Are you weary of wardrobe worries? Do you stand catatonic before your closet? Does the fashion rulebook ruffle your feathers? Never fear — Megan is here!
In the September edition of our fashion advice column “Ask Megan,” Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa tackles readers’ questions about age-appropriate styles, chic travel bags and much more!
Which bags should I carry on when flying? I have a TSA-approved laptop bag for ease of going through security, but it truly is more functional than stylish. Then I have a bag for any other travel needs, and I usually stash my purse in it due to the two carry-on limit. I feel like a bag lady. Any advice is welcomed!
Being a fellow travel lover, I understand that balancing style and functionality can seem challenging. But do not fret as there are great options out there for carry-on bags. I personally love one larger carry-on that can hold my laptop case inside of it, and then I carry my purse separately. I’ve found this makes traveling easier because I can more easily grab my passport or ID, wallet and phone from my purse when it’s separate from my carry-on bag. This makes getting though security and check-in so much easier. To keep my carry-on from getting too bulky I opt for a more slim sleeve-type laptop case that perfectly fits my laptop and cord, and nothing else. I find it’s still easy to pull out my laptop if needed for security.
If you prefer having a separate laptop bag, then why not find a more stylish option? With technology being a big part of our lives, more and more designers are making stylish laptop cases, iPad cases and even carry-ons. It’s all about getting creative and thinking outside of your typical luggage brands. Here are some creative and stylish travel bag options:
I always hear that you can wear white after Labor Day, but I don’t know how to do it! What white can you wear? Are there certain whites that you can’t wear? Help please!
Fashion today is all about breaking the rules, but you have to know the right way to break them, which can feel tricky and overwhelming. To help you out, I’ve listed my top tips for wearing white after Labor Day below. So you can enjoy wearing white the right way this fall!
1. White jeans are absolutely okay after Labor Day! The hue of white doesn’t really matter as much as the length of the jean. The jeans need to be full length, meaning no crop or above-the-ankle styles. Try out a modern-day boot cut, straight leg or skinny leg instead. White pants also need to be full length like their jean counterpart, but they need to be a fall-winter fabric and more of a cream or winter white color.
2. Whether you’re wearing white jeans or pants during the colder months, always pair them with tops in fall colors and fabrics, along with closed-toe shoes like loafers, ballet flats or booties. Keep the shoe a lighter neutral shade to elongate your legs and to avoid looking choppy when going from the white jeans to the foot.
3. White dresses and skirts need to be made in fall-winter fabrics as well, like a beautiful wool or cashmere blend, to ensure they look seasonally appropriate. Pair these items with a beautiful nude pump, gray or taupe heeled ankle bootie or even something fun like an animal print or jewel-tone pump. Avoid tights when wearing a winter white dress or skirt as most tight colors can break up the visual elongation of your vertical line.
4. Last but not least, we need to go over white “third pieces,” like cardigans and blazers. Again it all goes back to the material. Put away your cotton and linen blends, and bring out the cashmere, wool and heavier weighted fabrics. In white and cream shades, these cardigans and blazers serve as a gorgeous complement to other neutrals or bold fall colors, and can often feel fresher than your typical black, gray or brown.
To snag more of my top “white after Labor Day” tips, as well as to shop my favorite winter white items, check out my complimentary guide!
What jewelry is a must-have for my jewelry box? I have random pieces here and there, but I never know what items I need to add.
When working with a fabulous client, we always go through her accessories to first determine what she loves and what is no longer serving her. This gives us a great idea of what is missing from her jewelry box. I encourage you to do the same before buying anything new. Get rid of anything that you never wear, that is dated costume jewelry or that is broken. From there, organize your jewelry in a way that you can actually see what you have daily. This alone will help you wear more of what you have. After you’ve cleansed and organized, make your accessories shopping list!
Some of my must-have accessories for building a solid jewelry box foundation are:
Pendant necklaces that reflect your personal style
Classic stud earrings that suit your style and size
Stackable bracelets and cuffs that are neutral and versatile
A fun pair of statement earrings or a statement necklace that reflects your style and size
An everyday charm necklace that can be worn alone or layered
I am over 60 and see so many cute items in the magazines, stores and on younger ladies. But I wish there were more options for older women out there, like longer skirts and dresses and tops with sleeves. Where can I find current items that are also age-appropriate?
You are not alone in feeling this way! I hear this same comment from clients of all ages who struggle to find age-appropriate clothes to keep them looking and feeling on trend and on point. For starters, you may have to expand your shopping horizons to include new stores and brands. You also might consider looking online. If online shopping is newer to you, here are my ground rules: Always read reviews if available before ordering a garment, only order from familiar or reputable sites, and if you aren’t sure what size you wear in a brand, order two sizes to compare and contrast. (And most sites offer free returns!)
SB Tip: We specialize in intimately knowing boutiques in local markets. If you are having trouble finding one for your needs, email us!
Now, on to getting you those age-appropriate items! Some brands (most available at local boutiques as well) that I’ve found work well for my aged 50+ clients are:
- Lafayette 148 New York, NIC+ZOE, Elie Tahari, Carmen Marc Valvo, NYDJ, INC, Anne Klein, Maggy London, Ann Taylor (especially for petites!), and Frank & Eileen
There are of course many, many more brands out there that suit your age, body type and personal style, but this is a nice selection to get you started.
What are your favorite, go-to transitional clothing pieces as we move into fall and winter weather?
Living in the South means transition weather lasts for longer than a week or two. It can actually last a month or two! To deal with the fluctuating temperatures, stock up on lightweight layering pieces.
One of my favorite lightweight layering pieces right now is a fitted dark-wash denim jacket, with the sleeves rolled up of course! Denim jackets are back in style, so layer them over anything and everything — except for the same color denim. Another fun option is a jersey or other lightweight knit blazer or motorcycle jacket. Select one that nips in at the waist to provide a more flattering look. With the right lightweight layering pieces, you’ll be guaranteed to enjoy transition weather in style!
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.