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Q. I think I have found the perfect transitional boot for the fall season. It is the Naya Genesis in the Graphite Suede. My question is, can I wear theses beyond the fall season? They have a peep toe and I live in Minnesota. Can I wear tights with them or socks in the winter? I’m in my forties. I love these boots, but I feel they may not be worth it if I can only wear them for the short fall season.

A. Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Good news: Yes! You can absolutely wear open toe booties with tights - just be sure there is no seam at the toe, or that the seam is safely tucked away and not visible.

Bad news: I’m afraid that there isn’t a tight made that is warm enough to keep your toes from freezing in the middle of winter in Minnesota. Unless you are going straight from a heated car to heated indoors, it’s best to stick with a closed toe style in the winter.

Only you can decide whether you will wear these booties enough to make the investment worthwhile. However, you’ll be happy to know that you can wear these through the fall until the cold weather hits, and then again in the spring until you’re ready for sandal season. Though once quite trendy, the open toe bootie has been with us for several seasons now, so you’ll likely be able to wear them at least through fall 2012 again, if not longer.

How to mix prints

Q. I loved your recent editorial piece on pattern mixing. I actually purchased the ASOS Irregular Striped Midi skirt (one of the featured items). I have not worn it yet because I was unsure what to pair it with but now I’d love to try it with a blouse in a contrasting print. Could you offer some suggestions?

A. Not only is this the perfect skirt to carry you over into fall, it’s also a great print to mix with other prints. Here are some tips to consider when mixing patterns:

1. Mix large prints with smaller prints. Since the skirt features a large graphic stripe print, it will pair easily with smaller prints.

2. Choose prints that match at least one color. The black in the skirt pairs well with a top that also includes black, especially as a background color.

3. Choose prints that are not similar to each other. The vertical stripe of the skirt should not be repeated in the top.

4. Prints that are not next to each other are easier to match. Since the skirt has an all-over print, it pairs easily with a top that only features a print on the upper half of it.


Q. I have a beautiful pair of black patent leather pumps that I wore a bit in the spring and not much in the summer. Can I wear them in the fall and winter? If so, what kind of hose? It would be too cold to go bare legged and I don’t think I’d like black tights with the patent leather.


A. You absolutely can wear patent leather in the fall, in fact, you can wear your patent pumps year round. As for hosiery, black tights are a natural fit for your black patent pumps, you can also try a print or patterned tight like lace.

Q. I’d like to know how old is too old to wear the bright, crayon colored skinny jeans that are so popular? I am 36 years old and a size 4. I really love the bright cobalt colored jeans and would like to buy a pair, however I don’t want to look like a cliche.

cobalt denim

A. In my opinion, you’re never too old to have fun with fashion — especially at 36 years old. Colorful jeans are a big trend this summer, carrying over into fall. If you love cobalt jeans, go for it! If you’re worried that they feel young, then pair them with more sophisticated pieces like a blazer and pumps or a cardigan and ankle boots.

Q. I have a Saturday evening affair in mid September and I am wearing a knee length black cocktail dress. What color stocking is acceptable. I have been seeing a lot of comments saying sheer nude is acceptable.

Middleton-nude-hosiery.jpgA. My first preference would be to wear no hosiery since the weather is rather mild in September. However, if you are more comfortable in hosiery, you can try black hosiery or even a fashion-forward lace hosiery.

There is a lot of buzz lately about sheer nude hosiery, especially since Kate and Pippa Middleton have been seen wearing a lot of nude hosiery lately. In fact, according to New York Magazine and WWD , there is an increased demand in nude hose over the past year with an 85% increase in sales in the U.K. and 12% increase in the U.S. — largely credited to the Middleton sisters. Sarah Jessica Parker, Mischa Barton, and Hayden Panettiere have also been spotted wearing nude hose over the past few months.

The key to wearing nude hosiery is to find an ultra-sheer style that most closely matches your skin tone. Here are some options worth exploring:

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