How do you pull off the black-tights-and-shoes?
How do you pull off the black-tights-and-shoes look without looking like a bag lady?—Margaret L., Wicker Park
For starters, the bag-lady look isn’t always a bad thing: The Olsen twins flaunt it quite often, and the look helped them become style icons. Still, we consulted Kristi Ryan, owner of Grace shoe boutique in Bucktown, for advice on how to pull off wearing black on black. With the right kicks and duds (such as a shift dress or straight, knee-length skirt), Ryan says she’s a fan of the monochromatic look because it elongates your legs, creating a sleek, sophisticated style. As far as shoes go, Ryan suggests donning a deep, shiny black—such as a calf or even a patent leather, like this Jeffrey Campbell pair ($95 at City Soles, 2001 W North Ave, 773-489-2001)—instead of flat or matte finishes like suede or fabric. You want to differentiate your shoes from your legs, so you can also opt for slightly textured or gray tights. Otherwise, boots and booties always work. “It’s just a really easy, clean look for the winter, and the boot definitely breaks it up,” Ryan says.
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