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Fall fashion: Dennise Smith

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston lawyer Dennise Smith is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles campus, and is a part-time designer.

What three words describe your fashion style?

Modern, bohemian and eclectic -- when I am not working as a lawyer.

What's your favorite fall piece?

Do I have to choose just one? OK, then boots -- followed by scarves.

Did you buy something new to update your fall wardrobe?

Art deco printed blouse and more costume jewelry.

What are your signature accessories?

Necklaces and scarves.

What piece did you splurge on?

As of yet, sadly, none. However, I am diligently searching for a pair of peep-toe pumps in my size (11) -- and then it's game on! They remind me of Stevie Nicks -- the perfect combination of gypsy and rock 'n' roll.

What item in your closet would you never part with?

I have an oriental print A-line skirt with black satin trim that I bought 10 years ago and still get compliments on. The print is lovely and the colors are neutral with splashes of red. Also, with the proper styling, you can wear it year-round except for the coldest winters.

What would you never wear?

Those boxy asymmetrical shirts that are so popular now. And a bubble skirt. Neither look is good for a tall woman with hips.

Do you buy anything in bulk?

Brightly colored Indian bangles -- and champagne!

What's your favorite piece in your wardrobe?

I don't wear it much, but it is my mother's velvet burnout opera jacket. It is fringed with lapis-colored bugle beads, and the pattern is reminiscent of a Monet watercolor. I feel like a hippie version of Auntie Mame when I wear it.

What's your favorite color or color combination?

Emerald green and cobalt blue are my favorite colors to wear. Historically, I have always favored black paired with a bright jewel tone, although lately I am enamored with teal and chartreuse. It reminds me of peacocks and absinthe!

Do you have a favorite designer or style icon?

I tend to go for the look rather than the designer. But if money were no object, I would buy almost every piece in Badgley Mischka's fall 2012 collection. My style icon? I have many but the one that always comes to mind is Loulou de la Falaise. I love her eccentric gypsy jet-set style, particularly when she was Yves St. Laurent's muse.

What are your priorities in picking clothes?

Fit and fabric, regardless of the trend.

What's your weekday go-to look?

For fall, it is designer jeans, scoop-neck knit top, heels and a scarf or dramatic necklace.

Do you have a personal styling trick?

Spanx!

What's your favorite evening look?

Brightly colored knee-length dress fitted around the bodice, sparkly heels and chandelier earrings.


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