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Q. One question I’ve never seen asked or addressed by stylists is what the perfect length for pants/jeans/slacks is, no matter what the trend (floods, capris, etc.) is. Would you tell me whereabouts on the foot or ankle they should rest?
-Long & Short of It

A. Pants always look better than capris or shorts.  As for length, the longer length is more flattering.  Pants should cover the tops of shoes or pumps with just the front of the shoe showing.  Unfortunately, we all wear different heel heights, so when you have pants hemmed you need to figure out if you’ll wear a heel or flats/sneakers with the pants. Generally, we wear our dress pants with heels and we succumb to flats and sneakers with our khakis and casual wear.  Jeans are the trickiest since we wear them with everything from flip-flops to 4 inch heels.  Choose your best looking dark pair for heels and your favorite all-around pair to wear with sneakers, flats and kitten heel heights, then hem them appropriately.

Q. I am attending my brother-in-law’s wedding in Florida in March. I wanted to ask you if it is appropriate to wear a bright red dress to the rehearsal dinner. They told me that it might look like I am trying to compete with the bride. I am one of the bridesmaids, so for the day of the wedding and reception I am wearing my bridesmaid’s dress. Is this appropriate too or should I dress differently for the reception?
-Red Rose

A. A red dress is a fabulous style color choice for any occasion. The style of the dress is more important than the color when evaluating appropriateness —don’t wear anything too showy or with too much skin revealed.  Nobody is going to dress dowdy for the rehearsal dinner and it’s not your intention to outdo the bride.  All eyes will be on the couple, so feel free to look good.

Q. I’m going to be a bridesmaid and was told to pick any shade of purple for the dress color.  My question is, I’ve been told that I have yellow in my skin and that I fall into the warmer tone or autumn category.  What purples would look best with my skin tone?  I know pastels totally wash me out.
-No Passion for Purple

A. Skip the pastels and go for deep rich purple and preferably something with a bit of shine like silk shantung.  It’s hard to give you an exact color name since every designer names colors differently. If the dress is being made, then be sure to look at several “purple” hued swatches to choose your favorite and one that will work best with your skin tone.  If you’re shopping for the dress yourself then try on several and look for a dress, that while you may not love the color, is cut in a shape that compliments some part of your figure, like showing off collar bones and shoulders or a cocktail length to show off great legs.

White in Winter

Q. I’m going to New York City next month and would like to know if I can wear white or cream colored pants?
-Right White

A. Winter white pants look crisp during the winter and look great paired with black turtleneck sweaters or a striped cashmere boat neck sweater.  Just be sure that the pants are made of winter-appropriate fabrics like wool or denim.

Q. I have a berry colored kimono style dress (cotton stretch material).  I plan on wearing it with brown slouchy boots.  My question is do I wear tights under the dress? It’s cold out… I don’t mind wearing no tights but if I do, then what color.  Any suggestions?
-Gotta Get Leg 

A. If the temperature has dropped, then don the tights.  For this look, the “rule of two” probably works best—meaning, match either your shoes/boot color to your tights (in this case, brown) or choose a tight color that is similar to your dress. If you want to add a little sass to your outfit, then choose tights that have texture or a weave of more than one color:


left to right: Aristoc Enclosed Diamond Non Control-top Tights, $10.25 at; Pretty Polly Argyle opaque tights, $9 at

for more hosiery how-tos, click here

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