New Castle News

Fashion: Sarah Stright-Hartley

June 20, 2012

Your Fashion-Sarah Stright: This week, she answers your questions

NEW CASTLE — Everyone has the opportunity to be stylish no matter your age, financial situation, or body size. I want to be able to help you find looks that make you feel good about yourself.

I’m here to answer any questions that you have, whether you’re a female or male.

 

Q: I’m a mom to small children but I still want to look stylish and put together. How do I do this?

A. First, kudos to you for knowing that just because you’re a mom, style doesn’t have to end there. Second, there are a million options out there for looking chic but still being practical.

Let’s say that you have a day filled with errands like grocery shopping and picking up your oldest from school. A pair of dark wash, straight leg denim (always the most flattering for ANY body shape) paired with a simple sweater will keep you comfortable for chasing after the kids. Throw on a great patterned scarf or statement necklace when you are leaving the house. This improves your “chic-factor” and transforms an entire outfit. A great pair of flats and cute tote bag keep your look practical.

Now, let’s say that in addition to being with the kids at home all day, you also have a lunch date or a PTA meeting in the afternoon. Wearing a pair of colored trousers with a pretty blouse is an easy and comfortable way to dress up. Also, a maxi dress or maxi skirt is very on trend for spring and makes you feel like you’re wearing pajamas! Add a great pair of earrings or wedge heels and you’re ready to go. And to be even dressier, throw a blazer over either of these outfits.

You’ll look instantly more professional.

 

Q: I tend to hit the snooze a few times each morning. What is a great five-minute go-to outfit?


A.  In order to answer this question, let’s start with 10 basics that every woman should have in her closet: a white button-down shirt, a perfectly fit blazer, black trousers, black dress, pencil skirt, dark wash boot-cut jeans, a neutral cardigan, nude or black heels, flats, and a black or brown bag.

These pieces can be found at any price range, but choosing a bit of a higher price will ensure a better fit and quality and should be thought of as investment pieces.

It’s also important to note that these pieces do not have to be completely basic. If you like a little embellishment on your cardigan, get one! If you like your blazers slightly shrunken, get one of those! But just keep in mind that these are supposed to be pieces that you will be able to wear for years to come so getting one of these items in the newest trend or spring color may not be the best bet.

Now, if the snooze goes off and you’re late for work, grab your pencil skirt, blazer, white button-down shirt and heels. Perfect, professional look.  If you are late for a meeting at your kids’ school, grab your dark wash denim, white button down and neutral cardigan. Add in your flats and you’re ready to go.

Simple, right? Also possibly boring.

The solution is to mix and match these basic items with the more exciting (and trendy) clothing in your closet. Mix a polka dot blouse under your blazer, or add a patterned flat shoe with your denim and cardigan. Wear a brightly colored scarf to liven up any outfit. The key is to always make sure that your outfit feels like YOU. Your personality should always shine through.

If you keep stock of all of these basic items (of which a few extras can be added, such as simple black and white T-shirts, a denim jacket, flat riding boots, a comfortable sweater, khaki pants, and a trench coat), a classic, put together look at the last minute becomes easy.

 

Q: For a guy, are there style differences between types of sneakers that make them acceptable for more formal events?

A. In general, sneakers are sneakers. There are some sneakers that look much dressier than a pair of classic running shoes (see examples below).  These can be worn at casual type events.

However, sneakers of any kind should not be worn at more formal events (such as a wedding). There are so many amazing options for men’s footwear now that can give sneakers a break. Check out a pair of loafers or boat shoes. These shoes are just as comfortable as sneakers and can make even the most casual outfit much more put together.

If you really want to wear your sneakers, I’d suggest dressing up the rest of your look with a blazer or jacket. This will pull the entire outfit together.

Finally, one style of men’s sneaker that never goes out of style? The all-white casual sneaker. It’s classic and goes with everything. I suggest investing in a pair.

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Fashion: Sarah Stright-Hartley
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