- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 2, 2005

Fashionable hose can either complete an outfit or ruin it. Hosery should be the finishing touch that adds an exquisiteness and not an eyesore. Black hose worn with a black and white houndstooth skirt can look fabulous while a smart silk dress worn with textured pantyhose is tasteless and tacky. Whether wearing colors, patterns or neutral tones, hosery should be a subtle enhancement that offsets your entire outfit. Betty Grable, Angie Dickinson, even Jamie Lee Curtis all insured their legs because of their utter magnificence. Our legs may not be vital for our jobs but they should be adorned with fashion that flatters.

In the winter, hosery is primarily for warmth but style is still critically important so don’t be tempted to wear thick tights on snowy days because they aren’t in anymore. Instead, try textured hose or thinner textured tights which are very trendy this year. Fishnets and ribbed panty hose are big again and look fabulous with ankle or knee boots. Here are some other tips to follow: Leave OZ behind and never wear black panty hose with red shoes or red panty hose with black shoes! Save the suntan for next summer and don’t try to give your legs a tan by wearing a darker nude color. Your hose must be as close to your skin color as possible because darker natural is very obvious and looks hideous. If you are wearing satin or chiffon stick with a classic hose in black, ivory or nude. If your outfit is printed or textured try a simple but heavier hose. Beware of the crayloa box — black hose with a black shoe or an ivory or light gray with almost any other color shoe.

Dear Jen:

My assistant wears micro mini-skirts and I think it is inappropriate. Even though she has a great figure, she joins me for presentations and I think it undermines our credibility. How do you suggest I tell her to stop wearing them? Frieda - Silver Spring, MD

Put it in her lap as a question rather than a criticism. “Do you think your short skirts are distracting from our presentation? I have noticed their eyes are more on you than our flipcharts.” Suggest a skirt length mid-thigh or just above the knee on days when you have important meetings. Good luck.

Dear Jen:

I can’t wear pantyhose but the thigh highs always fall down. Any tips?

Minnie - Kensington, MD

Try a different brand because the elastic support designs vary. Garter belts aren’t as comfortable but the finer lingerie shops have different styles that will give you a tighter fit.

Dear Jen:

I wear a suit and tie everyday but my branch manager goes casual. This sends a mixed signal when clients visit (and often they come unannounced). Do you have any ideas about how to talk to my boss or my clients because there is definitely a disconnect. Andrew - Shirlington, VA

Appropriate attire is determined by both the company culture and the roles you play. If your clients are responding to you, then by all means, continue the traditional attire. And, if they frown at your boss, acknowledge it with a positive. “As the boss, he does a lot more running around than I do” or “Wearing play clothes is the reward for running a successful branch”. Showing respect for their concern and your boss’ attire will impress them and strengthen your own image.

Ms. Silano Foy is President of eFashion Solutions, LLC (www.efashionsolutions.com) and has been a consultant in the fashion industry for more than 10 years. Send workplace or corporate fashion questions to styleforsuccess@aol.com.

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