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Nina Garcia has been busy dishing out style tips lately, as she's currently the style consultant for Target—in addition to being Marie Claire's fashion director and a Project Runway judge, of course. And since there are a few things we always struggle with around this time of year (mainly, how not to look like a yeti in the winter), we asked her a few of our own burning style questions.
Do you have a strategy for doing winter style right?
Outerwear is always an important investment for the winter months; you wear a coat every day so don't be afraid to splurge a little or invest in tailoring to ensure the perfect fit. Think of the coat as your canvas and opt for a neutral color; I'm partial to camel. Then, have fun with accessories to change up your look and layer them to stay warm. This season, I'm drawn to cozy infinity scarves in bright colors, or I love the Albertus Swanepoel for Target Layla hat—faux fur with a pom pom is so cute!
What are your thoughts on open-toe shoes in the winter? How about open-toe booties?
With tights, yes. Without tights, absolutely not.
Any tips for dressing for a bunch of holiday parties without going broke?
Accessories, accessories, accessories. You can find so many different options from sparkly statement necklaces to affordable bangles to pile on your arm, and like that, you change up your look. I was at Target last week and went crazy—I found the cutest charcoal sequined clutch for $17! It has a strap to wear cross-body or you can tuck the strap inside—voilà! Two different looks. My rule during the holidays is if it sparkles and shines and makes you feel fancy, wear it!
So, how much is too much jewelry?
I believe Coco Chanel gave us the best wisdom here: Before leaving the house, a lady should stop, look in the mirror, and remove one piece of jewelry. If you are wondering if it's too much, it probably is. The trick to effortless is keeping the trimming to a minimum: edit, edit, edit.
What do you think is one item every woman should splurge on, and what's one item no one should ever buy, ever?
It sounds cliché, but every woman should have a great black shift in her closet—it can be dressed up or down, but should be tailored perfectly. And I happen to think no one over the age of 10 should buy Crocs, unless you are Mario Batali.
What do you consider to be the biggest style "Don't"?
Wearing a trend for the sake of wearing a trend. You must always remain stylistically true to yourself.
Let's pretend it's not winter for a second. What's the one piece from the spring 2012 you just have to have (or maybe, already do)?
Bold floral prints are going to be everywhere this spring. I have my eye on a few great Jason Wu for Target pieces that arrive in February. The floral pleated skirt is not to be missed!
Any advice for how to go about buying a man clothes for the holidays?
Don't push trends and consider personal comfort level. Refreshing basics are always great and you can find options to make things as humdrum as a men's basic blue oxford luxurious!
If you could offer one bit of style advice, what would it be?
Authentic style comes from within and you must always remain stylistically true to yourself. Remember, whatever you wear, wear it with sublime confidence.