Fashion Girl

Ask Fashion Girl

Dear Fashion Girl:

I need some serious tips on how to update my wardrobe to look nice, but not too nice—just in the middle. Please keep in mind I just turned 12. I like stores such as Old Navy, American Eagle, and Gap. I just don't know how to put pieces together to get the look I am going for. Please help!


Dear Kelly:

It sounds like you're going for a casual chic look, right? Something that shows you have a lot of style, while at the same time, comfortable. The way to achieve this is by combining styles—think 'hybrid outfit!' Basically, just style a casual outfit, then swap one piece out for something a little more elegant.

Try pairing a dressy skirt with sneakers, or a dressy jacket with cotton shorts. Check out the American Eagle outfit pictured below. It's all about that lace skirt and shiny bag. The t-shirt and sneakers keep it sporty, but the overall look is completely chic.

American Eagle

Accessories can also make a huge difference when you're trying to dress something up (or down). A statement necklace with large stones and sparkle can really dress up a cotton tank and jeans. In the AE outfit above, the model is wearing a pile of blingy bangles, totally amping up the snazz factor.

Write back and let me know your favorite casual outfit and I'll give you some specifics on how to dress it up, OK?

Stylishly Yours,

—Fashion Girl

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Job Ready Dress

Dear Fashion Girl,
I'm applying at a very chic and hip shoe store when I turn 17 (in less than a month). What should I do and/or wear to hopefully get the job?
—Truly Me

Dear Truly,

Good for you! A summer job in retail is great experience for a career in fashion. Over the next few weeks, drop in at the shoe store and make a mental note of how the employees dress. This will give you an idea for what to wear on the interview. Of course, always dress more conservatively for the interview than you would dress if you were working there.

Take a look at the article "Job Ready Dress" on It gives great tips on how to dress for an interview. Keep in mind that you want to show that you have a great sense of style, but that you also have great respect for the formality of interviews and that you take the process seriously. Err on the side of dressing conservatively—nothing too sheer, short or tight, or too skin-baring. If it looks like something you could wear to the beach, better to avoid it on an interview. Go chic and go strong!

Good luck to you! Let me know how it goes.

—Fashion Girl

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Marc Jacobs Helmut Lang
Dear Fashion Girl,
Sometimes when I'm shopping with my friends, I want to try something new but they think it looks weird or ugly. What should I do?
—Originality is Success

Dear Original:

Personal style is just that—it's personal. If you think you'd like to wear something that's different from what your friends would wear, that's OK. As long as you like it, and it fits the way it should then go for it.

The words "weird" and "ugly" are subjective. What one person thinks is amazing, someone else may choose not to wear. That's why there are so many brands and so many different looks. For example, a Marc Jacobs design (the one on the left in the image above) will never look like a Helmut Lang design (the one on the right), and that's just fine. One, both, or neither may appeal to you, but it doesn't mean they're not attractive styles.

Know what I mean?

Maybe tell your friends that they're entitled to their opinions, and you are entitled to yours.

Stylishly Yours,

Fashion Girl

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Coco Chanel

Dear Fashion Girl:

I'm doing a project for class on fashion designers throughout history. Do you have any advice?


Sanai W.

Dear Sanai:

How exciting! I think it would be great to write a report on at least three designers who have changed the course of fashion in the last one hundred years.

You might consider featuring any of the following famous fashion designers:

Coco Chanel (her comfortable clothes for women), Madeleine Vionnet (her bias cut), Christian Dior (his "the new look"—tiny waist and voluminous skirt), Yves Saint Laurent (stunning couture design and women's tuxedo jackets), Ralph Lauren (his signature polo shirt), Elsa Schiaparelli (her "shocking pink" hue), and Valentino (his celebrity clients and "Valentino red").

Good luck with your project!

Stylishly Yours,

Fashion Girl

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Dear Fashion Girl:

I recently joined Fashion Club and I've got a question for you guys about what to wear to the senior party in May. They've invited the freshmen, so I'll be attending. The dresscode is casual, but we've been told we can't wear mini-skirts, dresses, shorts, or anything sleeveless. I'm stuck because I had been planning to wear a dress. So, now I'm considering wearing a shirt with jeans—but it just seems so ordinary. Do you have any suggestions on what to wear? Thank you!


Dear Adelia:

Sounds like fun! Think about wearing printed pants. There are some super great styles out there right now, and they are so fresh and new for spring. Plus, you can dress them up or down, with heels or sneakers.
Straight-cut Printed Pants, $59.90,

Rose Print Skinny Jeans, $19.80,

Urban Outfitters
BDG Twig High-Rise Floral Print Jeans, $39,

Have fun at the party, Adelia!

Stylishly Yours,

-Fashion Girl

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Urban Outfitters chambray top

Dear Fashion Girl:

I have a tummy that I don't like to show, but I like my thighs. What would be the best style of shirt to wear?


Dear Katherine:

Good news—loose-fitting tops are in, especially when paired with something form-fitting. Try wearing an untucked oversized blouse with slim shorts or leggings.

Stylishly Yours,

Fashion Girl

BB Dakota Geona Blouse

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Dress for less with skull tees!

1. Daydreamer LA Floral Skull Sweatshirt, $49,
2. Light Grey White Bling Flower Skull Tank Top, 24.50,
3. Charcoal Acid Wash Foil Skull Vest, $36,
4. Black Joystick Junkies Pirate Skull T-Shirt, $26.86,
5. Grey Wild Skull Tee, $19.50,

Dear Fashion Girl:

I need to go get a coat. (It's been so cold lately in L.A.!) What styles are "in" right now?


Dear Brrrrr:

Agreed. Coat weather has definitely arrived! Three of the best trends right now in outerwear are black leather, faux fur, and classic wool. I picked out some of my favs below and have some fun, fashion school-inspired styling tips. Enjoy!

Black Leather Jacket:
Create a contrast by wearing tough black leather with something super-girlie like a long frilly skirt in a soft color.

Picture 1

Faux Fur Jacket:
Fur has a way of being "insta-glam," but you can dress it down with a casual tee and your favorite jeans.

Picture 2

Classic Wool Coat:
A long wool coat in a great neutral tone can practically be an outfit itself. All you need is to wear something plain with warm tights and you're good to brave the cold!

Picture 3

I hope this helps. Would love to know what you end up getting. Have fun shopping!

-Fashion Girl

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It seems that Fashion Girl has a bit of competition in the fashion advice category!

Not to worry -- Lloyd Boston, a style guru who has appeared on Oprah and The Today Show, answers fashion questions on the Jones New York site. He's clearly aiming for the Jones New York set -- a slightly older demographic than Fashion Girl addresses.

But if you have a hankering for more, check out Lloyd's point of view. Here's one I liked:

"I would also advise you to try the one-for-one approach.

For every one area you hide, consider revealing another to balance things out.

For instance, if you are hiding your stomach, show off your shoulders and décolletage.

Hate your rear? Hide it, but show off your back if it shines."

Good advice, I think! Especially for the holidays!

You, or more likely your mom, can ask Lloyd a question here.

More style advice is good for us all!

In January, will launch JNY Style Miles hosted by Lloyd Boston, a 12-part online video series which aims to aid stylish ladies in the task of looking chic on a budget.

They'll shop in their own closets with the help of Lloyd!

Where do I sign up?--Fashion Girl

I know, it can be almost impossible to find a boot that will zip if your calves aren't stick-figure-y. But I've discovered a couple of companies that make boots that are not only wider in the calf (some also in the foot), but are actually STYLISH!

The above Ayla Boots in Verona at $189.97 at (free shipping!) are even made to be worn over your jeans!

You can find out more about Ayla Boots here.

Brewster has 9 different pairs of extended-calf boots ranging from $129 up. I particularly like the ones above, a classic equestrian boot called Brewster, which come in black and espresso for $218 extended calf sizes.


Nordstrom's online shoe department is also a place to seek out wider calf-widths and wider shoe-widths. They have a huge selection, and often carry several widths of the same item. Above is the Naturalizer "Jadis" wide calf boot for $132.95. They have others, too.

If you thought tall boots weren't for you, now you can give winter the boot! --Fashion Girl

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