Dear Ms. Bean,
Yesterday my 13 year-old niece called me â€œfrumpy.â€? Rude, yes, but she’s right. I work from home, so my sweat suit is like a second skin, and I can’t get out of my flip-flops. I need a new uniform that’s hip but comfortable. I would love to do leggings, but how do I wear them?
Though your stumblebunny of a niece may need some sensitivity training, bravo to you for taking the criticism constructively.
So you want to do leggings? Ok, here’s the deal: these footless tights have potential to create a look that screams, â€œI want to work at MTV!â€? or worse, â€œI’ve just come from aerobics class!â€? but this is totally avoidable. Pair yours with a more structured tunic or t-shirt dress, both of which need to end at mid-thigh or longer. A linen tunic from Acrobat, available at www.bluefly.com, would be nice for summer, and Active Endeavors carries lovely tops from Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent and Talla. For evening, a Single’s silk kimono dress, available at EntendrÃ© Couture or Exhibit, would be trÃ©s sexy. Make sure your leggings hit below the largest part of your calves and wear cute flats. A high-heeled shoe puts you at risk for looking a little trashy, and there are other summer shoes besides Havaianas!
Leggings are predicted to go through to fall, so you’re ahead of the game. (Tell that to your niece!) With slouchy boots and a longer sweater, such as this one from Vince’s Fall 2006 collection (you can preorder at www.saksfifthavenue.com), you’re set.
Acrobat Tunic ($34.95) from www.bluefly.com.
Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent Cotton Tunic
($154) from Active Endeavors
Talla Cotton Tunic
($102) from Active Endeavors
Acrobat Tunic ($34.95) from www.bluefly.com
Silk Kimono Dress from Single
at Entendre Couture or Exhibit on Lincoln Avenue.
If you need some height: black espadrilles from Franco Sarto.
Kors by Michale Kors flat sandal.
A little chunky but edgier and cool. www.zappos.com
Anne Klein T-Strap Flat Sandal.
A slightly more elegant look. www.zappos.com
Leggings with ballet flats:
Long Sweater ($275) from Vince 2006 Fall Collection:
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