I just graduated with my master's degree and I am nearly flat broke after buying new clothes for the office. Now I need some stylish fun key pieces for spring that I can sport on the weekend. I have never been one for buying "knockoffs" but I am beginning to see the logic. Can you please recommend affordable chic designer looks for spring?
Rachel M, New York City
I really dislike the term knockoffs as well. It sounds so cheap. I like to refer to two items -- one being the more expensive and the other less -- as having striking similarities. But to answer your question, it's all about the shoes, honey, which brings me to my Prada V. Target find.
Early in the season I had fallen in love with Prada's simplistic cork wedge sandals with cutout leather details that would set you back $695. I would encourage you to acquire a pair of Dolce Vita for Target cork wedge sandals that pose those 'striking similarities' I speak of for a mere $29.99.
Get a great piece of outerwear such as a trench coat. I absolutely love Diane Von Furstenberg's $565 ruffle-trim trench coat because it adds a feminine twist to an item I sometimes consider masculine. AK Anne Klein offers an inspired look with oversized ruffles for only $95 and rock it out with a pair of skinny jeans from Forever 21 and a pair of nude open sling back pump from Jessica Simpson that costs only $60
Finish off the look with this fabulous bag from Zara
in either red or blue that adds that pop of color that epitomizes Spring fever.
I am moving to Los Angeles from the Midwest and my wardrobe consists of what I am coming to realize looks a lot like my mom's closet. It's time for an upgrade and I really want to have that rich, hip girl look. Any ideas? Stacey R, Indiana
Rich hip girl? Really? I think your aspirations are a little twisted, but alas I have a few things for you. You must get your hands on a PS1 bag from Proenza Schouler (which I consider to be the new Balenciaga motorcycle bag) in electric green -- a bag and color I am pretty sure your mother doesn't tote around.
Nor does she, or at least we hope not, parade around in six-inch heels at the local mall. This season, I have the Jimmy Choo's for you. Seriously. I love their mixed media platform sandals because they are vampy, colorful and serve double duty whether you rock them by day with skinny trousers or at night with your favorite little black dress. Simply put - they are everything.
Lastly, see a shrink about your parental issues. It may take you further than high heels.
Okay so truth be told, I am a little heavier than normal. I've gained 20 pounds in two months partly because I am working really hard and partly because I don't give a hoot. So with little ado, what should a 5'5 30-something girl with a few extra pounds be strutting around town in and where can I find these duds? Thanks Michael. Marcia C, Chicago
There is some good shopping in Chicago and not to my surprise the world's largest retailer Macy's carries chic wears for girls with curves. For spring, get yourself a delightful print from DKNYC (yes that's yet another Donna Karan line). I love floral print dresses because they are feminine and flirty and, hello, girls with curves can have fun too.
Accessorize with a wedge and some gold jewelry and you'll probably look better than those skinny girls that starve themselves and have really bad breath because of their lack of carbohydrates.
As for your weight gain, I can only assume, like myself, that you want to loose it. I gained 12 pounds in the past two months from watching too much TLC (those Sister Wives get me) and Dancing With The Stars (aka Dancing With Kristie Alley). My resolution has been just 30 minutes of cardio a day and in one week I lost five pounds, which leads me to give you the best advice, loosing weight is as simple as walking.
Ask me questions of any size here in the comments section or email me directly at Michael@askmichaelcohen for no price.
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