It's All in the Details

Q: Tights always make my legs appear heavier than they really are. What am I doing wrong?

A: The trick is to choose finely knit fabrics and leg-lengthening patterns (like vertical stripes) and to coordinate the shade of the tights with the color of your shoes or boots. What will also work for you: hosiery with feminine, delicate, romantic details is a hot look this fall, says Estee Berman, designer for DKNY Hosiery. Wear tights in slimming shades of black, gray, navy, or chocolate. But steer clear of those chunky cable-knits; they'll only add inches.

Q: What's the latest look in earrings? I'm bored with the same old pearls and hoops I've been wearing.

A: Big earrings are still in, and this season it's all about the leaf motif. "Following the eco-conscious trend of getting back to nature, jewelry designs now have an organic feel," says Juliette Panache, co-owner of Jaas Salon, a New York City design showroom. The styles are simple yet sophisticated. Choose more subdued styles for day and save the sparkling ones for night. The rule of thumb with jewelry this season? Less is more. Avoid accessory overload by leaving the chunky necklaces and oversize cocktail rings at home when you wear eye-catching designs on your ears.

Q: I love the idea of belting my dresses and long sweaters, but when I try it I look thick around the middle. How can I avoid that?

A: Just pick a belt that's wide enough to accentuate the narrowing of your waist but not so thick that it shortens your torso and makes you look heavier. If you have a large bust, opt for a slightly slimmer belt no more than 3 inches wide, worn just below the natural waistline. This still registers the trend but will give you a more elongated and slender midsection. And avoid wearing a wide belt over a thick, bulky sweater- instead pair it with sheerer, lightweight fabrics.

Have a question for Jacqui Stafford?

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Fashion Q&A

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New York, NY 10016.

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