In the July edition of our fashion advice column “Ask Megan,” Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa tackles readers’ questions about summer hats, choosing the appropriate jewelry and how to pack for travel without looking like a tourist. Read on for this month’s fashion scoop …

Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa

I’m interested in trying out a new hat style for the summer. I’ve seen lots of different styles with various brim widths, but I feel overwhelmed in knowing which one is best, in versatility and in style. I would love your thoughts on hat styles that can go from the farmers’ market to the beach!

Summer hats are very in — and not just for the beach or pool. Straw is an important summer material as it’s classic but also currently very in style. We are seeing straw hats for day-to-day everywhere, from short-brimmed fedora styles to medium-brimmed Panama styles. Wear them with jeans and a tee, a cute sundress, a casual jumpsuit or shorts and a cotton button down — they really are so versatile.

At the beach, lake or pool when you are looking for more sun coverage, feel free to go with a wide-brimmed straw hat. Just know that the wide-brimmed style is best worn with a swimsuit and cover up.

You do want to avoid more dated hat styles, both for day-to-day and for the beach, such as visors, floppy sun hats with the top missing, bucket hats and more woven styles that aren’t made of straw.

To keep you looking chic and current all summer long, snag my ‘What’s In & What’s Out for Summer’ Guide.

RELATED: Bermuda Shorts & Culottes: Are They Really Back on Trend?

For day-to-day, a hat with a shorter brim is ideal. Image: Goorin Bros.

This hat, with subtle accents, keeps it classic with just a little twist. Image: Anthropologie

An always-classic straw fedora easily transitions from farmers’ market to beachside. Image: LOFT

For max sun protection at the beach, opt for a wider brim straw hat. Image: Anthropologie

For the beach, a little colorful flair is always fun! Image: J.Crew

I love jewelry, but I tend to go for a more minimalist look, wearing the same items over and over again because I don’t know how to properly select jewelry for my outfits. Can you offer me any tips for choosing necklaces, bracelets and earrings for various outfits?

You’re smart to ask this question as accessories can really make or break an outfit! The No. 1 goal I hear from my clients is that they want to look pulled together daily, and an easy way to help you look and feel polished is accessorizing properly.

The first step in becoming an accessory pro is to cleanse your jewelry box. I know that is not always fun, but once you get rid of the items that are just taking up space (aka they are dated, broken or just not you), then you can better see what you do have to actually wear and, of course, what you need to buy.

It’s then important to have a nice variety of both costume jewelry and classic pieces. Remember that costume jewelry goes out of style quickly, typically within 6 months to a year max, so think about cost per wear when jewelry shopping.

Pairing these accessories with your various outfits is essential in looking fabulous, too. The main rule I want you to keep in mind, to ensure you don’t you look overdone or underdone, is to stick to two to three focal points per outfit. A focal point can be a color, a print, a texture or an accessory. This rule ensures you always look perfectly pulled together.

As you know, crafting a jewelry box full of current and classic pieces is very important and something I teach my clients all about – from what those must-have pieces are to how to actually pair the right necklace with the right neckline. You can access all of my accessorizing videos, style how-to guides and more by joining the Style Yourself Chic Society.

Pair a solid-colored statement earring with a patterned dress for a fun summer look. Image: Anthropologie

Layered necklaces look chic with a wrap or v-neck top. Image: Anthropologie

A longer necklace like this tassel adds interest to an otherwise simple tee. Image: LOFT

An LBD provides the perfect opportunity to pack a punch with your accessories. Image: Eloquii

Simple gold jewelry is always classic and pairs with just about anything in your closet. Image: BaubleBar

I have recently ramped up my international travel (checking things off the bucket list!), and I am going on a tour through Europe soon. This time, I want to pack smart, and I also want to avoid looking like an American tourist. Please help!

Ooh la la, how fabulous! European travel is always such a delight. The best advice I give my clients when we are packing them for a European vacay is to mix and match as much as possible. By packing versatile pieces that work hard for you, you can then pack less. Some great workhorses for summer European travel would be:

  • Comfortable, yet cute sneakers
  • Dark wash or black jeans
  • V-neck or scoop-neck white tee
  • Lightweight third pieces (vests, cardigans, knit blazers or other lightweight jacket)
  • A jersey or cotton-blend flattering dress (or jumpsuit)
  • Small, yet stylish crossbody purse (bonus points if the strap can come off make it a clutch for evening)
  • Silk or cotton-blend button down

A button-down, lightweight jacket and skinny jeans are a chic and easy travel look. Image: Atelier Doré

But here’s the catch! Don’t settle for your old “travel clothes” that are solely comfortable. There are so many wonderful options these days that allow you to be both comfortable and stylish, or as you put it, to not look like an “American tourist.” From stylish sneakers to jersey jumpsuits to knit blazers, you’ll be amazed at the unique, yet practical travel options out there. It’s just a matter of getting creative and knowing where to shop.

In one of my latest Instagram videos, I discuss this exact subject. Check it out here.

Cute sneakers are a must for international travel. Image: Anthropologie

RELATED: 5 Tips on Wearing Sneakers with Jeans

Darker jeans can be dressed up or down – ideal for traveling. Image: Anthropologie

A lightweight jumpsuit is comfy, yet polished for a day of exploring (and also incredibly packable). Image: LOFT

For airports or chilly evenings, pack a lightweight third layer in a solid color that will layer well with multiple outfits. Image: Nordstrom

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 the Style Yourself Chic Society, visit


For more on Southern style, visit our Fashion & Shopping section or download our FREE SB App.