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_5692207.jpgQ. I just bought these fabulous strappy shoes. As the weather gets cooler, I would like to keep wearing them… I have seen similar shoes in catalogs with models wearing them with tights. Can I wear them with jeans or slacks barefoot? When is it appropriate to wear footless tights?

A. You most definitely can wear these shoes with tights in cool weather. As for going barefoot and wearing them with jeans, it depends on the weather where you live and how comfortable you will be. The latest J Crew catalog is filled with sandals and pants or jeans worn without hosiery (see image below). In real life, though, it’s easier to get away with the barefoot look when you are getting dressed up for an evening out than for daily running around or dressing for the office. As for footless tights or leggings, the same rules apply as going barefoot.

Our advice? If you’re not entirely comfortable, it’s much safer to wear tights.


Q. What are the rules for wearing black opaque tights with colored shoes? I keep seeing pictures of models with this combination, but what about in real life? I have a pair of royal blue patent peep toe wedges I’d love to wear, which I think I can get by with, and also a pair of tan peep toe heels with an ankle strap, is the tan too much of a stretch?

A. Opaque tights are a great way to wear peep toe styles in cooler weather. You can wear dark tights with dark shoes for a classic, leg elongating look, or opt for contrasting colors for a fun, modern look. Colorful tights paired with dark shoes or dark tights paired with colored shoes (like your blue patent wedges) add style to any outfit. For your tan peep toes, experiment with colors other than black, like gray (shown below) or cranberry. Textured tights can add another layer of interest to your look.
odl.jpgQ. I have been very surprised lately to see a lot of sheer hose in magazines - is sheer hose back “in”?

A. In addition to the opaque tights you’ve come to love, sheer hosiery has made a return to style this season. Designers are showing everything from sheer black and colored hosiery to sheer shiny, glossy styles and textures. Whether you choose to play it safe or take some risks, the good news is, virtually anything goes when it comes to hosiery this fall.

If you’re looking to invest in a few pairs, check out - they’ve got a huge selection of sheer, opaques, colored hosiery and more.
Q. I am attending a black tie optional affair and am wondering what to wear? Female/35. Some of the ladies are wearing slacks, but this is an affair where all the bigwigs will be attending and I want to make a statement. What should I wear?

A. At a black tie optional affair, men wear tuxedos or dark suits and women wear everything from gowns to dressy cocktail dresses. Slacks can be difficult to pull off, but if you choose to go this route, make sure that they are dressy evening pants and pair them with a glamorous top, great jewelry and heels.

Since you want to dress to impress, a dress always offers the greatest impact. Look for luxe fabrics and special details. Here are a few black tie optional choices that demonstrate the range of appropriate attire:

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1. Maggy London Chiffon Gown with Charmeuse Waist, $158 at
2. Adrianna Papell Shutter Pleat Satin Dress, $158 at
3. JS Boutique Beaded Waist Cutaway Dress, $158 at
4. Carmen Marc Valvo Satin Pants, $210 at
Q. I love this feature of your site and will often peruse the archives. While I have always liked the skirt with knee length boots look, I have never been able to wear this style. My problem is that I am short (5’1), have small feet (size 5-5.5) and have thick calves. I have a difficult time finding a skirt that looks good with my chunky legs and a pair of boots that will fit around my big calves. By the way, I live in Los Angeles and want to rock this look either at work or on the weekend. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

A. We will probably catch a lot of flack for this answer but here’s the truth: tall boots with a skirt is probably not the most flattering option for your petite frame and “chunky” legs. It’s always important not to be a slave to fashion and the hot “look of the moment” but to recognize what works for you as an individual. Sadly, there are often trends we love that no matter how hard we try, we just can’t pull them off (ankle boots and tights anyone?)

Rather than pair boots with your skirts, opt for pumps or heels without ankle straps and opaque tights in a similar color to your shoe - this will help to elongate and slim your legs to offer the most flattering silhouette for you. Make sure your skirt hits at or just above your knee. However, if you still want to give the boots and skirt look a try, opt for a skirt that hits above or well above your knee, a slim dark boot with a heel and dark tights.

Here are a few tall boots with heels that should fit your small feet and thick calves:

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1. Fitzwell Norah/Wide Calf, $129.70 at
2. rsvp Denisa (Wide Calf), $150 at
3. rsvp Derisa (Wide Calf), $126 at

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