Q. I am trying to get lots of use out of a great little black dress I recently purchased. My first question is about the material – it is a "blister wool" dress. Can I wear this is in spring and summer or only winter? Second, I did not buy the jacket/blazer that goes with the dress but I do need something to cover up with. Would a simple white cashmere cardigan work or do you have any other suggestions? Finally, one of the ways I would like to wear this dress is with fantastic red shoes. I just purchased a pair of the new Stuart Weitzman "Linda" red shoes. I’m trying to decide whether to keep the shoes or not. Would these red patent leather shoes overpower the dress? Most importantly, if I did wear these red shoes, do I have to also wear red accessories (necklace, earrings) or could I wear pearls or a sparkly clear necklace? Do accessories usually need to match the shoes or relate to the shoes in some way if the shoes are a standout color like red? And could I wear the white cardigan or should I go for a nice black cashmere cardigan or something else to keep warm? Thanks for any advice!! -Little Black Dress Lover
A. You’ve got several more months’ wear with this dress, particularly since it’s a shift tank style. You’re thinking like a true style gal by adding spunky red patent peep toes (keep the shoes) and with your willingness to pair a variety of separates with the dress to stretch your options. Think sophisticated one day and workwear the next. I’ve picked out several options that will go from work to parties to nights out with girlfriends or guys. As for jewelry, don’t be stuck wearing matching red accessories. Wear gold for simplicity or bigger gold (as in a chunky chain or cuff) for evenings out, pearls for your inner Audrey Hepburn or a patterned silk scarf for Parisian flair.
left to right: Frenchi Cap Sleeve Crop Bolero, $28 at nordstrom.com; Cynthia Rowley Leather Obi Belt, $78 at nordstrom.com; Another Line Animal Print Stretch Belt, $48 at nordstrom.com; Polka-dot merino cardigan, $95 at jcrew.com; Stuart Weitzman Linda, $245 at zappos.com; Charles Gray Mini Portrait Jacket, $258 at nordstrom.com