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Q. I have a black tie bat mitzvah to attend and I’m stumped.  I have a knee length black velvet dress.  It is covered in tiny sparkles.  I have dressy black sling backs with a closed toe to wear.  My question is, what hose would go?  What’s in style?  Do I wear sheer or opaque?  Textured or plain?  Black or nude?  It will be cold too. 
-Cover Me 

I have three suggestions that would work: 

1. Choose a black lace patterned hosiery that is still thin, not a thicker tight texture, like Jonathan Aston’s Fleur tights. This works if you feel the outfit needs a little more oomph.

2. Choose a nude hose—the best, best version I have found is the Hanes Silk Reflections Transparent hosiery - truly invisible.

3. Black sheer hosiery, perhaps a pair with a back seam, like Falke’s High Heel back seam pantyhose

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 5162668-1-2Q. I have a dance coming up for my college dorm and I have my eye on a dress very similar to the one you featured in your July 15th answer (the Nicole Miller border print tie front gown).  However, my chest is medium-large, any recommendation for what to wear underneath? It’s pretty low in the back and front.  Or should ample chests avoid such dresses? I love the print and think the rest of the dress is flattering.

-In Love with a Dress But Not Sure if it Loves Me Back   


A. For a dress similar to this one, you definitely need a specific, supportive strapless bra.  I’m hoping that perhaps the straps on the dress you’ve chosen have slightly wider shoulder coverage.  You need a strapless bra that is plunge style and either adheres to your skin or has a dipped band in the back. Here are two styles that fit small, medium and large busts:

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The Clearly Natural strapless underwire bra from The Natural offers a practical solution to your backless dilemmas. The supportive cups clip to a transparent strap at the back and a clear, adjustable halter strap is included for additional support. Available up to size 36DD and 38D. $46 at


The Jezebel Caress Strapless Bra features contour cups for shaping and support, a plunge front and a low back. Available up to size 38D. $27 at

Also, check out our newest style recipe, Underneath It All, for a complete guide on what to wear underneath your sexiest clothes. You’ll find several of our favorite bras for low cut dresses.

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

B000J3Vzzw.01-A2Fmoxn01Tsnyy.Pt01. Sclzzzzzzz Sx288 V34087409 Q. The dress I plan to wear on New Year’s Eve is one that hugs every curve. It is not tight or structured, but the material is thin and metallic so EVERY seam of what I wear underneath will show. Plus the straps are too thin for me to get away with bra straps. Is there any underwear that one can get away with under such a revealing dress? I am looking for something that won’t wrinkle or ride up or squish me  into an unnatural shape. Picture the Bebe ‘silk crinkle dress’ that Mischa Barton is wearing. Could she possibly be wearing anything under this?
- Barely There

16846FasA. She’s certainly not wearing a bra, so get ready to go braless.  Fashion Forms offers many options that provide support with minimal coverage ranging from the Nu Bra Ultralite Backless Bra (shown left) to Ultimate Silicone Gel Petals.

R363994-P392716-Front-1As for underwear, you’ll need to go with a g-string. A g-string is the smallest and thinnest item you can get away with under your dress. And be sure that the g-string fits comfortably and isn’t tight since you don’t want to any lines or small bulges.

shown right, DKNY City Gem thong

Q. Can a man wear a camel colored cashmere sport coat in the winter in Europe?
- Man Stayin’ Stylish

A. Yes, it’s cashmere.  Have him wear it with a button down shirt and crew neck, zip front or cardigan sweater layered underneath and he will fit perfectly into the European crowd. He’ll look sporty and stylish.

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