Ask the Bean: Covering Up Without Looking Casual

May 5, 2010 • Fashion


Dear Bean,

This is regarding dress-up attire, especially for after work
events. I always have my cocktail dress, shoes, handbag and everything
ready for the big party. Then there is the issue of the weather in
Chicago. It's spring and it's still chilly and I hate to ruin the look
by putting a big trench coat on. But it is still too cold to grab a
little sweater or pashmina. Any ideas on what to wear over my party
dress but not look inappropriate on the "L"?

Lost on Outerwear

Dear Lost:

Chicago is such a wonderful and beautiful city, but unfortunately
weather usually does get in the way when we try to match it with our
outfits. To battle the "Windy City" without banishing style, I
suggest a few "tween-season" pieces to get you through spring in

For an evening affair, the cover-up certainly works itself as part of
your outfit. I personally love trench coats with an evening flare.
You mentioned your 'big trench' in your letter. Perhaps you should look
for one that shouts a bright color and is made in an "eveningwear"
material such as silk. A 3/4-length sleeved bright-colored trench
with puff shoulders and a bubble-skirt bottom would be gorgeous

paired with your little black dress and heels. And that wouldn't be big
in bulk, but rather in head-turning glam!

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