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Reboot Your Style

Local fashion advice



Keeping a wardrobe staple in constant rotation runs the risk of bringing on a major snooze fest. With the start of the new year, we asked local fashion experts Rachel Fawkes and Carolyn Rovner to give three style standbys new life.


Little Black Dress

Divide and conquer: “Look at its shape, and see if you can make it into a separate. Add a fitted sweater or chambray shirt to turn it into a little black skirt,” suggests Fawkes. “Depending on the office, you can add patterned tights and a sweater to make it work appropriate.”
Accentuate the waist: “If your dress is from 10 to 12 years ago, chances are it’s tired and shapeless: It’s time to buy a new black dress,” says Rovner. “Find something that’s figure flattering, particularly in the waist. Also, wear black with a purpose and not by default. It’s a simple and classic garment that can easily be swapped for a little navy or brown dress.”

Classic Trench Coat

Belt it: “If you have a camel coat, look for a rich, textured brown leather or red belt,” says Fawkes. “For a black coat, try animal print to add some interest. If you want to dress it up, try using lace or satin ribbon instead.”
Go luxe: “With its classic styling and upgraded fabric, a satin trench coat really is a nice addition to the wardrobe and a great evening coat, especially during winter months, when it’s cold and rainy,” Rovner says. “It is so much more sophisticated over a dress than a pashmina and way more sophisticated than a cardigan sweater.”

White Button-Down

Play with the neckline: “Button up the shirt to the top, and tie a small scarf like a bow around the collar; or open two or three buttons, and wear a statement necklace underneath,” suggests Fawkes. “The collar obscures part of the necklace and makes a flashy piece of jewelry more appropriate for daytime.”
Switch the shade: “White can be a tough color for people to wear because it can make you look more pale,” warns Rovner. “Look for a blouse that is just off-white. It can be equally flattering.”


What’s in Store

Nest: The home goods store opened a Berkeley location on Fourth Street in October.
Footcandy: Its beloved Walnut Creek store closed in December.
Francesca’s Collections: The women’s boutique plans to open a new location in Lafayette’s Clocktower in March.


Nick Smith

Fashion Inspiration

Follow these local style bloggers for a jolt of sartorial inspiration all year long.


El Cerrito resident Olga Montserrat mixes work-appropriate ensembles with playful weekend looks, and also includes handpicked designer duds and visual roundups. twelveofour.com.


Six-foot, six-inch Alicia Jay has built an online community around her Oakland-based blog, where she combines style advice for tall ladies with discussions about body acceptance. tallswag.com.

Work It, Berk

Brittany Curran chronicles the street style of the East Bay’s best-dressed denizens, interspersed with interviews of local personalities, restaurant recommendations, and monthly playlists. workitberk.blogspot.com.

Get Dressed Mommy

This collaborative effort between East Bay moms and cousins Monica Holmes and Sophia Spencer combines style inspiration with anecdotes about raising a family. getdressedmommy.com.


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