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Q. I’d like some help with my summer-to-fall transitioning! I just bought a fabulous knee-length white linen skirt during the rash of Labor Day sales, and I’d like to wear it to work. It’s still summer weather where I live (in the 80s). Should I pair it with black tights and flats? Or, since it’s September and technically Fall, should I pack it in the closet for next spring? Any help would be appreciated.

A. Though we’re all for wearing white after Labor Day, linen can be tricky. If you live in a warm climate, you can still wear this tropical fabric as long as the weather is still hot. Here in the northeast, it’s already getting chilly, so it is no longer appropriate to wear linen.

If you’re still experiencing summer weather and would like to wear your white linen skirt, we suggest pairing it with black, an eternally chic combination. As for wearing black tights, if it’s warm enough for linen, then it is too warm for tights, so go barelegged instead.

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Q. For some reason I stuggle with wearing patent leather shoes. I have a couple of pairs of shoes that are patent; one is navy and one is dark red. I don’t wear them because I question if it’s the right time of year. What season is it appropriate to wear patent or is it always ok to do so? Please set me straight.

A. Patent leather used to be strictly a spring and summer skin, but in recent years, it has not only been okay to wear in the fall and winter, it has actually been a trend (read this post from last year). For fall, we love patent leathers in black, red, navy and purple, but more important than the color is the style of your shoe. If the silhouette is fall-appropriate, then go for it. Below are some patent accessories that are new for fall for inspiration:

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Q. I am not too old, 49, but now I hear from my daughter, 26, that wearing pantyhose are out of style, and she never wears them, not even in the dead of winter, because only old grandmas wear them. Is this true? This past winter I decided to just wear pants to the office and not look silly wearing a skirt with no panty hose, in the below zero New England weather, however, I would like the option of wearing a suit with a skirt in the winter. What is your advice on panty hose or no panty hose? Thanks.

A. In the fashion world, hosiery tends to come in and out of style. However, whether to go bare-legged or not is more than just about what’s “in”. If you feel more comfortable in hosiery when the weather is cool, then by all means go for it. Regardless of trends, you can always opt for ultra sheer nude hosiery that matches your skin tone or opaque tights.

That being said, hosiery is very much in style for fall - aren’t you lucky! The Fall 2009 runways showed everything from sheer hosiery to funky patterns, prints and embellishments from virtually every designer. Here’s some proof of hosiery’s fabulousness for your daughter:

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left to right: Collette Dinnigan, Elie Saab, Limi Feu, Chanel, Valentino, Stella McCartney - photos courtesy of style.com

Q. I bought a pair of linen colored linen pants. Can you help me figure out what color shirt to wear? For example, can I do white even though the pants are more “Natural” in color? Or should I do a brown. And what about shoes? I have a great pair of bronze/bone slingbacks that look great with the pant, but again, don’t know what color shirt to wear with them.

A. The great thing about a natural colored linen pant is that it looks great with EVERYTHING. Crisp white paired with natural linen is a classic chic look, add in brown and bronze and you’ve got the timeless “safari” mix of hues. In addition to this neutral mix, natural linen looks great with pale blush colors, black and brights like turquoise, red, yellow, green, pink and orange, to name a few. Here is some inspiration for mixing colors with natural:

Q. I recently bought a pair of unlined white linen pants that have a sash belt. I wanted to pair them with a “deep sea aqua” sleeveless fitted shirt and tuck it into the pants to show off the belt. Is it acceptable to tuck a dark colored shirt into unlined white linen pants? Or should you go with a lighter color shirt so that it cannot be seen through the pants?

whitelinenpants.pngA. Aqua and white are a gorgeous combination, however, if your shirt is showing through your pants, you should definitely go with a lighter color. Unlined white linen pants can be tricky, since many colors can show through. Also, be sure to wear nude colored underwear to avoid any show-through (white underwear is a big no-no!)

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