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Q. I have a long winter white skirt and a black and off-white top.  I am unsure what type of shoes and what color hose or tights to wear.  I am 52 if that matters. 
-White in Winter

A. For most women, I would suggest black opaque tights and black pumps or peep toes. And even a stylish 52 year old woman can pull off the new high-heeled oxfords to pair with your skirt for an ultra-chic look.  And of course, a slim fitting pair of pull on knee high boots. Swap the top and you can pair the skirt with brown boots, grey patent leather or even deep color like burgundy.

 5466219 Biala 'Magia' Oxford

1.  Martinez Valero ‘Heat’ Tall Stretch Boot, $188.95 at
2.  Biala ‘Magia’ Oxford, $199.95 at

Ms118Q. My bridesmaids are going to be wearing this dress, but in the Sangria color at my wedding.  The color looks just like a ripe raspberry in person.  I want to let the girls buy/wear their own shoes, but I have NO idea what color to pick!  Any suggestions?  I thought about a bronze heel, but I’m a bit clueless when it comes to this kind of thing.

-Clueless about Color

A. Pretty dress choice. If you choose an optional bow or ribbon, you can have the bridesmaids wear shoes that match the accessory. Otherwise, a metallic bronze, silver or gold would look lovely. Choose the color, but let them buy a heel that works for them, not everyone can walk in towering heels. Plus, every girl has a different cash flow so while one may find a fab heel from Jimmy Choo another may be happy with a find at Payless.

Untitled2-1Q. I’m attending a formal fundraising gala this winter in Cincinnati with clients and colleagues and want to make sure my attire is appropriate. I haven’t been able to find a flattering long dress for my size 14 figure so I’m thinking about opting for a shorter black spaghetti strap dress with a metallic floral print. The dress has a fuller skirt and hits just below the knee.  Does that seem OK or should I keep looking?  If I go with this dress do I need to wear hose? What type—black sheer? What about shoes? Thanks in advance for helping a young staffer look appropriate in a sea of philanthropists.

-Formal Search

A. Stop looking and go with the black and metallic A-line dress. Put on a strapless bra for support and choose either black sheer hosiery or go bare legged. If you choose hosiery, then opt for a black satin, black patent or silver metallic pump. If you go bare legged, then you can choose a strappy heel or peep toe.

 Via Spiga 'Dama' Pump Kenneth Cole Reaction Rags to RichesSteven Fanci Façonnable 'Josie' Pump

1. Via Spiga ‘Dama’ Pump, $225 at
2. Kenneth Cole Reaction Rags to Riches, $82.95 at
3. Steven Fanci, $113.95 at
4. Façonnable ‘Josie’ Pump, $195 at

Shoe Smell

Q. Thank you for all the help you’ve given me in the past! I LOVE your website. I have noticed that my shoes, especially my leather ballet flats, have started to have a less than pleasant odor.  How do I clean them and prevent the smell without ruining the leather?
-Smelly Situation

A. Simply head to your local pharmacy and pick up a shoe deodorizer spray or powder. If that doesn’t help then ask your neighborhood shoe repair guy for a suggestion (perhaps a deordorizing insole you can put inside the shoe) or make an appointment with a podiatrist if perhaps you have a continuing foot smell.  Constant wear of shoes with bare feet will inevitably mean you’re transferring foot sweat into the fabric of the shoe. Be sure to give the shoes a day of rest in between wearings.

I am stuck on what shoes to wear with this is winter!  Is this white/ivory dress okay to wear in December?Q. I am stuck on what shoes to wear with this is winter!  Is this white/ivory dress okay to wear in December?
-Dress Distress

A. I do think the dress is a bit light in fabric for December and probably best kept for spring through summer unless you’re headed to a location that is warm. But if you really love it, then pair with sassy, embellished evening shoes like the ones I picked and just dash from the car to the party in a warm coat.

 J. Reneé 'Stardust' Sandal A. Marinelli 'Rella' Sandal Martinez Valero 'Desiree' Sandal

1.  J. Reneé ‘Stardust’ Sandal, $89.95 at
2.  A. Marinelli ‘Rella’ Sandal, $94.95 at
3.  Martinez Valero ‘Desiree’ Sandal, $139.95 at

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