Q&A Tuesday

Q and A with Megan from The Well Dressed LifeToday we are working through some quick questions from our readers.

Have one for us? Please post them in the comments below.

Please talk about manicures. Lately, I’m seeing more and more people with manicured, beautiful hands with no polish. So much easier to maintain! Is this okay in professional circles? – Heather

Totally. For my day to day look, I’ve been keeping my nails very short, pushing back my cuticles in the shower with a washcloth and every few days adding a coat of clear polish, just to keep them shiny. Frankly, I have no idea how professional women have time to sit for a manicure 2 -3 times a month. I get a manicure every eight weeks or so, and time it around some special occasion. An occasional professional manicure helps keep your at home care looking perfect. The most important detail to focus on to keep your nails looking professional is that they are well cared for, trimmed and clean. I consider anything else a bonus. These are some products that help me easily keep my nails in tip top shape.


Where can you find good belts? – Annie
When we pick up belts for clients, we tend to go to Nordstrom because of their extensive selection of styles and price points. If you don’t have one close to you, their online selection is fantastic.  You can find belts for function and fashion for under $50.  You can also find some terrific options at  Target and H&M has some trendy, fun belts for under$10.00.

When and how do we transition from Winter to Spring fashion? I’m from a cold climate, so when work sends me to San Diego in February, it feels like paradise. I never know if spring styles are appropriate, or it’s still winter fashion in late February. What about Seattle in early March? – Meredith

There are a few parts to this answer.

Let’s start with the ideal composition of your wardrobe. Your wardrobe should be 80% seasonless pieces. These are the pieces you can wear 12 months a year, regardless of the weather. The rest of your wardrobe can be season specific, meaning wools and cashmere in the winter months and lightweight gauzy pieces or linen in the summer. Of course, if you live somewhere with a big winter season, you can adjust those numbers accordingly, may be 70/30 or 65/25. You need the seasonless pieces to get maximum investment from your clothes.

Start to transition your wardrobe based on the weather in March and April. Base your wardrobe choice on the weather. Look at what is the norm in your area and have what you need on hand. Spring on the east coast is beautiful, but can also be rainy, so I like to have my Hunters, a big umbrella and a great raincoat ready to go. Other than that, because most of my wardrobe is seasonless, I just focus on lighter layering pieces, swapping out a wool blazer for a cotton blend and a heavy boot for a flat or lightweight ankle boot.

Regarding dressing for the weather or the season, do both. Think of it like this, I live outside Philadelphia, so Christmas is always cold. Except last year, when we hit a historic high in the 80s. No one came to the Christmas Day in a sundress. We just wore lighter pieces that were all seasonally appropriate. If you are from a cold climate, going to a warmer climate, you still dress for the current season but adjust for the weather. The exception to this would be if you were going somewhere tropical, or if you were traveling abroad where the there season is different than ours.

Have more questions?  Please leave them in the comments below (emailed questions sometimes get lost in the shuffle do to the volume of business emails we receive.)

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

  1. Good Morning,

    My name is Annie. I recently retired from my job where I was expected to dress professionally. I am a youthful looking 62. I am moving to Maine in 2 months. I currently live in Bethesda, Maryland. I have a part-time job lined up in a specialty food shop. The dress is casual and I am interested in building up a nice looking casual mix and match wardrobe with a few pieces for a dressier occasion. I have been slowly winnowing down my closet but am to the point of not knowing what to get rid of and what to add.

    Do you do this type of consulting?

    Thank you.

  2. I love wearing blazers but my office is kept at near-Miami-temps. I wear sleeveless tanks underneath but it’s still too hot and I don’t like taking the jacket off. Where can I find quality UNLINED blazers or even structured blazer-like cotton cardigans? (I’ve even tried taking a scissor to that satin lining in some jackets – bad idea.)

    1. I hear you. My office is either a igloo or Fiji. We’ll start working on a post to help you, as I’m sure so many of our readers have a similar issue. To get you started, look at the Eliza J blazer. It’s a mix of blazer and cardigan in a super lightweight fabric and has great stretch. I have it in black and white and wear it all the time.

  3. I usually get a manicure during the lunch hour on Monday and it looks great all week at work and then by the weekend, when I’m doing a ton of housework/dishes/lugging hockey equipment all over the place, it starts to chip away…but then Monday comes around and we start all over again. I used to get manicures on Fridays, but this proved to be too hard to maintain when the weekends are so brutal on my hands/nails.

    1. I totally agree. The weekends are so brutal on my hands my nails are destroyed. If you can squeeze a mani in during lunch that’s awesome! I use to get mine at the airport, which was a great use of time.

    2. I get a gel Shellac manicure and it lasts up to 3 weeks with no chipping or peeling. I have to get a new one because my nails grew so much! And my cuticles look healthy and not ragged anymore! Perfect solution for my old nail-biting self!!!

  4. I love wearing dresses but no longer know the rules regarding stockings, vs bare…. I’m 56, petite, nice legs, and very very pale skin.
    I grew up in the pantyhose no matter what era….
    Nice restaurants for dinner, shopping or an in-home client meeting, church, funerals, weddings, or lunch with girlfriends. ..
    I’m really not sure anymore what is elegant? or even appropriate!
    Thank you.

  5. Are panty hose out of fashion? I’m comfortable in tights but feel old and out of date in hose. I’m 49 years old. Not sure how to handle spring weather and skirts. Thanks.

  6. About a year ago you posted about a great bag that you can throw your laptop in…along with the rest of your life and stay organized. I looked through your blog and not having any luck finding the post. Could you please let me know what that bag was called? Thanks so much!

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