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Q. You always have wonderful advice.  I am attending a wedding in MI.  I am planning to wear a black satin dress with a black lace overlay.  The dress is knee length and has cap sleeves.  I can always do black hose and black shoes but I like to be a little more fun.  What do you think about red or an animal print?  And what kind of hose or bare legs?   Could I do silver?  I am not as young and thin as I used to be, I am also fair skinned.  I just did not know if bare legs would still be ok for me.
- Seeking Fun and Festive

A. I always opt for bare legs when I can get away with it.  Why not moisturize your legs with a lotion that has a bit of shimmer or glow to add a bit of color to a pale leg?  If you feel more comfortable with hosiery, then wear black sheer hosiery.   There are some new styles with a black back seam that are better than your average sheer hosiery, or choose a subtle black pattern on sheer.

As for shoes, you seem to have the right idea—skip animal print with the lace—a bit much.  Look for black patent (a huge trend this season and so festive and fun), or metallic in either silver or gold.  You may also find a black heel in velvet or satin that has lace or crystal embellishments.

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left to right: Michael Kors Leg Shine, $32 at; Steven by Steve Madden ‘Giddie’ Pump, $98.95 at; Velvet Bow Pump, $34 at

(for more party shoes, check out our new Holiday Hot List style recipe)

Q. My boss wears chunky winter shoes (recently a pair of black Mary Janes with a wide heel) with bare feet. I think this looks incredibly tacky, not to mention being ridiculous because it is cold outside.  She claims it is ok because we live in Florida, and thinks the only reason I find it unacceptable is because I am from a “cold state.”
-Shoe Style 

A. It’s not our intention to outright criticize your boss, but stylewise, we’re not fans of chunky wide heel shoes unless they’re a wedge or platform style with a thicker heel.  Most chunky shoes with wide heels are meant for the younger teen set.  Slimmer, sleeker looks, from flats to kitten heels to pumps, are far more appropriate for the adult set.  There are many comfortable round toe pumps and even Mary Janes that could be pulled off with a bare foot and look more stylish.  As for the bare feet, we girls like to go as long as possible with a bare leg before we have to pull on tights or hosiery.  I have a feeling that with a more stylish shoe, her bare legs may look better to you. Many people in Florida are used to having bare legs all year long so it may take some getting used to on your part.

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left to right: Dolce Vita 6020-4, $125 at; Aerosoles Transpose, $84 at

Q. My husband and I have been invited to a posh “Night of the Stars” event. This is like a mini-Oscar evening for his firm where certain employees will be honored for their contributions during the year. It is a black tie event and I bought a long navy evening gown in chiffon, covered in tiny bead embroidered patterns. It is not fancy, but pretty and demure. Could you please give me advice on what shoes to wear? I thought I’d wear silver, but now I don’t know whether they will go. Should I try and find a pair of navy shoes. I can’t wear high heels (I think I would fall over as I haven’t worn them in 40-odd years). I like very comfortable shoes with a wedge heel. Also can you advise on what jewelry to wear? I want to look good, as my husband is one of those receiving an award.
-Looking Posh and Pretty

A. Go for silver since navy is one of the hardest hues to match. And silver is far more posh for the black tie affair. If heel height concerns you, then look for a wedge to stand stable or a shorter heel around two inches. You won’t tower over the crowd, but it will be enough to give the dress it’s glam effect. Some suggestions:

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from left to right, all available at XOXO Gianna II, $51.95; Nina Maritza-Ml, $92.95; Calvin Klein Emmaline, $133.95

Vegas Nuptials

Untitled1-2Q. I am getting married in Vegas at the end of October and I have this beautiful white cocktail dress that I am wearing (I bought it but never had a chance to wear it), but I can’t seem to find a decent shoe to go with the dress.  The dress is a BCBG white low cut, above-the-knee dress.   Do you have any ideas? 

- Wedding Bells

A. For a wedding in Vegas you definitely need to add some shine and glitz to what you wear on your feet:


Touch Ups Gemini
$61.95 at


Nina ‘Mabel’ Sandal
$78.95 at


Nina ‘Barbra’ Sandal
$88.95 at

Q. I like the idea of wearing tall boots with short skirts so my legs don’t freeze!  However, I think it looks best when the calf of the boot is slim and hugs your lower leg.  All of the boots I have tried on are too big for my calves (and I do not have slim calves.) Are the boots supposed to be loose around your leg?
-Leg Space 

A. It all depends on the style.  Generally, most boots are meant to hug your calves, unless they are a slouchy style. It also depends on whether you’ll be tucking in jeans, in which case you might need a little extra room. I, too, have had endless problems finding boots that fit my calves - there always seems to be a gaping space.  The best solutions I’ve found have been in suede styles that you pull on rather than zip up.  I found gorgeous styles from Stuart Weitzman (pricey) and I found a great leather style that cinches just above the calf from Cole Haan.  And the only boots that I’ve found in the last year that almost hug my calves are from Sacco - they usually make the same styles each year with a different heel height.


Stuart Weitzman ‘Bootpoint’ Boot
$475 at 


Cole Haan Collection ‘Gali Air Short’ Boot
$385 at 


Sacco ‘Masha’ Boot 
$325 at

What about you? Let us know if you’ve found boots that fit small calves…

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