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Q. I am wearing a knee length black dress to a wedding and party at night.  Can I wear nylons that are nude instead of black?
-Leg Cover

A. You can wear nude stockings instead of black, but you may need to spend a little extra time in the hosiery department matching up your skin color to make sure the nude stockings really do look like you are wearing nothing at all - since that’s the point. Or, if your can swing it in the cooler temps, go bare legged and perhaps use a sunless tanner on your legs.

NordQ. I loved wearing my wedding gown on my wedding day. It’s an ivory, strapless, floor-length Nicole Miller gown that I bought in the eveningwear section of Nordstrom, so it isn’t super bridal—no lace, beading or tulle, just sleek silk satin. Before I got married, I thought that by buying a white evening gown instead of a wedding dress I’d have more opportunity to wear it again, but anytime I consider wearing it, it seems too bridal. Should I just give up hope of wearing it again and pack it away for future generations, or is there any way I can accessorize it to make it less "here comes the bride?" Thanks for any help, I love your site.
—Always a Bride

A. Saving the dress for future generations is risky - a lot of care must be taken to store it properly and you can’t be sure your descendents will want to wear it, so my suggestion is to find a way to wear it again. If you can’t get the wedding march out of your head every time you slip on your white evening gown, consider taking it to a tailor and ask if the fabric can be dyed a darker color.  Or have a good tailor shorten the length of the dress to cocktail length and you’ll be assured that the dress will look different.  You should make a change since it’s likely that you’ll wish to wear the dress to an event with people who attended your own wedding.  Another benefit of making the change is that your dress and wedding memories will always be significant to that day.  Have fun mixing up color in your accessories like bejeweled strappy heels, a colorful clutch and dangling earrings. A pretty wrap or fitted cashmere cardigan can also help change the look of the dress.

shown left: use this Vera Wang A-Line dress as inspiration, $220 at nordstrom.com

Q. I am attending a black-tie event in November.  I don’t feel comfortable in floor-length dresses.  Is tea-length acceptable?  If so, what do you suggest?  Help…and hurry! 
-Black-tie challenged

A. If celebrities can walk the red carpet for the Oscars and Emmys in sophisticated tuxedos (a la Greta Garbo and Diane Keaton) and sweet tea length confections (think Sarah Jessica Parker), then it’s certainly fine for you to attend a black tie event in a dress that doesn’t skim the floor. Here are a few favorite finds:

166139
velvet dress
Laundry by Shelli Segal
$265 at edressme.com

166119

BCBG Max Azria
´D Esprit´ Trimmed Point Strapless Dress
$400 at nordstrom.com

Q. I have a Saturday evening wedding mid November in New York (where I reside), I just purchased a black tea length BCBG spaghetti strap dress with handkerchief bottom.  Is it ok to wear black silk, strappy, backless sandals, and of course bare legged?  I don’t want to look too summery, though I really can’t imagine wearing a closed shoe with an evening dress.  Again, because it is not a gown, some leg and my feet will be exposed.  Help.
-Exposed

A.  I’m surprised a girl from the Big Apple hasn’t realized that we New Yorkers brave the cold temps with chattering teeth and numb toes to avoid wearing hose and get the most wear out of our party appropriate strappy heels.  Step lively and just wear a longer coat and warm gloves.

Q. I am going to a wedding with my boyfriend on Sunday, September 18th.  The ceremony is at noon and the meal will be served at the reception at 1:30 sharp.  The couple are friends of my boyfriend, attended Purdue University and were both part of the Greek system.  The bride’s family has a lot of money, so it will be a very nice wedding.  As a guest, what should I wear???  I found a Jessica McClintock brown satin dress that is trimmed with an ivory ribbon and has the ivory ribbon also criss-crossing down the right side of the dress.  It falls at the knee.  I love the dress, just can’t decide if it is appropriate for the occasion. 
-Best Dress

A. The best way to decide what to wear is the dress code that is usually stated on the invite—did it say black tie? From the description of your dress it seems that you found THE DRESS to wear to the wedding.  And even better, if you love it, then wear it.  Clothes always look better when the wearer loves them and feels great in them.  It’s all about the attitude!

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