Are you weary of wardrobe worries? Do you stand catatonic before your closet? Are you stupefied by the snarls of style? Does the fashion rulebook ruffle your feathers? Never fear — Megan is here!
We are delighted to launch our new monthly fashion advice column, “Ask Megan,” in which Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa answers all your fashion queries. She demystifies and decodes the “fashion rules,” delivers practical guidelines and gets to the heart of your style rut, so you can face your closet quandaries, your pret-a-porter predicaments and the garment gauntlet with the bravery of Joan of Arc and the panache of Coco Chanel!
What jewelry should I have in my jewelry box? I try to test the fashion boundaries and be creative, but I end up feeling like I look like a little girl playing dress-up, and then I get frustrated that I’ve wasted my money on top of it. What is worth investing in, and what is not worth investing in?
I’m a firm believer in the fact that the jewelry you own should reflect your personal style. If you’re more classic, then your jewelry box should have gold or silver bangles, a classic charm necklace, strands of pearls and similar timeless pieces. If you’re more artsy or bohemian, then your jewelry box should be comprised of long pendant necklaces, hoop earrings, cut stone cuffs and fun jewelry that reflects your artistic taste. If you enjoy a more minimal look, then clean-line pieces like thin hoops, delicate stackable rings and even a streamlined cuff are necessities. No matter what your style, I do have a handful of accessories that every woman should own. In my “Style Secrets with Megan” video, I share these must-have pieces with you.
As far as what to invest in, fine jewelry with classic lines that suit your lifestyle and style are always a good idea. Ask yourself if you would enjoy wearing that piece on a regular basis and if you can dress it up and down. As far as costume pieces, know that they date themselves within three months to a year, so don’t invest too much in trendier pieces.
I have a pair of white jeans that I don’t want to wait until Easter to wear. Does that “no white after Labor Day” rule still apply?
This is always a hot-button topic, but one I’m really passionate about so merci beaucoup for asking! I 100% believe that you can wear your full-length white jeans all year long. The key is selecting accompanying pieces in fall or winter fabrics and colors to ensure that your white jeans don’t read “summer.” For example, wear your white jeans with a berry-colored cashmere sweater and brown booties to create a chic, winter-white look.
Lastly, know that the same rule does not apply to white pants. If you are to wear white pants in the fall or winter, they do need to be a heavier fabric and perhaps even more of a creamy white color. To see some easy-to-copy winter-white looks, check out my shoppable guide.
I’m a mom of three, and I’m constantly on the go. I hardly have time to put much thought into my wardrobe, let alone getting all the kids where they need to be. Any tips for how I can still feel put together when I don’t have much time to get ready in the morning?
Many of my clients are busy moms, so I hear this often! The number one thing you can do to streamline your morning is to do the prep work that allows for ease daily. That includes setting aside time to properly cleanse your closet of items no longer serving you. (And remember: maintenance is important too! I keep a donation bag in my closet and toss anything I know I won’t select when getting dressed daily.) The next step is “filling in the holes” with personality-driven pieces and basics. When purchasing new items, be intentional about your choices by making sure to have the right ratio of bottoms, tops, third pieces and accessories. That will allow for easy-to-mix-and-match outfits for all occasions without having to change multiple times each morning!
While you work on getting your wardrobe to a “happy place,” it’s important to always get dressed for the day, even if you are a stay-at-home mom or work from home. Get out of your athletic wear and your knock-around clothes, and put on an outfit complete with accessories to help you feel your best! Recently a client told me that by just following this simple step of getting dressed for the day, she lost 15 pounds due to the fact that she was more conscious of how her clothes felt and she started taking more pride in her self-care daily.
I’ve seen you call yourself a style coach, but I thought you were a stylist? What’s the difference?
That’s a fabulous question as I do many of the things that a stylist or personal shopper does, such as closet cleanses, shopping, outfit making and more. But the reason I call myself a style coach is that, years ago while working with my first clients, I realized that to get them long-lasting, sustainable and all-around fabulous results, we needed to focus on their style education. Becoming confident and comfortable with your style and wardrobe is just like learning to speak French or to play tennis. It takes time, practice and the right information! The style coaching experience that I provide my clients allows them to learn more about their authentic style in a fun way, in addition to deeper coaching around sensitive subjects such as body image as needed. You can find a wonderful and comprehensive article from StyleBlueprint on my journey to becoming a style coach and what it means to me and my clients.
I have a black-tie wedding coming up in February. Is it acceptable to wear flats? Heels just hurt my feet so badly!
Absolutely — as long as they are dressy flats! A dressy flat needs to do the same thing as an evening heel. It needs to have a more delicate look to it. Options can include a metallic peep-toe flat, a flat with a design element on the toe or even a flat with a small wedge or stacked heel. Know that stacked heel shoes are very “in,” so this is your season as this style shoe is also often comfortable and supportive. Lastly, one of my favorite shoe rules is selecting a shoe with a more almond-shaped toe. It’s more flattering and more timeless, ensuring you look stylish and black-tie appropriate at your upcoming wedding.
What’s the best brand of jeans for a woman in her 50s? I am getting increasingly frustrated with the pervasive styles that seem like they’re meant for only younger women or models. And I consider myself hip and “with it” — it’s just that my body is changing! How can I find jeans that comfortably fit my body?
First, know that you are not alone in your search for a comfy, well-fitting jean! That is often my clients’ and my first order of business when we begin our work together. One of my favorite denim brands for women in their 50s — but they can be great for all ages — is NYDJ. These jeans typically have a higher rise and beautifully fit a curvier derrière and more defined waist. I had one client in her 50s tell me she had tried every brand of jeans, and jeans just weren’t for her. Once I introduced her to NYDJ she was an immediate convert! She now owns NYDJ jeans in a wide variety of styles and colors. But if you prefer a different brand, then look for jean styles with a rise of 9 to 10 inches to ensure they fit nicely on your silhouette.
I’m 5’2″ and love the look of over-the-knee (OTK) boots, but I’m not sure I have the vertical real estate to make them work. Will I look like I’m sitting in a large boot? Is it possible for me, a “vertically challenged” woman, to pull off an OTK boot?
Great question! I have clients ask me this quite often, as OTK boots are not only on-trend right now, but they can really elevate your look! I would say, even though you’re petite, if you consider your legs an asset, you can rock this boot style. However, it’s very important to streamline the look to elongate your silhouette. You can easily do this by selecting the same color jean as your OTK boot to create a lovely vertical line. Example: black jean + black OTK boot = tres chic! If you don’t love your legs, then I would opt for ankle booties that aren’t drawing as much attention to your legs, and add a pop of interest in another area that you do love! For more tips on how to rock OTK boots, check out this great article in StyleBlueprint, where I share how to wear this boot style at any age.
Have fashion questions? Ask Megan! Submit your own fashion-related questions for possible inclusion in this monthly column by emailing [email protected].
To learn more about Megan LaRussa, or to view style-coaching options, book an appointment or sign up for Megan’s newsletter, visit meganlarussa.com.