan hue for utmost versatility. Of-the-moment flatform styles are also a great option.
Looking for minimalist black sandals that will last you a lifetime? Look no further than these sleek, clean, and modern leather sandals. They'll look good with everything in your closet. (Plus, they take no room in your suitcase and are fashion girl approved.)
I'm adding a fifth one on here just in case you want an extra option for evening endeavors! These chic strappy block heel sandals are the perfect pair for alfresco dinners on the French Riviera!
Bestie: Lauren Aboulafia Occupation: Senior Director
Q: I want business clothes that are professional but also stylish and playful that I can wear day to night. Suggestions, please!
A: I always love this question because it happens to be my forté, and there are plenty of chic options at every price point that will fit the bill. The key is to build your work wardrobe with dresses, jumpsuits, tops, pants, and skirts of neutral colors, versatile prints, and professional silhouettes that can easily be dressed up with the addition of heels and accessories. Here are a couple of my favorites below that will take you from desk-to-drinks in style and will work great for your busy lifestyle.
A trendy yet polished blouse is perfect to pair with high-waisted jeans or black work pants. The polka-dot print is a timeless one that you can wear again and again, and the charming buttons add a cool-girl touch.
A black midi wrap dress will never go out of style and is the perfect option to take you from meetings to margaritas. This one in particular is made from a textured plissé fabric, which adds a luxury touch to your LBD.