Fashion

Spring bling

I'd like to get a jump on spring trends, but want to start small. What kind of jewelry should I buy?

Bootylicious boots

I’ve started buying skirts that are mid-calf in length, but don’t know what type of boots to wear with them. What boot height should I look for?

A fitted, knee-high style is your best choice. But be careful when choosing your boot – you want one fitted throughout the calf, with no gap at the knee (if you’re wearing a slim skirt, gaps can interrupt the line of the skirt and make it look bumpy). With any skirt that goes below your knees, you want to elongate your legs as much as possible. A boot that’s ankle-high visually breaks up the line of your legs, making them seem shorter than they are. Heels make your legs look longer: you don’t have to opt for the three-inch heels, but the higher the better! The most flattering style is a skinny heel; if they seem too precarious, try a wedge or a slightly chunkier style (nothing too clunky though).

Spring bling

I’d like to get a jump on spring trends, but want to start small. What kind of jewelry should I buy?

Last spring it was all about pearls (real and fake) and chandelier earrings, but 2005 brings big and bold (and believe me, the bigger the better) baubles. Wood, plastic, rough-cut stones (coral and turquoise) and even raffia are the materials of choice. Some of my favourites are Holt Renfrew’s wooden bangles and Canadian designer Rita D’s chunky coral-and-turquoise pairings. (Available at Holt Renfrew. Visit www.reiastudio.com for more information.) Start shopping!

Funky business

My husband and I are going on a business trip with his colleagues and their wives. We are the youngest couple (I’m 26). How can I dress stylishly without looking too young?

As long as you don’t have a penchant for crop tops and thigh-grazing shorts, you should be fine. The other women won’t expect you to dress the same as them – after all, everyone has their own individual style. If anything, they probably expect you to dress a bit funkier because of your age. My suggestion is to keep it simple and tasteful. Wear a sleek blazer when you go out for dinner, but pair it with jeans. Or, choose a flirty skirt and top it with a camisole and classic cardigan.

Top totes

I’m looking for a tote bag that can hold a day’s worth of work (magazines, shoes, baby toys), but can stand up to being tossed around. Any suggestions?

You’ve come to the right place! A few years ago, I discovered the Brave Brown Bag by Charlotte McKeough, a wax- and oil-glazed tote resembling the basic brown paper bag. I admit to owning a couple already (OK, three). The tote is lined with a resilient reinforcing material called Mylar Kevlar and comes in a wide variety of colours, patterns and sizes (the Midi size fits perfectly in my bicycle basket!) and holds up against rain and rough use. It can also hold a surprising amount of weight. Another bonus? It’s 100 per cent Canadian made and reasonably priced from $50 to $145.

Top totes

I’m looking for a tote bag that can hold a day’s worth of work (magazines, shoes, baby toys), but can stand up to being tossed around. Any suggestions?

You’ve come to the right place! A few years ago, I discovered the Brave Brown Bag by Charlotte McKeough, a wax- and oil-glazed tote resembling the basic brown paper bag. I admit to owning a couple already (OK, three). The tote is lined with a resilient reinforcing material called Mylar Kevlar and comes in a wide variety of colours, patterns and sizes (the Midi size fits perfectly in my bicycle basket!) and holds up against rain and rough use. It can also hold a surprising amount of weight. Another bonus? It’s 100 per cent Canadian made and reasonably priced from $50 to $145.

Top totes

I’m looking for a tote bag that can hold a day’s worth of work (magazines, shoes, baby toys), but can stand up to being tossed around. Any suggestions?

You’ve come to the right place! A few years ago, I discovered the Brave Brown Bag by Charlotte McKeough, a wax- and oil-glazed tote resembling the basic brown paper bag. I admit to owning a couple already (OK, three). The tote is lined with a resilient reinforcing material called Mylar Kevlar and comes in a wide variety of colours, patterns and sizes (the Midi size fits perfectly in my bicycle basket!) and holds up against rain and rough use. It can also hold a surprising amount of weight. Another bonus? It’s 100 per cent Canadian made and reasonably priced from $50 to $145.

Come back next Monday for another fashion dilemma solved!