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Q. I have been reading the StyleBakery website, and I really appreciate the advice you offer.  Not too long ago I changed jobs, and now I have to wear more dressy outfits than before. Recently I realized that I’ve grown so accustomed to wearing sheer hosiery, so that I feel underdressed without them.  I wear a mix of skirt and pant ensembles, but generally wear pantyhose with either, now that summer is gone. 

I was dressing up for a date recently and I was wearing a blouse, pants, heels, a scarf and a blazer.  I wanted, of course, to look my best for my date, but when I put the outfit on, I felt underdressed - I didn’t have pantyhose on.  I fixed that of course by putting pantyhose on underneath my pants, before I left my apartment.  Then I clearly realized that I like to wear pantyhose and consequently they benefit my outfits by giving me added confidence about my style, even though sometimes, my legs aren’t even showing. 

My question is, well, did I discover for myself a little gem of a fashion secret, or is it just me being particular about hosiery?  My friends don’t wear sheer hosiery that much (we are in our late twenties).  They don’t find it appealing - but I do.  Is it possible to grow to like to wear pantyhose like that?
-Positive for Pantyhose 

1000Ssp-1A. Simply put, stick with what gives you confidence. Hosiery helps smooth your body and will make clothing look better on your body.  It works as a compression garment by minimizing your tummy, hips and thighs, lifting your butt a bit and, over time, can diminish the look of cellulite.

Many women like the smoother look that hosiery gives their legs. So while some of us like to go bare legged whenever possible, you should feel free to stick with your confidence-building hosiery-wearing self.  One thing to note, if your sheer hosiery is of the “nude” variety - be sure that the hose matches your skin tone exactly and has a transparent look (see this post for our favorite invisible sheer hosiery). Also, why not experiment with a variety of patterns or colored opaque tights?

When wearing hosiery underneath clothing, you might want to try Spanx Footless Body Shaping Pantyhose, you get the same confidence as hosiery but with a little less coverage and the ability to wear strappy sandals.

Q. I am a nurse in Minnesota, wearing scrubs nearly every day. What would be the best coat for me that would look ok with my super casual attire?
- Casual Coat   

A. A casual coat - that’s easy.  You live in Minnesota, so what you should be asking for is a casual coat that will keep you WARM.  We StyleBakery girls are big fans of lightweight, warm and comfortable puffy coats for causal attire and shearling for stylish attire when you need shelter from the cold.  Most coats are on sale this time of year, so now is a great time to buy.

Here are some suggestions for puffy, quilted coats that offer a body conscious fit (also check out our recent Coat Check style recipe) :

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left to right:
Down Parka With Faux Fur, $125.99 at

Via Spiga Sunburst Three Quarter Length Down Coat, $148 at
Quilted Down Coat, $89.50 at

Little Black Dress

Q. I have a good friend’s wedding to go to in March, and I’ve decided to use this as an opportunity to invest in a perfect little black dress. I’d like some ideas for dresses that are under $250 (I know I said “invest,” but I’m a girl on a budget!)  I’m interested in a dress that is classic and stylish and will be wearable for years to come to all sorts of events. I am also looking for a dress that will be flattering and slimming, as I’ve recently put on a little weight and am self-conscious of it (I’m 5’9“ and about a size 6-8). I’d really appreciate your help! You always seem to know the perfect thing to wear.
-LBD Classic

A. I recently shot a little black dress story and fell for many styles.  Here’s a few that fit your budget and will still be stylish five years from now.

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left to right, all available at Maggy London Beaded Matte Jersey Halter Dress ($138), Anne Klein Dress V-Neck Chiffon Dress ($192), Bianca Nero Bead Chiffon Dress ($272), Velvet Torch Shantung Tube Dress ($62). Also, check out for a huge variety of little black dresses.

Q. I’m so glad your website turned up in my Google search! I took your advice (archive) over the weekend for Date #2 to a football game. Date #3 is dinner at my date’s house. He is cooking and I’ll be bringing the wine and myself. This is a great opportunity to see what he is like - his style, his apartment, etc. It’s time for me to show him my casual, cute, funky side.  What should I wear? I am 31 and I like to dress classically with something funky mixed in - like jewelry or fun shoes. I usually can pick out outfits but with this date, I am nervous and can’t think straight!
-Great Date

A. Since it‘s about being cute and casual, go for items in your wardrobe that you can get comfortable in.  For example, clothes that you can be cozy on the couch while you’re spending hours talking and enjoying wine.  Wear dark jeans and a great camisole and wrap sweater or a great v-neck fitted cashmere sweater with velvet pants and ballet flats.  Perhaps the flats are patent leather or animal print. And don’t wear too many layers since you don’t want to get overheated and give the wrong impression if you need to take something off. And since your signature seems to be the jewelry, wear one of your favorite necklaces or pair of earrings, but nothing too chunky or oversized.  Keep your look pretty and feminine. And bring along a great bottle of wine and perhaps a mini pie or fresh baked cookies for dessert.

Q. Can I wear white panty hose or stockings in winter?
-Winter White

A. We’re not fans of white hosiery any time of the year unless you’re under the age of 11. White is rarely flattering on anyone and can often make legs look larger than they are.  There are so many options of sheer colors, “invisible” sheers and fun opaque tights available, so try to find an alternative to white. 

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