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Q. Is it ok to wear sheer off-black nylons with tailored black capris, sling back black shoes with a 2” heel and a dressy blouse?
-Cover up

A. I’m not a fan of hosiery with capris. Cropped wool pants with tights and knee high boots in the Fall is great, but for the warmer months, capris are meant to be cool and comfortable. The idea of capris is to bare a little leg while still feeling comfortable with the extra coverage that capris offer compared to walking shorts.

Q. I’m attending an evening wedding in May, I have been a “Mom” for the past 5 1/2 years so I have been out of the fashion world and have not been to many events. The dress is black with an ivory modern spiral scribble print, scooped neckline and tank straps, pleated bodice, inset waist panel and full, softly pleated skirt. My shoes are an open-toe pump in black patent leather.

In my day…I’m 40 years old…sheer black pantyhose would be worn with a black cocktail dress. I’ve noticed in catalogs and online shopping sites it looks like no pantyhose is in. So my question is should I wear pantyhose with my dress, and if yes what color?
-In My Day

A. Long question with a short answer: go bare legged. You’re only 40 and that’s not old! Feel free to use “in my day” when you hit 75.

Q. I am the mother of the bride. The wedding is in July at 3 in the afternoon. The 5 bridesmaids are wearing Cherry Red dresses with black trim. I do not want to wear a floor length dress since it is afternoon and the bridesmaids are wearing tea length. However, the groom’s mother and her stepmother have already purchased their full length gowns. One is pink and the other is midnight blue. I am 53 years young, 5”2” and 130 lbs. I cannot find what I like. The mother of the bride dresses look old and matronly…and the other dresses look too young. Would it be appropriate for me to wear palazzo pants? Can I wear a tea length dress? What color should I go with?
-Stressed About Dress

A. Just because you’re the mother of the bride doesn’t mean you have to look like the mother of the bride. There are plenty of dowdy dresses out there. I’m all for you wearing a cocktail or tea length dress. And I’d much prefer you wear a dress to palazzo pants. Don’t fall under the pressure to wear a gown if you don’t want to. You’ll certainly feel more free to move around in a dress that doesn’t hit the floor. There are also plenty of dresses that are ankle length that don’t look like a gown. As for color, don’t feel hemmed in by the colors of the wedding, choose a color that best suits your skin color. Look for something sophisticated rather than “old” and don’t assume a dress is too young until you try it on. A dress as important as this requires a try-on to determine what looks best for your coloring as well as your body shape. Here are some suggestions:

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all dresses above are from nordstrom.com
left to right: JS Collections Off Shoulder Shirred Taffeta Gown, $218; Cachet Mock Two Piece Lace Dress, $188; Cachet Stretch Faux Wrap Dress, $148; achet Knit Foil Dress with Brooch, $148; Nicole Miller Silk Dupioni Halter Dress, $310; Bari Jay Iridescent Taffeta Dress, $148

Q. My fiance and I are having a civil ceremony this June in Philadelphia before he goes back to Iraq, on the same day as my college graduation. I want to wear a short white dress, but have not been able to find one that doesn’t seem too beachy. I want it to be special, but I will also be having a larger ceremony next year, so it doesn’t need to be too elaborate. What sort of dress will work for the two most important events in my life?
-Dress Duty

A. It will be a BIG day-wedding, civil ceremony or not, it’s your wedding, the day you exchange vows and then your college graduation as well. So choose a dress you’ll adore. You want your soon to be husband to gush when he sees you. You want him to remember the day and you in a beautiful white dress until he returns home safely to you.

Shift embossed beach dressWhite Cotton Sleeveless Dresses by Jill StuartSwiss-dot Sylvan dressLilly Pulitzer
Billie Eyelet Dress

Shift embossed beach dress, $125 at jcrew.com; White Cotton Sleeveless Dresses by Jill Stuart, $398 at edressme.com; Swiss-dot Sylvan dress, $148 at jcrew.com; Lilly Pulitzer Billie Eyelet Dress, $298 at saks.com

Q. I have a wedding to go to in 2 weeks and I bought 2 dresses. One is white with black roses on it with a big black band under the bust. It’s a halter style. While it’s not all white, people are telling me that I shouldn’t wear it. The other is black (strapless) with small white flowers on it, I prefer the white one but I don’t want to upset the bride in any way.
-Dress Confusion

A. Don’t let your friends swoop down and eat away at your confident style. The dress you’ve described clearly is not a white dress, so feel free to wear the white and black patterned dress and dance the night away.

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