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Nina Garcia Answers Our Fab Questions, Part IV

She's just full of fashion advice for us. If you missed them before, be sure to check out Nina Garcia's tips and insights for dressing fabulous. But it doesn't stop there. The ELLE fashion director and Project Runway judge has more answers to your questions. Without further ado . . .

Can you name some great lesser known brands which might be more affordable but still stylish?

Some favorite lesser known brands that I love are Madewell and Simply Vera by Vera Wang for Kohls. Madewell is a very well priced and terrific look that is well priced and with great pieces that are excellent additions to update your wardrobe. It is similar to J.Crew but younger in spirit and significantly priced less. Simply Vera is unbelievably chic at an almost shamefully low price. The collection is full, including shoes and handbags, classic knits, romantic dresses with charming embroideries. It is really well made and very fashionable without breaking the bank.

We all love a little luxury in our wardrobe but don't always have the means to indulge, that is why I love Uniqlo for their cashmere sweaters. They come in every color of the rainbow and style, all at an affordable price. A little more expensive but worth the splurge is Rugby by Ralph Lauren. Classic American sportswear with a twist, Rugby has an incredible selection of classic peacoats, tweed jackets and varsity sweaters. Not lesser known but a sure thing for both affordability and style are Zara and H&M.

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What skills do you really need to make it in the fashion industry?

I think it is important to posses creativity, organization, hard work ethic, practicality, humbleness, attention to detail and above all, a sense of professionalism.

Who are your top designers now and why?

My top designers of the moment are Raf Simmons for Jil Sander, Nicholas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga, Miuccia Prada and Marc Jacobs. There are countless designers that I admire but these particular designers are the true trendsetters in fashion. Their collections are what instigate the industry and set the tone for what editors will be talking about for the season and what women will be wearing. We consider them trendsetters because their designs are always copied by other designers and price points. These are the people who I look at keenly.

What's the stockings and shoes rule? Can I wear hosiery with peep toes?

The rule is that there are no rules! All of your style inquires are on par with what is currently going on in fashion. I prefer to wear opaque hosiery with open toe shoes during the colder winter months. I would recommend staying away from nude hosiery, as it is a very dated look. Hosiery with open toe shoes can seem quirky so pair it with a more feminine dress to balance out the look.

What is the best fashion advice ever given to you?

Do not follow trends and always be yourself.


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