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  • Reader Mailbag- 3-Up for EVERYDAY STYLE and MEN’S GROOMING

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    1) Fashion Advice for a Move From Florida To D.C.

    Dear Sharon: I currently live in Florida – the land of Lily Pulitzer. We are moving to the Washington D.C./Virginia area and I don’t have a clue as to what people are wearing.

    I work from home, yet get out to meet business people, as well as taking my son to weekly playgroups. Any suggestions on casual everyday wear, as well as business attire? I’m in my early thirties so I want to look hip but not stand out like a sore thumb. Can you help? And what stores can you suggest I shop at. Thanks. -Capital Clad (Vero Beach, FL)

    Dear Capital Clad: Mint green, cantaloupe, and Pepto Bismal pink may not be your choice of color palettes, but Lilly Pulitzer clothes worn in the right way can at least be stylishly quirky.

    Unfortunately, from what I have seen of the new government, Washington is even closer to becoming a fashion wasteland. The last time the words dowdy and glitzy were both used in the same sentence was during the Eighties, and its frumpy head is about to rear itself again.

    checkered bag

    Wow, what a time to be moving from Florida to D.C.! For some well-deserved lampoonery, I’d pop my chad to tote a The Real Monica, Inc., designed by Monica Lewinsky, handbag… they really are cute, surprisingly hip, and well designed, besides being the perfect FU (Fashion Utopia, of course) accessory.

    Most Washingtonian women have a tendency not to want to stand out, instead they blur into some kind of double-pleated khaki euphoria, after all, this is a town where wearing running shoes with a poly/silk jacquard suit is a flagrant fashion faux pas and the best beauty tip is: Shape those eyebrows!

    Whatever you do, please don’t abide by the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” school of dress. Simple chic can take you anywhere.

    gold pumps

    Choose neutral colored separates in the silhouette of the moment and jazz up with to-die-for accessories and shoes. Think about: A camel turtleneck, slim black flare pants, and red boots for clean, classic style with a bit of an edge. For a more biz look, try a Alice & Trixie inverted pleat skirt, drapey Yigal-Azrouel wrap blouse, and Cynthia Rowley slingbacks. Todd Oldham jeans that fit (add some studs if you feel funky) and a Katone Adeli close-to-the-body T should get you from the playground to the playgroup in any city.
    There a few cool ways to find local shopping, including Vindigo, Women’s Fashion at, and Don’t forget, the beauty of the Internet is you can get anything, anywhere.


    2) The Synergy of Dressing In Separates

    Dear Sharon: My closet is full of separates, but few work together. I have three skirts I love, (navy, black, gray) good shoes and one great jacket (navy). The rest doesn’t excite me. I plan to use a personal shopper to find the missing pieces that will pull it all together. I want to start out fresh with the fewest pieces possible, for the most mileage. Thanks! –Separate but Together (Vancouver, B.C.)

    Dear Separate but Together:Proportion, proportion, proportion… that is the basic premise of great coordinates. A closet full of gorgeous neutrals does not always make for a synergistic wardrobe, as you now know. You really need to hone in and edit a working core of about five pieces that miraculously mix and match themselves into perfect, effortless style oblivion.

    How do you do this? Find shapes and fabrics that compliment and balance each other. Random styles and colors can be used as accent pieces, but a strong core wardrobe is essential.

    I like to think of an essential wardrobe as the key pieces you can pack in a suitcase and with some clever rotation live in for about a week.

    Select your toniest pieces and drag them on a shopping spree to see what can be piggybacked on to stretch their fashion mileage.

    Take advantage of end-of-season sales to augment with a few delicious eye candy pieces like a fantastically luxurious cashmere sweater in your most flattering color or a wildly wacky handbag to spice up a basic black look. A sprinkling of something extra makes your wardrobe far more exciting than the usual suspects floating in an austere sea of blah.


    3) How to Soothe Shaving Burn

    Dear Sharon: I was wondering if you could help me. I recently shaved with a duller blade and my neck broke out into a rash because of it. I have a photo shoot in two days and really need to get it cleared up. I put aloe on it – Red Neck (Englewood, CO)

    Dear Red Neck:Ouch, those nasty shaving bumps that we can all get from time to time. No need to go on looking like a strawberry patch, I asked Dr. Gregory B. Brown, noted plastic surgeon based in Louisville, KY, and creator of Re Vive with Recombinage for some Rx in relieving the red meanies.

    Dr. Brown says, “As far as redness on the neck, the best thing is over the counter Hydrocortisone… or even better is a prescription strength of 2.5%. Nothing works quicker or more effectively.” Daaahling, now you look mahvaloooous!

    Copyright (c)2001 Sharon Haver, distributed by All rights reserved.

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