I’ve been wearing short dresses and skirts with opaque tights and I like the idea of leggings or even jeggings for fall, but I’m unsure how best to wear them.
—Janine H., Estero
There are some important differences between tights and leggings that will have a bearing on how you wear them. Tights are essentially heavier-weight, footed hosiery (40 denier and above) and are meant to be worn underneath other garments—exactly as you’ve been wearing them. Leggings are made from a more substantial fabric and are footless, generally ending at the ankle. Jeggings are basically stretch-denim leggings, designed to look like tight-fit- ting jeans—complete with stitching to resemble a fly front and pockets. Although leggings are ideal for cooler autumn days, just because the fabric is thicker and heavier, don’t be misled into thinking they’re pants—they’re not. For anything other than an exercise class, team them with tunic-style tops, long-line shirts or sweaters that cover your derriere. Jeggings need to be treated with caution, as they have an unforgiving habit of emphasizing lumps and bumps. Be honest with yourself and think about how you look in a pair of skinny jeans. If a pair of skinnies isn’t a good look for you, then forget the jeggings.
Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month. If you have a question for Cheryl, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to Wear: To a Black-Tie Event
This is the time of year when those black-tie invitations start rolling in—such a stipulation makes it easy for the gents, but the dress code for ladies sometimes needs decoding. Unless the invite states long dresses, the length is up to you, although I’d recommend not going too short (an inch or so above the knee is fine) and avoiding anything too tight—it is still a formal event, after all. An elegant evening trouser ensemble is also entirely acceptable. One misconception surrounding black tie is that women have to wear black also—you don’t. Traditionally speaking, one of the reasons men donned black tie was to act as a contrast to the glamorous and colorful gowns of the ladies. I think that’s a delightful tradition worth keeping.