Fun fashion to be had at mainstream retailers like J. Crew. Photo:

Q: I just turned 31 and am going through a divorce. I'd like to update my style to reflect the more fun, flirty side but still be sophisticated and chic. I'm having a hard time finding items (and stores) that are age-appropriate but still sexy and affordable. Any suggestions for key pieces and where to find them?

A: There are plenty of cool ways to update up your look that have elements of both youth and sophistication.

Depending on your body shape, you may want to opt for a floral print blouse and shorts combo, or perhaps a slinky polka dot dress. Military continues to be big -- wear a sweet khaki-colored jacket or cropped cargo pants with heels and call it a day.

Another fun option? A button-down chambray or jean shirt with a pair of white pants. (Yes, I said it. The Memorial Day to Labor Day rules no longer apply!) In terms of accessories, add a stack of bangles, cute flats, and a clutch. Voila!

In terms of retailers, lately I've been touting the good design at mainstream stores like Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Uniqlo. They are producing good mix and match items that are not only on trend for this season, but can also serve as wardrobe staples for years to come.

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