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Q. Ankle Boots are everywhere this Fall. I’m happy about this, since my calves are too dense for mid-shaft boots, but more importantly because I live in Florida, where Autumn is a stylish state of mind, and not much else. I have no idea how to actually WEAR the ubiquitous ankle boot. I know they can be paired with trousers to give the effect of wearing a full on boot—but what else? How do I pair an ankle boot with skirts or dresses? Most importantly: how does someone who isn’t 5’10” and 115 lbs wear an ankle boot without making their legs look shorter/wider?

A. True, ankle boots, or booties, are everywhere this fall, worn with everything from skinny jeans to dresses and skirts. This doesn’t mean it’s a trend for everyone, however. Those with shapely calves may have a hard time wearing ankle boots with a skirt or dress since the boots tend to make even thin calves look a little thicker. If you’re petite or have short legs, be aware that booties will chop inches off the length of your leg, though this can be compensated for with a high heel.

If you think you’re ready to give ankle boots a try, here are some chic options:

1. Wear your ankle boots with skinny jeans
2. Wear them with dresses or skirts that hit just above the knee or higher, below the knee is harder to pull off. You can wear this look bare-legged or with opaque tights.

Here are a few visuals, on the left is from shopbop.com and the rest are from bananarepublic.com:

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Q. I’m still confused whether it’s OK to wear white after Labor Day. Fashion myth or fashion rule?

whiteafterlaborday.jpgA. We thought we put this issue to rest last year, but many of you still aren’t sure if it is acceptable to wear white after Labor Day. There are those who strictly adhere to this antiquated rule, but we promise, you won’t be arrested by the fashion police for wearing white in October (or November or December…)

Essential to pulling this look off is to ensure that your fabrics are weather appropriate - in other words, no linen, eyelet or gauzy white fabrics.

Willing to wear white? Start simple with a white blouse as a layering piece like the look shown right from Collette Dinnigan’s Fall 2008 collection. Feeling more daring? Try white jeans or winter white wool pants with a black chunky knit sweater. Generally, white sweaters, coats and jackets are also a “do”.  White bags and shoes are harder to pull off, so put them away until next spring just to be safe.


Q. What’s the deal with the new fall sandals that are on the market - I’m curious if you are to wear them with tights or strictly bare leg?? I’ve seen a few I want to purchase but I’m unsure how to pull them off! Any tips would be great!

A. Tights are the way to go when the weather gets cold. Whether you choose a basic dark tight as seen on the Thakoon runways (below, left) or a fun patterned tight as seen on the D&G runways (below, center and right), you can wear these sandals through the fall season.

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panthems.pngQ. I have some dress pants I purchase about 6 months ago that need to be hemmed. I’m 5 ft tall and will be wearing them with heels, the problem is I don’t know where the hem should hit the heel and the front of the pants.

A. When hemming pants, visit the tailor wearing shoes with the heel height you will wear most often. When hemmed, the pants should touch your instep in front and cover 1/2 to 3/4 of your heel in the back.
Q. This question goes against every fashion column I have ever read, but I have to ask it. Why does everyone suggest that curvy women wear boot cut jeans? I have a large chest, small waist and large hips and cannot for the life of me find jeans that look good and don’t have a huge gap in the back and/or expose things that I don’t want exposed whenever I sit down. There has been a recent trend towards “curvy” jeans which fit me slightly better than most, but the problem is that they are almost always boot cut or flair. Every column I read says that curvy women should wear boot cut jeans to even out the curves, but I find that I look like a Coke bottle in this style. In fact, I don’t think that it is particularly flattering on anyone. How out of touch with reality am I?

A. Finding a flattering pair of jeans is a constant challenge for many women, especially those with curves. As a general rule, boot cut jeans are the most universally flattering for women with your figure. However, it’s important that you look for jeans with a slight boot cut, not a wide flair - this can make all the difference and help to avoid the Coke bottle silhouette you fear. Also, experiment with straight cut styles, and even skinny jeans worn with knee high boots. Tapered jeans in general are a big no-no for women with hips and thighs.

Compare the styles below: on the left is a flaired jean (not so flattering), in the center is a slight boot cut (flattering) and on the right is a straight leg style (also flattering). All jeans are from lanebryant.com

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As for finding jeans that fit your smaller waist, this may prove to be even more of a challenge. If the curvy cut jeans that are available aren’t fitting well, then your best bet is to take the jeans to a tailor and have the waist made smaller. A small price to pay for a great fitting jean!

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