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Q. I think ballet flats are super cute, however, my legs are short. I always wear heels because I feel frumpy with flats. Any suggestions on looking more chic?
-Steppin’ Out

A. There’s no reason you can’t embrace the ballet flat. You can’t live in heels 24/7 and flats are not only super cute, but some can be super comfy as well. Best way to create an elongated look is to wear your pants as long as possible without them dragging along the ground. And choose a flat that is more than just a solid leather. Go for patent or ornamentation, like a bejeweled pair, to give your outfit more sass. A stylish look will always beat out size and shape in overall judgement.

Q. I know that black patent shoes are big for fall.  What type of hosiery should be paired with black patent shoes?  It used to be considered a fashion faux pas to pair black tights or black hose with black patent leather shoes.  Is this still the case?

A. Where did you hear that fashion faux pas? I must have been too young to dress myself when that faux pas was discussed.  Now that patent is such a huge trend for Fall and opaque tights are blazing a trail and finding space in everyone’s drawer, it’s time to enjoy your black patent with just about any color tight depending on what you’re wearing on the rest of your body.

When you want smooth, wear solid opaque tights; when you want edgy, choose a pattern or textured tight with your patent heels.

Q. I’m about to move to New York City and have been pondering what boots would be good to get for fall and winter. I need something practical (that I can walk in for long distances, possibly in inclement weather) but stylish.  I’ve liked the flat knee-high boots with rows of buttons that I’ve seen around occasionally. Any advice on where to get a solid pair for preferably under $200 dollars?
-Concerned Pedestrian

A. A high heel just won’t do for trudging around the city, whether it’s sunny or streets filled with slushy snow. Keep to a low heel or flat, buy a few pairs of cashmere blend socks to keep your feet warm and slip on a knee high pair of leather boots like the options below for under $200. If you plan to only buy one pair of boots for a New York winter, then skip trendy looks and stick with a pair that will work with many items in your wardrobe. These are cool enough for the whole boot to be seen so whether you wear your new wide length trousers over the boot or tuck your jeans or cords into the boot, these pairs are made for all day trekkin’:

Aerosoles 'Override'Kenneth Cole Reaction Buddha LugTimberland Merevesi Tall Boot

1. Aerosoles ‘Override’, $144 at
2. Kenneth Cole Reaction Buddha Lug, $199.99 at
3. Timberland Merevesi Tall Boot, $199.99 at

Naturalizer 'Sidney'Nine West OrabellaSudini 'Throttle' Boot

4. Naturalizer ‘Sidney’, $105.99 at
5. Nine West Orabella, $136.20 at
6. Sudini ‘Throttle’ Boot, $199.95 at

Q. I am sure the answer is probably somewhere in your column but I can’t find it.  I bought some really cute ballet flats.  My dilemma is, what to do when it gets colder? I live in Colorado.  Can I wear light socks with them? I wear jeans most of the time.  And should I match the shoes or wear a contrasting color?  I don’t want to look like a fashion disaster.
-Happy Feet

A. You can wear your ballet flats all year long when you add a little coverage to keep your feet warm.  Avoid bulky knit socks and opt for opaque tights or knee high trouser socks that are thinner and in the same color hue as your flats.  If you wear your ballet flats with a skirt or dress, you can go for the monochromatic look and match tights to flats for a long, lean look or go for a spunky, young look and choose a color to offset the skirt and flats.

Q. I am sending this question for my boss.  She is wearing a mid minidress and she wants to know the correct heels to wear with it.  Also, what is the lowest heel height to the maximum height that is appropriate?
-Heel Height

A. With a mini, there are plenty of options: she can wear ballet flats for a Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby” young look; or pair knee high slim boots with opaque tights; or wear peep-toes or high heels for an evening out look. If she is petite (5’3” or shorter), I would advise that she avoid heel heights over 3 inches since it will look like she’s grasping for height with a stiletto.  But generally, her heel choices will depend on what her activity is or where she’ll be going in her dress.  The more casual the plan, the lower the heel height.

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