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Answer Angel: Polka dots: Chic enough to keep or time to give them up?

By Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have an expensive dress that simply does not fit correctly. Answer Queen, please tell me if polka dots are trending for spring. Or should I jump on eBay to sell it? Help please.

- B.S.

Dear B.: Answer Queen! Nobody's ever called me that. Thank you for the compliment. I don't think you can ever go wrong wearing polka dots. They're a timeless classic like animal prints, a crisp white shirt, black flats or a trench coat.

The bigger issue here is whether you like the dress enough to pay a good bit of money to have it altered to fit you properly. If not, by all means sell it on eBay. It's pointless to have it gathering dust in the back of your closet. The moral of this story is don't buy something that doesn't fit. And if you do - we all do once in a while - when you get home and recover your sanity, return it promptly to the store for a refund.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I work with an attractive woman, but her wardrobe isn't so hot. Her other colleagues and I agree she could use a makeover. How do we present the idea so she's not offended?

- Want to Help


Dear Want to: File this under Good Intentions, Bad Idea. Unless your colleague has asked for your help (which she clearly hasn't), mind your own business. I cannot imagine a way you can tell her that (in your opinion) she's not living up to her fashion potential without offending her. Almost every one of us could use improvement, but it's not your job to tell us so.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I've always been pretty much a brown-pants-go-with-brown-shoes and black-pants-go-with-black-shoes kind of guy, but I have seen men wearing brown shoes with black/dark pants. However, I don't think I've seen black shoes with brown pants. What can you tell me? Also, I assume belt matches shoe, correct?

- Philip G.

Dear Philip: In fashion there are no rules anymore - not even in the investment banking world where Hermes ties ($195 per) and custom $2,000 suits were the norm. When Goldman Sachs recently announced a firmwide flexible dress code, it was the end of power dressing as we know it. So, do not worry about the color of your shoes. Or whether your belt matches them. You're fine - and yes, that includes wearing black shoes with your brown pants - although I don't think that is a good look.


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