Ask the Fashionologist

| Boston Magazine |

What’s with all this mixing of prints lately? Stripes with polka dots and plaid? I like the attitude of it, but I haven’t seen any combinations I actually like. Is there a way to do it right? — R.W., Brookline

Time for a chat about right and wrong, missy. What’s right: wearing things you like. What’s wrong: wearing things you don’t. It’s as simple as that when it comes to fashion. But since you’re intrigued, let’s play dress-up. Mixing prints works best with pieces that both complement and clash with one another — a kooky balance of loud and quiet, big and small, ideally with a related color scheme. Marc Jacobs always excels at cross-pollinating patterns. This season’s Marc by Marc Jacobs floral “Florette” jersey sundress pops under a striped “Aurelie” cardigan from the same collection, the connecting color being orange. Or try J.Crew’s black gingham Mackintosh trench over the graphite-sequin-splashed sailor sweater and a pair of jeans. There are no mixed messages here — just killer outfits that ooze offbeat charm but aren’t off-putting.

I need warm-weather sandals for the workplace (flip-flops are not allowed) that I can wear with a sundress or linen pants. I’m also looking for comfort, so flats or low heels would be perfect. Any suggestions?  — T.P., Hingham

If there were such a thing as the perfect sandal, it would be the wedge. High, low, peep-toe, or strappy, there’s just something about that little triangular insta-heel that propels this shoe into the A-lister sophisticate stratosphere. Pierre Hardy’s black patent leather open-toe version wins top honors for fusing summer breeziness with corporate chic. For a funkier take, Alexander Wang’s “Kasia” — with black whipstitched leather bands — calls to mind a Greek goddess turned motorcycle babe. On the flatter end of the scale, slip on Jimmy Choo’s crisscross snake-print wedges. All of these designs will work with your sundress or linen pants, and will keep you stylishly at the top of your class.

 

Where To Buy
> “Florette" jersey sundress, $278 and "Aurelie" Cardigan, $198, Marc Jacobs, 81 Newbury St., Boston, 617-425-0707, marcjacobs.com.
 
> Macintosh trench in gingham, $975 (online only) and sequin sailor sweater, $128, jcrew.com.
 
> Pierre Hardy black leather wedge, $885 and Alexander Wang Kasia wedge, $550, online only at Barneys New York, barneys.com.

> Jimmy Choo snakeskin wedge, $695, Jimmy Choo Store, Copley Place, 100 Huntington Ave, Boston, 617-927-9570, jimmychoo.com.

 

The Fashionologist is Lisa Pierpont, founder of boldfacers.com and an undeniably superlative dresser.